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Perseus Hardcover – April 10, 2005
100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more
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More About the Author
The White Darkness won the Printz Award in the USA, which, for as Englishwoman, was the most amazing, startling thrill.
Then there was Peter Pan in Scarlet - official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, written on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hopsital for Sick Children. I won the chance to write that in a worldwide competition, and because Peter Pan is loved everywhere, my book sold worldwide too. I can't say I expected that when, as a child, I dreamed of being like my older brother and getting a book published one day.
These days I have a husband (who's good at continuity and spelling) and a daughter who is an excellent editor. But she's at the Royal Academy of Dramtic Art now, studying to become an actor. So, naturally, I have turned my hand to writing plays. (So many actors, so few plays!)
My Mum told me, "Never boil your cabbages twice, dear," which was her way of saying, "Don't repeat yourself." So I have tried never to write the same book twice. You'll find all my novels quite different from one another. I have also done lots of retellings of myth, legend, folk and fairy tales, and adapted indigestible classics such as El Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Shakespeare and the Pilgrim's Progress.
Something for everyone, you see, my dear young, not-so-young, eccentric, middle-of-the-road, poetical, sad, cheerful, timid or reckless reader.
All they have in common is that they all contain words. If you are allergic to words, you'd best not open the covers.
Top Customer Reviews
King Acrisius foolishly asks the Epidauran Oracle how he will die, and gets a devastating answer: that it will be at the hands of his own grandson. Inevitably, he takes pains to insure that his daughter Danae will never beget a child, by locking her up in a specially-designed tower. Just as inevitably, this attracts the attention of Zeus, the king of the gods...and a few months later Danae gives birth to a son: Perseus.
Horrified, Acrisius sets mother and son adrift on the sea in a wooden chest, only for them to be rescued by a fisherman and introduced to the King Polydectes. Coveting the hand of beautiful Danae, Polydectes sets her son an impossible task in order to pursue his reluctant bride without inference. Perseus is tricked into bringing back the head of the Gorgon Medusa - but you don't need me to tell you how this particular quest will pan out.
In fact, (though no fault of McCaughrean herself) this is one of the inevitable weaknesses of the book: that you already know what's going to happen! When Perseus discovers exactly who and what the Medusa is, I thought to myself: "wait - how can he not know that already?Read more ›
There is one thing that irritated me throughout the story - all of the pantheon of gods were referred to by their Greek names (like Zeus, Hera, and Artemis) with the exception of one - Hades was constantly referred to as Pluto, his Roman equivalent. This broke the continuity for me and was frustrating. I think to stick with the Greek names would have made the most sense as the story is taking place in Greece.
While McCaughrean's books are intended for a YA audience, suggested for 4th - 8th grade, this was still the enjoyable read for an adult. It didn't feel like the story had been watered down for youths. I certainly am interested in checking out the other Heroes that she has written about.
This was one of the best audiobook productions I have listened to in awhile. This is a full cast production. You have a different actor for each character - even the minor ones. This really helps to flesh out the characters even more and gives a good feel for their personalities - especially the gods.Read more ›