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Quiver Hardcover – October 8, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375814892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375814891
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,729,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spinner (Aliens for Breakfast) competently retells the classical legend of Atalanta, abandoned in the woods as a baby because of her gender. Saved by the goddess Artemis the Huntress, Atalanta grows up to become a talented archer and the "swiftest of mortals"; grateful, she swears her loyalty to the goddess and vows to stay chaste. As the book opens, she is the only female hunting for the Calydonian boar, and the first to draw its blood (though, again due to gender, this feat earns her more trouble than honor). Spinner's pacing is somewhat awkward (the story takes too long to unfold, and the conclusion seems rushed), and the large cast is hard to keep straight, but Atalanta has depth as a strong, female protagonist who not only defeats men but who also trusts herself. Shortly after the hunt, Atalanta learns that she is the daughter of King Iasus; he is dying, lacking an heir, and demands that she marry and produce one. To adhere to her vows of chastity, she offers the king a compromise: she agrees to marry a suitor who beats her in a race; otherwise, he must be killed. Of course she wasn't counting on Aphrodite's meddling, or being shot in the heart by Eros's love arrow. The narrative may be difficult to enter, but there is enough death, surprise, prophecy and direct intervention from the gods-including interludes of their whimsical dialogue-to keep readers engaged. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10-Atalanta, a skilled archer and a runner, has dedicated her life to Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt. She has grown up among hunters, and is as good or better than many of her male counterparts. When strangers appear and command that she return with them to her father, the king, she is shocked and dismayed. King Iasus, who abandoned her at birth, now demands that she marry and produce a son, since he does not have an heir. She balks at this idea, since she has vowed to remain chaste, and poses a challenge: she will only marry a man who can outrun her in a race; all others must die. To her dismay, many accept the challenge and fail. However, when Hippomenes enlists the help of Eros and the Golden Apples of Aphrodite, Atalanta cannot force herself to outrun this man and have him die. Staying very close to the known story, Spinner gives this Greek myth a fresh face and makes Atalanta a strong heroine. The gods are ever present, advancing the plot and commenting on the lives of the characters. The setting is well done, putting readers easily into the ancient world, and the language is refreshingly unmodern. Pair this title with Caroline Cooney's Goddess of Yesterday (Delacorte, 2002) for a fine introduction to the Greek tales.
Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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I hope to read many more books by Stephanie Spinner in the future.
Melinda C. Luke
It is a nice little story, but it's not a page-turner, nor does it make you wish for a sequel.
Eddie Black
More often than not, in fact, they do not have a voice, or I should say, are not given one.
MJ Letourneau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Calista P. Brill on November 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In this retelling of the story of Atalanta, Stephanie Spinner continues in the tradition of great novelists like Mary Renault who render ancient history and mythology fresh, accessible and immediate without adulterating the original power of the stories. Atalanta, a mythical huntress with a remarkable story, is still a teenaged girl -- confused, hormonal, and horse-crazy. Anyone who has ever been a adolescent girl or known one will feel a certain affinity to and sympathy for her.
Spinner doesn't fall into the trap of stylistic modernization, however. Despite her character's accessibility to the modern reader, Atalanta remains undisputably an inhabitant of an ancient, mythical world in which creatures like centaurs are an unremarkable (though smelly and obnoxious) aspect of everyday life, and the gods are flawed, mercurial and fickle. Apollo and Artemis carry on conversations filled with the idle, slighty vicious barbs one would expect from siblings, though not, perhaps, from devine ones. That our heroine, long-suffering and stoic, is at the mercy of these creatures seems the ultimate injustice: she is so much better than they.
I suppose that injustice is part of what makes "Quiver" so convincing and evocative of the original myths it is based on. The Greek Gods of Homer and Ovid were never especially divine in judgement or emotion; what makes them so terrifying and moving is that they are just like us, only bigger, more powerful, and even more ruled by the drives and emotions we deem ignoble, primal, and unmanagable. In this godly muck of jealousy, revenge and chaos for the sake of it, Atalanta is a beacon of level-headedness, humanity, and nobility.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melinda C. Luke on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Quiver was a wonderful integration of mythology, romance, and adventure. I have recommended this book to many of my friends and my Latin teacher. The main character, Atalanta, was one of many characters beautifully brought to life through dialogue and description. Spinner's Quiver was a delicate mix of the many tales of Atalanta. I hope to read many more books by Stephanie Spinner in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melinda C. Luke on November 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Quiver was a wonderful integration of mythology, romance, and adventure. I have recomended it to many of my friends and my Latin teacher. The main character, Atalanta, was one of the many characters beautifully brought to life through dialogue and description. The plot was a delicate mix of the many tales of Atalanta. I look forward to reading many other books by Stephanie Spinner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melinda C. Luke on November 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Quiver was a wonderful integration of mythology, romance, and adventure. I have recommended it to many of my friends and my Latin teacher. The main character, Atalanta, was one of the many characters beautifully brought to life through dialogue and description. The plot was a delicate mix of the many tales of Atalanta. I look forward to reading many other books by Stephanie Spinner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Black on August 24, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author did a nice job of rounding out the story of Atalanta, and I like that she chose one of the less-popular heroes. She stayed true to the story, which is also important, and did not take liberties. I will add this to the list of books that I can safely recommend to my high school mythology students, even though it lacks the "oomph" to give it four or five stars. It is a nice little story, but it's not a page-turner, nor does it make you wish for a sequel. Overall, it was a pleasant little book.
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