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Iris, Messenger Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2007
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Iris Greenwold is a dreamer; it's how she escapes her miserable existence. Her mother researches soybeans for an uncaring employer and her wacky father lives far away and pays almost no attention to her. Erebus Middle School is awful, with classmates who torment her and teachers who don't understand why she doesn't pay attention. And then, for her 12th birthday, Iris receives an incredible gift: Bulfinch's Mythology. Reading about the exploits of the Greek gods is right up her alley, but she is puzzled when mysterious messages start popping up in the book's pages and downright startled to discover that the gods are all living nearby at the New Jersey shore and in the Philadelphia area. Moreover, they desperately need her help. As she meets such figures as Poseidon (who runs a seaside oyster shack), Apollo (owner of a cool jazz club), and Aphrodite (stylist extraordinaire), she's also treated to firsthand accounts of Greek myths. This engaging story of an unhappy girl whose dreaming pays off in wonderful ways will be a hit with adolescents dealing with those difficult middle school years. Give it to readers who gobble up Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series (Hyperion/Miramax) and other novels where teens interact with the Greek pantheon. -- School Library Journal, July 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
It's now our go-to birthday gift.
Iris suffers the Sturm and Drang of many modern preadolescents and adolescents. This book effectively weaves 21st century concerns of how we search for meaning in our lives with stories that have held up for eons. When I reached the end of the book I realized I had been hoping for redemption of these mythic characters. The book's conclusion reminded me that transformation occurs in quieter, individual ways.
This book is written for "10 and up" and this does not convey what a gem this novel is for all ages. Highly recommended for everyone you know who is attracted to mythology and great storytelling.
It is Greek Mythology related, but the gods aren't represented quite like we think they usually are in our minds. It's kind of weird, and I just didn't like that aspect of the book very much.
One thing that bothered me is the cover (and I know the author has no control over this; her publisher could have done better by her). The girl, Iris, is the protagonist, yet the cover features a character who, while somewhat important to the plot, is peripheral. And male. Iris protags, why not have her as the central actor on the cover? Even so, I'll definitely look for more from this author, with the hopes that she takes on something more substantial next time.