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Pandora Gets Jealous (Pandora
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Carolyn Hennesy has been an actress for many years, appearing in films and primetime television shows such as Legally Blonde 2, Dawson's Creek and That 70's Show. She can currently be seen on the daytime drama General Hospital. In her spare time, Carolyn teaches improvisational comedy and has become a flying trapeze artist. She lives in the Los Angeles area. www.carolynhennesy.com

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Harry Potter meets Edith Hamilton in this cheeky rendition of Pandora's famous faux pas, first in the Mythic Adventures series. Prometheus's daughter, Pandora, sneaks the notorious box of evils out of hiding rather than bring her father's boring old eagle-eaten liver to a student competition at the Athena Maiden Middle School, where she accidentally opens it and releases the plagues of humanity. Sentenced by Zeus to retrieve them, Pandora is aided by secret gifts from some gods and goddesses who, as Hermes tells her, remember their own youthful mistakes: "A little petty thievery, a few unrequited loves, people mistakenly transformed into animals or trees or hideous monsters. Things we're not proud of, all right?" Pandy, accompanied by two stricken friends, finds her way to the Oracle at Delphi and gets Jealousy back. Aspiring Hellenists will appreciate Hennesy's informed liberties with her topic, and novices will be not only fine but possibly inspired to go further. Debut novelist Hennesy's Hollywood comedian background shows in her witty juxtapositions of modern popular culture and classical Greek legend: her work is rife with mythic creatures (dryads, satyrs, gorgons), magic (a talking diary, winged flying shoes, shape-shifting) and lively dialogue (" `Hey, sorry about the light,' Hermes said. `Standard procedure. Zeus wants everyone to be terribly afraid when I appear whether it's good news or bad; but that kind of thinking is sooooo Bronze Age, right?' "). Accurate where it counts, this loosely interpreted myth rarely misses a comic twist. Ages 9-12. (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Gr 5-7-Given the recent proliferation of fine novels incorporating characters and themes from Greek mythology, including Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series (Hyperion/Miramax), Anne Ursu's "Cronus Chronicles" (S & S), and Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris's "Young Heroes" books (HarperCollins), to name a few, there is little need to add this title to most collections. Hennesy's depiction of Pandora owes more to the influence of the "Gossip Girls" than to standard conceptions of the pantheon. It may be reasonable to portray Pandy as a spoiled brat. Other plot points-that a teenager takes the infamous box of troubles to school to fulfill a show-and-tell assignment-are harder to swallow. Altogether inessential.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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