Thursday, 1 September 2016

Girls and Goddesses: Stories of Heroines from Around the World by Lari Don



                                 
                                    Arc provided by Lerner Publishing Group through Netgalley
                                                           Release Date: September 1rt

This was an interesting collection of  twelve short stories for young readers with young girls as heroes.
These are tales full of wit, wisdom and sometimes self sacrifice.
Now, I know that I am not this book's intended audience, but I've become accustomed to middle grade books that are brilliantly written. I didn't find that to be the case here. I found the writing style to be serviceable, but maybe that was already the goal: to have the tales told in a more traditional way.

Chi and the Seven-headed Dragon (Chinese legend) - 3,5 Stars
One day, a dragon with seven heads appears in the Kingdom. The Emperor who likes things quiet _who doesn't?_is less than thrilled by this circumstance, and following his counsellors' advices decides to feed the dragon with what is supposed to be his favourite food: little girls. -_-
Typical.
 Weeks and years go by, until courageous (and bright) Chi appears. Then, and all by herself she is able to properly deal with the dragon: it may involve a different diet ;)

Inanna and the Box of Monsters (Sumerian myth) - 3.5
A story about Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of Love ( no, I had never heard of her) , who wasn't content with the power she already had, and how she came to acquire more of it.
A story that shows us that not even the God of Wisdom can resist a goddess, if she decides that she wants something from him.
According to Inanna, the ends definitely justify the means ;)
Also good friends always come in handy!

The Wolf in the Bed (French folktale) - 3.5 Stars
"Once there was a young girl who lived at the edge of the forest."

Was this the first Red Riding Hood story?
I don't know. Apparently it was one of the firsts in which the girl saved herself all by herself.

Telesilla and the Gates of Argos (Greek legend) - 4 Stars

When the city of Argos is invaded by the Spartans, and Argos' men fail to protect it, it will be up to Telesilla, a young schollar, who will command the rest of the population into the protection of their city.

“We are the women of Argos and we are defending our homes.”

A wise woman who knew what drove most men.
Ego.

Durga and the Demon (Indian myth) - 3.5 Stars
The story of the fight between a super powerful demon ( aren't they all?) and a woman. "A tall dark woman named Durga."
A story of the "type" be careful what you wish for...


Kopecho and the Two Suns (Venezuelan myth) - 3.5 Stars
Another perfect example to which if you want a job well done, you have to do it yourself... even at great risk.

Mbango and the Whirlpool (Cameroonian folktale) - 2.5 Stars
 The perils of envy...

Hervor and the Cursed Sword (Norse legend ) - 2.5 Stars
The story of a powerful cursed sword and the family who kept it throughout the years.
Because like they say, "it's our family curse".
Well then...you can keep it.

Visiting Baba Yaga (Russian folktale) - 4 Stars
Or basically how to survive your wicked stepmother whom to make matters even worse, is also related to Baba Yaga...
Can't a girl ever catch a break?

Aliquipiso and the Cliff (Native American legend) - 4 Stars
In which the self sacrifice of a girl managed to save the rest of her tribe.

Tokoyo and the Skin Rope (Japanese legend) - 4 Stars
Good deeds never go without reward? Also, what's with so many girls sacrifices? *says she in a naive tone of voice*


The Giant’s Heart (Scottish folktale)- 4 Stars
In which a Princess must beat the Giant who has kidnapped her, in a match of wits. Now, she only has to find where he keeps his heart... and be able of destroying it.

All in all, a rich and interesting collection for young readers.

Author's Official Site

Bookdepository.com

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