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Reviews (for more, click on a title in the right-hand column)
This classic coming-of-age story begs to be advertised for summer reading. . . Hand it to fans of Cecil Castellucci’s Don’t Cosplay with My Heart and anything written by Sarah Dessen.
School Library Journal
Marabel and the Book of Fate
Remarkably timely with its exploration of feminism and social justice, this fantasy title empowers as much as it entertains. . . . Marabel’s journey helps her realize she’s more than an overshadowed sibling and that outsiders may not be the strangers she’s always feared. By acknowledging her strengths and accepting her weaknesses, she is able to rescue her brother and unite the kingdoms through working alongside those who previously opposed her. . . . This subversive hero’s quest champions the concepts of gender equality and embracing differences while also delivering an engrossing, laugh-filled adventure.
School Library Journal
The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard
Seventeen lesser-known Greek myths get an energetic retelling in this collection for readers 12 and up.
Many YA readers are familiar with the immortals of Olympus . . . , but the same tales tend to get repeated, leaving out variations, contradictions, or plots with less appeal to modern audiences. Barrett (On Etruscan Time, 2015, etc.), a prolific writer of YA fiction, returns to the classical setting she employed in books like King of Ithaka (2014) to explore these less-told tales. . . .
Accessible and entertaining, these stories provide a thoughtful, fresh take on a classic subject.
— Kirkus Reviews
The 100-Year Old Secret (Book 1 of The Sherlock Files)
A strong start to what will undoubtedly remain an enjoyable series.
— Kirkus Reviews
King of Ithaka
Accompanied by Brax, a centaur, and runaway weaver Polydora, [Telemachos] discovers that the world is full of dangers, some of them giving the appearance of friendship. He also begins to discover what a good kingship requires by viewing the hurting realms of Pylos and Sparta. Readers familiar with The Odyssey will know some of how the story ends, but Barrett’s depictions of familiar characters and situations are surprising and fresh, allowing a new tale to be told inside the old one. The author also makes much of no one expecting poets to tell the truth, just a good story, and Telemachos’s own narrative ends with the traditional concluding words of a poet that seem to be a tongue-in-cheek commentary on storytelling. This is a strong retelling with definite YA appeal, particularly in Telemachos's final triumph, where he takes the chariot reins of his life in his own hands.
— School Library Journal ★Starred review
Dark of the Moon
Ariadne weaves a new tale in a historically rich reworking of Theseus and the Minotaur. . . . A world and story both excitingly alien and pleasingly familiar.
— Kirkus Reviews ★Starred review
Anna of Byzantium
Barrett uses an effective first-person narrative to draw readers into Anna's story, and the author's precise use of detail helps re-create Anna's world, the palace of Constantinople in the ninth century. . . Readers will be caught up in Anna's evolution as she moves from loving child and heir of the emperor to pawn in her grandmother's plan to continue as the power behind the throne to discarded princess, stripped of all she holds dear, especially her future. . . The Byzantine empire is often neglected in studies of the Middle Ages. This exciting read—with a particularly enticing cover—will help change that oversight.
— Booklist, boxed review