Children's Grace Tiffany Ariel

ISBN 13: 9780060753276

Ariel

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9780060753276: Ariel

Ariel is beautiful and magical, a creator of dreams and of mischief.

Sprung from the mind of a dazed sailor shipwrecked in the Bermuda Triangle, she rules half of her enchanted isle, dreaming of the savior from the east who will help her conquer all. When Prospero, a lost mariner, appears on the beach, his young daughter, Miranda, in tow, Ariel entices him with her visions of conquest. Together, she promises, they will defeat the mysterious tribe whose drums beat beyond the island's rain forest. The homesick Prospero struggles to resist Ariel's charms, but he almost falls under her spell when Miranda falls in love with their servant, the island boy Caliban. Ariel wants to march west, Prospero wants to sail east, and daughter Miranda wants to play on the beach with her boyfriend. Their clash comes to a head when Ariel, summoning her full powers, creates a cataclysmic storm that will change their lives and the island forever.

Shakespeare scholar Grace Tiffany looks at the dark side of Shakespeare's The Tempest, investing a female Ariel with tremendous strength. The Tempest takes on new meaning for new readers, as Tiffany explores the imagination's power to transform grief into dangerous dreams.

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About the Author:

Grace Tiffany is a professor of English literature at Western Michigan University. She is the author of academic texts as well as the novels My Father Had a Daughter: Judith Shakespeare's Tale and Will, both stories of the Bard. Grace Tiffany and her family live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This is her first novel for young readers.

From School Library Journal:

The first thing you should know about Ariel is that she's a liar. With this grabber, Tiffany takes the characters from Shakespeare's The Tempest and provides background as to how they get to the point where readers find them in the play. The story spans centuries, beginning with Ariel's birth from the head of a luckless sailor, who was blown across the Atlantic in the fifty-eighth Year of Our Lord and ending with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World. In between, readers meet Caliban, Prospero, Miranda, Antonio, Alonso, Gonzalo, and Ferdinand. While the general story line remains the same, Tiffany alters some of the details in an attempt to show the motives behind the characters' behaviors. For instance, Tinkerbell-like Ariel serves Prospero because she doesn't want the magician to re-imprison her inside the tree where he first found her. Caliban, not literally a monster, walks with a deformed leg because Ariel refused to help his mother during his difficult birth. Miranda befriends him and makes her sexual desires known; thus, he is totally innocent of making improper advances. Other characters include an innocent Alonso; a spoiled, simpering Ferdinand whom Miranda eventually rejects; and a devoted, loving Caliban who wins her heart in the end. The author seems to have structured her ideas in keeping with a revisionist interpretation of the play as a condemnation of European colonialism. The prose is well written and easy to follow, using language that suggests the Bard's poetry. This is a good adjunct to the play and, in the tradition of Robin McKinley's Beauty (HarperCollins, 1978), a means of familiarizing modern-day readers with the heroes of a classic tale, while taking some interesting liberties with the original ideas.–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
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