A wild girl
with a mysterious past
When her adopted father is slain by a strange beast, Atalanta is determined to take care of herself. She is happy in the forest with only her friend Urso -- a giant bear -- for company. She wants nothing to do with the world of men.
But the ferocious creature that killed her father is still out there, and Atalanta can't resist the opportunity to hunt it down, even if that means she has to join forces with a group of hunters to do so. Atalanta must prove that she is as strong and brave as any of the others, as they search together for the deadly Arcadian Beast.
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Jane Yolen is one of the acknowledged masters of fantasy today. She is the author of more than two hundred books for children and adults. Her young adult novel The Devil's Arhtmetic won the Jewish Book Council Award. Her children's book Owl Moon, illustrated by John Schoenherr, was awarded the Caldecott Medal; her fantasy novels Sister Light, Sister Dark and White Jenna were both short-listed for the Nebula; and she's won the Nebula twice for short stories. She has also won the World Fantasy Award, the Christopher Medal twice, and the Golden Kite Award. She has written two previous books in the Young Heroes series with Robert J. Harris, Odysseus in the Serpent Maze and Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons. Jane Yolen lives with her husband in western Massachusetts and St. Andrews, Scotland.From Booklist:
Gr. 4-6. The third volume in the Young Heroes series sends 12-year-old Atalanta in pursuit of a giant winged lion after it kills the hunter who raised her. Having spent nearly her entire life in the woods, Atalanta is a strong hunter and a nearly feral child; she is far more comfortable with her huge bear companion than with the glory-seeking humans who join her on the trail. The tale sweeps along at a good clip toward a rousing climax, and the authors have buttressed the action with many details and characters from classical mythology--mighty Orion, a vain, but capable, hunter whose rivalry with Atalanta gradually turns into mutual respect; a petulant Artemis; and mischievous, powerful Pan. Although Atalanta turns out to be a child of royal parents, she elects to return to her old, independent life in the end--at least for the present. Children intrigued by the often sketchy tales surrounding Atalanta will enjoy both this fleshed out version of her youthful adventures and the somewhat different take Stephanie Spinner offers in Quiver [BKL Ja 1 & 15 03]; for other books of interest, see the Read-alike, "Grrrls of the Ancient World," also in the January 03 issue. John Peters
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