Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Still More on Perspectives in Children's Literature

After hearing Eric Carle, I went off to listen to Jane Yolen give a talk on the importance of mythology. Ms. Yolen began by apologizing for not having prepared better because of an illness in her family. She then proceeded to give what I thought was a good, college-quality lecture. This is a compliment, since I like a good lecture.

There are so many things I could be reporting on here relating to her talk, but a blog should be brief, so I'll just tell you about a project she is working on with Robert Harris. They are writing what is known as the Young Heroes Series--novels on the teenage years of characters from Greek mythology. The first book was Odysseus in the Serpent Maze and the most recent is Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons. There are also plans for stories about Atalantis and Jason. There are two goals for the series: They will be historically accurate (as far as clothing, weapons, etc. are concerned; no traveling to countries that no one knew existed at the time) and the main characters will be developed in such a way that they can logically become the adult mythic figures we know of.

The publisher is HarperCollins and Ms. Yolen estimates the reading audience as starting at fourth or fifth grade (good readers) but no higher than eighth grade.

While crusing the Internet for info for this blurb I learned that Ms. Yolen's husband maintains her Web site. So does mine! I truly believe that computer skills are very important in a spouse.

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