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Cooney, Caroline B.
New York : Delacorte Press, 2002.
IL 5-8, RL 4.8
ISBN 0385900511

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Siphnos is bathed in blood and fire.  Once again my home has been snatched from me.  If not for my goddess, I too would be part of that blood bath.  My goddess gave me courage to jump from the cliff into the water.  She gave me will and strength to snatch an octopus from the sea and plant it firmly on my head and the voice to shout into the winds, “I am Medusa!  Look upon me and die!”  This curse struck terror in the bloodthirsty pirates and they left my desolate island home.  What will become of an orphan on an island where nothing lives?  Has my goddess given me a blessing or a curse?
Prepared by: Samantha McManus for South Carolina Junior Book Award 2005

Booktalk #2

Goddess of Yesterday is the story of Anaxandra who lives on an island in the Aegean Sea.  When she is six years old, she is taken by a king from a neighboring island.  Her job is to be a companion to his daughter Princess Callisto.  Six years later when Anaxandra is twelve, she is the sole survivor of the island after pirates attack she island where she has been living.  A group of ships led by Menelaus, king of Sparta, comes to investigate.  Anaxandra decides to impersonate Princess Callisto in order to avoid being taken as a slave.  Menelaus is kind to Anaxandra, but his wife Helen is self-centered and suspicious of this red-headed child that her husband brought home.  Read Goddess of Yesterday to find out how Anaxandra becomes involved in a war between two countries, to discover if Anaxandra is able to keep her true identity a secret, and whether Anaxandra ever finds a place she can call home.  (Karen Williamson,,  Pickens High School, Pickens, South Carolina)

Booktalk #3

This story is set in ancient Greece during the time of the Trojan Wars. Anaxandra, the daughter of a pirate chieftain, is taken from her island as a hostage to be a playmate for Nicander’s daughter, Callisto. Who is the goddess of yesterday? She is Medusa; the gorgon goddess who you may remember has snakes in her hair. Anaxandra grows to love her hostage family and but hostile pirates take over the island…Anaxandra escapes and then she is found by King Menelaus who mistakes her for Callisto. Anaxandra decides to play along…after all, what fate would be in store for a mere playmate to a dead princess…and has many adventures where she meets Helen of Troy, Paris and Agamemnon.

Goddess of Yesterday is a terrific story if the ancient Greeks and Classical Mythology fascinate you. (Melissa Bowman,, Armstrong Middle School,  Lone Star Book Award nominee, 2003-2004)

SUBJECTS:     Trojan War -- Fiction.
                        Troy (Extinct city) -- Fiction.
                        Mythology, Greek -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.


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