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Yolen, Jane.
New York : HarperTrophy, 2003.
IL 3-6, RL 5.2
ISBN 0064408485

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris take us back to a time when women ruled and men were weak and inferior.  The story is told through a young Amazon princess’s eyes.  Hippolyta, the brave, heroic, headstrong daughter of the Amazon Peace Queen, has been trained as a huntress from early childhood.  When her mother gives birth to a second son, Hippolyta’s life changes dramatically.  The goddess, Artemis, sets upon the town a decree, which stated that all sons must be sent away before their first birthday.  The rule was different for the Amazon queens, though.  They were allowed only one living son and all others had to be sacrificed upon Artemis’s altar.  If the second son grew into manhood, he would cause the death of the Amazon race.  Hippolyta’s mother refuses to kill her second son, so she is put in jail.  Hippolyta’s sisters are sent to live in an orphanage, and she is to become a warrior.  She is sent to live in the barracks, where she learns to use a bow and arrow, a javelin, and an ax along with many other weapons.  As the sacrificing day draws closer, she decides that she must save her infant brother by taking him to his father in Troy.  When she arrives, she meets her first brother, Tithonus, who has been longing to meet his mother.  With the help of the boy, Hippolyta must save her people from the curse that has been set upon them.  In order to do so, she must defy the gods and learn what it means to be a true Amazon.
Booktalk by Hannah Jarrett for South Carolina Junior Book Award 2005

Booktalk #2

Have you ever wanted to be a warrior?

Have you ever wanted to kill your brother?

One character doesn’t know whether to love or hate her brother, but she does want to be a warrior.  This character is  Hippolyta, a 13-year-old Amazon princess.  She loves to hunt, she loves to train as a warrior, she loves the Amazon way of life, and she can’t wait to kill her first man!  The Amazons had depended on themselves for a very long time and were glad that they were free of all men.  Instead they had dedicated themselves to the goddess Artemis, and she had decreed that any sons that were born to Amazons had to be sent away before their first birthday.  Even the Amazon queens had to send their firstborn sons away.  However, if a queen had a second son, that child was to be sacrificed because the god Apollo had foretold that a second son would cause the death of the Amazon race.

Hippolyta’s mother is a queen, and she has just given birth to her second son.  She is aware of Apollo’s decree, but she refuses to sacrifice the child.  Of course, there are many Amazons who are angry with Hippolyta’s mother, but there are others who sympathize with her.  Amidst all this tension and confusion, Hippolyta is the one chosen to take her brother away—not to be sacrificed but to be saved.  She has to battle nature, cruel kings, and even accept the help of a boy in her quest to save her brother (and she’s not even sure she likes him) as well as the Amazons.  Read Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons by Jane Yolen and Robert Harris to see if Hippolyta will be able to save everyone.  (Karen Williamson,, Pickens High School, Pickens, South Carolina)

SUBJECTS:     Hippolyta (Greek mythology) -- Fiction.
                        Mythology, Greek -- Fiction.


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