Jul 23, 2011

#TheList, No. 964: Troy

TroyI was legitimately surprised when I saw that this was on "The List."  I had picked up this book in high school because I was semi-obsessed with mythology and needed to study for a national mythology test (I got a medal...).  Because I rarely read the back covers of books, I never realized that this was such an award-winning book.  Adele Geras' Troy was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of the Year, and many, many more.  Granted, being an award winner doesn't necessarily mean it's any good, but for some reason I was under the impression that this wasn't a known novel.  
Basically, Troy details the end of the Trojan War with a little bit of extra love affairs mixed in for good measure.  Geras conjures up a love rectangle set against the whole Hector-Achilles-Paris-Trojan Horse debacle.  She uses the Greek gods as characters; they appear constantly throughout the novel, interacting with the mortals to offer explanations of what is going on in the war and how the gods are helping each side.  In the novel, the characters forget these interactions immediately, fitting because the purpose of the god characters is primarily to give uninformed readers a clear image of mythological background.  

So I already loved this book for the mythology prior to The List Project, so this time through I read it through a high school/young adult librarian to see what I thought the book could be useful for.  My thoughts:

-Great book to have out if a librarian ever made a mythology display in the library.  Not everyone wants to read the Odyssey, Iliad or the Aeneid and instead prefer concise, clearer, explanations of mythological events.  This book is perfect for this audience.

-Any history or language arts teacher doing a unit on the Trojan War or Greek mythology could definitely use this as a teaching tool.  I might not use it to teach from, but it could definitely offer insight  on the topic when paired against the traditional classics.  

-Students struggling with the topics could benefit from reading this book.  The love story wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but I loved everything that surrounded it and gave me a new perspective of the Trojan War.  The integration of the gods into the romance are great for learning opportunities. 

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