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Children's LiteratureIn the fourth century, in the sophisticated urban city of Alexandria, a young girl grows up at a time when most girls have few rights and little education. But Hypatia's professor father is determined to educate her the same as he would a son. Along with sports like fishing, horseback riding, and rowing, she learns reading, writing, and speaking. She studies the sciences and is fascinated with mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. She becomes a famous lecturer and teacher, an inspiration to women "for centuries to come." Paparone visualizes this unusual life in stylized acrylic paintings, which hit at the style of the time with emphasis on clarity and decoration. Scenes are frequently designed to suggest stage sets; sometimes vignettes are used to depict specific actions. The illustrations extend the text; "She read the works of great poets" is matched by a scene of her writing surrounded by pictures of Homer, Alcaeus, Sappho, and Virgil. There is more admiration than emotion in the simple text. There are two pages of additional notes, including one by the author, "More About Math," and a bibliography. 2006, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz