Pandora of Athens 399 B.C. (The Life and Times Series)

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Overview

In this departure from our first person diaries, we leap into ancient times in a third person novel filled with action, adventure, and glory -- all the drama of life in ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece is brought brilliantly to life by renowned author Barry Denenberg.

Pandora is trapped in the roles laid out for Greek women by her narrow-minded father. Much to her despair,she is engaged to marry a man more than twice her age, so that Pandora ...

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2004-10-01 Hardcover New HARDCOVER, INCLUDES DUST JACKET-STORE DISPLAY ITEM, UNREAD NEW, NICE, CLEAN & COMPLETE PAGES & COVER.

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Overview

In this departure from our first person diaries, we leap into ancient times in a third person novel filled with action, adventure, and glory -- all the drama of life in ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece is brought brilliantly to life by renowned author Barry Denenberg.

Pandora is trapped in the roles laid out for Greek women by her narrow-minded father. Much to her despair,she is engaged to marry a man more than twice her age, so that Pandora waits with dread for her fourteenth birthday, when she'll be old enough to marry. But one day, when Pandora goes to fetch water, she meets the Wise One, who is also called Socrates, and what he tells her changes her life. During his famed trial, Pandora finds herself caught up in the intrigue and turbulent politics of ancient Athens.

In 399 B.C. in Athens, thirteen-year-old Pandora dreads her upcoming marriage to a man twice her age, but a chance meeting with the philosopher Socrates encourages her to question traditional female roles and to seek her own truth.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this delightful entry into ancient Greek historical fiction, Denenberg presents an easily read and enjoyable glimpse into the life of Pandora, a thirteen-year-old girl engaged to her 30-year-old cousin, Menander, ruing her boring life as a proper Athenian girl. Pandora becomes acquainted with the great philosopher Socrates (the only true historical character in this book) even assuming the guise of a young lad to partake in a party hosted by the "Wise One." Today she would be considered a feminist for her attitude and actions, but in this installment in "The Life and Times" series Pandora is presented as a brave woman well beyond her years. Following the familiar shape and semblance of other historical fiction series published by Scholastic, this work opens another window to the past from the lives of very ordinary people. Even though its fiction, this is an excellent resource for ancient history because the descriptions of Greek life will spark discussions of different lifestyles and attitudes. 2004, Scholastic, Ages 9 to 12.
—Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Historically unreliable, these two novels also fail to convey a real sense of living in the past. In Pandora, the author mentions the creation (inaccurately described) of an art object in a style more than 100 years out of date (Athenian black-figure vase painting ended ca. 510). Atticus, torn from his family at age 12, subsequently coddled by a toga-hating noble, never truly experiences slavery. Incredibly, Pandora, at 13, has never heard the myth of her namesake. The texture of daily life is absent, though Denenberg dutifully offers lists of foods or goods, or shoehorns in accounts of banquets, the baths, or a chariot race. Carelessness and inconsistency detract from the historical details that do appear, as shallow characters are propelled through preposterous events. Atticus, for instance, an unskilled rural child, is instantly singled out by his master, made a confidant and a detective, reunited with his gladiator-father, and given his freedom and all of his master's wealth. Pandora, who whines that she has to stay indoors all day, "walking around in her nightdress," nevertheless meets Socrates, attends a symposium, cuts off her hair, spends an unchaperoned night out, and finally runs away with a 17-year-old crush. Readers can never believe in either of the main, let alone secondary, character, and there is little evocation of historical events or politics. The language in both novels is trite, vague, and clich d. A few pages of Peter Connolly and Hazel Dodge's The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome (Oxford, 1998)-or a half hour with the relevant "Eyewitness" books-will be vastly more inspiring and informative.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439649827
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Series: Life And Times?
  • Pages: 125
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 990L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Customer Reviews

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( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2008

    A Great Book

    Pandora of Athens was written by Barry Denenburg. Pandora, Socrates, Phoenix, and Meander are the main characters. The story takes place in 399 B.C., Greece, Fountain House, and Pandora¿s House. Pandora¿s father has arranged a wedding for her and a man more than twice her age, Meander. At the Fountain House, Pandora meets Socrates. The next time she goes to the Fountain House, Phoenix invites her to a party held by Socrates. Pandora knows Phoenix is the man she wants to marry. I think the author wants readers to realize how different things were done in 399 B.C. . Greek girls did not have any say in who they married. The weddings were all arranged. I thought this book was great! It was great because I like to read historical fiction, and this book took place, a very long time ago. In my opinion, the author could have given the book a different ending. I would recommend this book to a friend or classmate. The kind of reader who would like this book is a person who likes historical fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2005

    Hello! She's only human!

    I mean, this was an AWESOME book! Unlike other readers have said this book wuz wonderful. Just because U didn't like the ending means nothing! Haven't U ever heard this story in Bible school? Of course it had a kind of bad ending but hello, she was just a girl going through troubles and people should really stop thinking that the main character has to have a wondrous spectacular ending. i found this book to be awesome and suggest it 2 everyone out there!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2005

    Lame

    This book was ok i had 2 read it 4 my history report (bad idea).I didn't really enjoy the book as much as i thought i would. When i read the back it sounded really good. It was extremelly wrong for my reading level. i sorta liked it @ first but then it started to get really bad. The ending was terrible. At the end it just kinda ended out of now where. i just learned about someof the stuff that happend and it was really weird. i wouldn't really recomend it to anyone except for maybe younger kids.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2004

    Over All

    I believe that this book was not writen well at all, it didn't have a very storng plot and hardly any climax. It was fun to read, (up until the end) but wasn't appropriate for my reading level and grade. I was hopeing that it would be a little more challenging and would give me some background on Ancient Greek society. However it didn't; I was disapointed and do not recomended it to other readers who are looking for a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2004

    Promising start to a new series.

    Thirteen-year-old Pandora, living in Athens in the year 399 B.C., resents that as a young girl of ancient Greece, she has no say at all in her future. She is already betrothed, to a man she despises, and who is more then twice her age -- her stupid, useless cousin Menander. And as soon as she turns fourteen, she will be forced to marry him. But one day while Pandora is fetching water, she meets the philosopher Socrates, and what he tells her changes her life forever. She is even more determined to determine the course of her own future when she meets his young disciple, Phoenix, whom she knows she would marry if only she had a choice. Now Pandora must choose between a secure but joyless future, and throwing away everything she has for a chance at happiness. I enjoyed this look at life for a young teenage girl in ancient Athens, but I did feel it was a bit too short, in particular I would have liked to see a more developed ending as it was a bit abrupt. I'd still recommend this to readers who are interested in historical fiction set in the ancient world, and I look forward to reading more from this new series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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