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The Game
     

The Game

3.6 10
by Diana Wynne Jones
 

A delightfully sharp novella by the legendary Diana Wynne Jones.

Hayley’s parents disappeared when she was a baby. Since then, she has been raised and homeschooled by her grandparents. Grandad is overworked and travels a lot; Grandma is much too strict and never lets her meet any children her own age. When Hayley does something wrong—she is not quite

Overview

A delightfully sharp novella by the legendary Diana Wynne Jones.

Hayley’s parents disappeared when she was a baby. Since then, she has been raised and homeschooled by her grandparents. Grandad is overworked and travels a lot; Grandma is much too strict and never lets her meet any children her own age. When Hayley does something wrong—she is not quite sure what—they pack her off to her aunts in Ireland. To Hayley’s shock, her family is much bigger than she thought; to her delight, the children all play what they call “the game,” where they visit a place called “the mythosphere.” And while she plays the game, Hayley learns more about her own place in the world than she had ever expected. This original novella by Diana Wynne Jones is sharply funny, fast-paced, and surprising until its very end—like all of this acclaimed author’s work.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Wynne Jones, the author of the Chrestomanci series and Howl's Moving Castle, is an expert at mixing fast-paced action with thought-provoking situations."—The New York Times

“The strength of this story is the finesse with which it draws readers into a realistic story that gradually becomes more and more fantastic. Though teachers may find this short novel of interest for its references to Greek and Roman mythology, its main audience will be Jones’ enthusiastic fans."—Booklist

"A sparkling treat."—Publishers Weekly

"As always, Jones's writing is crisp, clear, clever, and laced with plenty of humor."—VOYA

"Jones's prose sparkles."—Kirkus Reviews 

Julie Just
Wynne Jones, the author of the Chrestomanci series and Howl's Moving Castle, is an expert at mixing fast-paced action with thought-provoking situations.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Celestial intrigue and the nature of storytelling are just two of the strands woven together in Jones's (the Chrestomanci books) inventive novella. Sent from her grandparents' London home in disgrace, Hayley arrives in Ireland to stay with her aunts and cousins in their rambling castle home. The girl takes to her new life almost immediately, especially the thrilling game her cousins play, in which they venture into the mythosphere—a mysterious realm where they perform various tasks drawn from the worlds of fairytale, myth and legend. In the course of her own quests, Hayley discovers the truth about her own unearthly nature. She gets the chance to rescue her long-lost parents from dreadful fates, to which they've been condemned by domineering Uncle Jolyon, a power-hungry god thinly disguised as an unpleasant business man. Readers less familiar with classical mythology will be helped (and may well find their interest piqued) by a note at story's end that clearly links the original Greco-Roman characters with their modern-day avatars. A sparkling treat. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
KLIATT - Janis Flint-Ferguson
In this first of the Firebird Novella Series, orphaned Hayley is sent to live with her aunts and cousins. After some rambunctious play, Hayley's aunts agree to let the children play "the game." Designed by one of the older cousins, the game sends the children out into the "mythosphere" on a quest—to grab a scale from a dragon, strands of thread from a spinning wheel, an eyeball. These trophies look much more mundane in the light of the "real world" but in the mythosphere they are all elements from myths, legends and fairy tales. The mythosphere is a galaxy populated by characters and events from familiar tales and stories. It is when they come back from the game and garner the anger of Uncle Joylon that the reader realizes that the characters are Greek Olympian gods and that their jealousies have extended into the common realm of aunts and cousins and street people. The novella serves as an introduction to Greek mythology and the relationships that appear in Greek myths, with fairy tales and legends thrown in for the sheer enjoyment of thinking about the stories from a different point of view.
VOYA
This book joins a series of original novellas by favorite Firebird fantasy authors such as Charles de Lint and Tanith Lee. Haley has lived with her grandparents for as long as she can remember. According to them, her parents died in a crash. Her grandmother is cold, strict, and rigid, but her grandfather seems to care for her in a gruff way. Haley is not certain what she has done to anger her grandmother when she sends Haley to live with other relatives without explanation. Surrounded by mostly friendly cousins in a crowded, comfortable house at first, Haley is introduced to "the game." Through the game, Haley and her cousins can travel into the mythosphere to retrieve objects from mythology and folklore. As she travels, Haley learns the truth about herself, her parents, and indeed her whole family, and ultimately confronts Uncle Jovyon, the domineering head of the family. Consistent with Jones's other novels, this novella reaches readers on multiple levels. At its most basic, the narrative is accessible to readers without a background in mythology, whereas those who are interested in mythology will enjoy making connections. As always, Jones's writing is crisp, clear, clever, and laced with plenty of humor. The author's fans will be eager to get their hands on this one, and it is an excellent pick for reluctant readers. Reviewer: Donna Scanlon
School Library Journal

Gr 5–8
What if just outside of Earth's known atmosphere there sat another layer that was actually a different dimension? Such is the premise for this novel. For as long as she can remember, orphan Hayley has lived sequestered away with her strict grandmother and mysteriously busy grandfather. A chance meeting on an outing lands her in big trouble and she finds herself shipped off to stay with relatives in the country. Here Hayley meets dozens of cousins who invite her to play a strange game. Its object is to go to different places in the mythosphere and retrieve various items while dodging mythological creatures. The plot thickens when she meets her father and learns that he and her mother are both trapped in the mythosphere as punishment for their illicit marriage. Hayley frees them and discovers that she, like all of the other characters in the story, is really a mythological figure who can live in either realm. Meanwhile, the frightening family patriarch, Uncle Jolyon, finds out about the game and comes after the girl, her parents, and her cousins. As he prepares to punish them all, Hayley pierces his chest with a star, causing him to transform into the planet Jupiter. While the beginning parallels The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe , the story takes off on its own midway through. There is a whole lot of plot for such a little novel, and readers unfamiliar with mythology won't fully appreciate it.
—Nicki Clausen-GraceCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A fantasy novella kindles a sizzling premise that fails to catch fire. When a chance encounter with the mysterious musical magicians Flute and Fiddle introduces young Hayley to the "mythosphere," where myths, fairy tales and legends spin their strands through the human imagination, her stringent grandmother exiles her to school in Scotland. A temporary diversion through Ireland acquaints Hayley with several aunts and innumerable cousins, and (most exhilarating) The Game: a scavenger hunt through the mythosphere. But as Hayley roams through the Zodiac and romps through the Hesperides, she discovers secrets about herself and her family-secrets that might free her to defy even her tyrannical Uncle Jolyon. As always, Jones's prose sparkles, and Hayley is a likable character, diffident yet plucky; the mythosphere is a fascinating conceit that deserves open exploration. Unfortunately, the narrative is limited by a constricted paradigm, and the conclusion seems both predictable and forced. Readers lacking a solid grounding in Greek mythology are likely to be left puzzled, even with the concluding explanatory note. Plenty of glitter and flash, but hardly indispensable. (Fantasy. 11+)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142407189
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
03/01/2007
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.34(h) x 0.77(d)
Lexile:
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The strength of this story is the finesse with which it draws readers into a realistic story that gradually becomes more and more fantastic. Though teachers may find this short novel of interest for its references to Greek and Roman mythology, its main audience will be Jones’ enthusiastic fans.” —Booklist

Meet the Author

Diana Wynne Jones is the multiple award-winning author of dozens of books, including Howl’s Moving Castle (made into an Oscar-nominated animated film by Hayao Miyazaki), the five-book Chrestomanci series, The Chronicler of Dalemank, Fire and Hemlock, and The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. She lives with her husband, the medievalist J. A. Burrow, in Bristol, England, the setting of many of her books. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

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The Game 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid reader of Diana Wynne Jones's books, I was excited to read this new book. After reading it through, I would say that it is not as magical or exciting as her typical book, but that it is extremely interesting to those people who enjoy mythology. Readers can feel the lighthearted and loving tone taken with the mythological characters, and the book almost seems like a playground constructed by and for lovers of folktales. The plot itself is ultimately forgettable, but that doesn't seem to be the point of the novella. Diana Wynne Jones is simply playing with mythological characters in The Game, and invites readers to play along with her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am purchasing this book. I have read each and everyone of her books. I love, them all. The author is brillant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amajorbibliophile More than 1 year ago
"The Game," by Dianny Wynn Jones, author of "Howl's Moving Castle", is a novel packed full of suspense and mystery. With fun characters and a storyline that is connected to Greek mythology, this book is very unique and entertaining, sure to captivate it's readers!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I try not to give up on a book, but this one I had to. The basic idea of a mythosphere was briliant, but the book itself was dull. Most of the book talks about the past and unimportant details. Having not read any other books by this author, I can only say that this particular book was a bore.