Troy High

Troy High

4.5 101
by Shana Norris

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Homer’s Iliad, the classic tale of love and revenge, is shrewdly retold for teens in Troy High.


Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider at Troy High, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena—who used to be the captain of the Spartan


Homer’s Iliad, the classic tale of love and revenge, is shrewdly retold for teens in Troy High.


Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider at Troy High, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena—who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders—transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten. Off the football field, an escalating prank war fuels tensions between the schools.


The stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school. Troy High will seduce readers with its cast of mythic proportions.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Based on the Iliad, Norris’s story trades the animosity between the city-states of Troy and Sparta for a longstanding gridiron rivalry between the Troy High Trojans and Lacede High Spartans. Narrator and Troy student Cassie is best friends with Greg, sophomore class president at Lacede. When school district lines are redrawn, a number of Lacede students, including the beautiful Elena, have to attend Troy. There Elena falls for Cassie’s brother Perry and dumps Greg’s brother, Lucas, who is devastated and swears revenge on Troy. The football teams and cheerleaders engage in a series of pranks (there’s even an exploding horse at the homecoming dance), and Elena befriends outsider Cassie for reasons that are not fully clear, since Elena is a cheerleader and thus immediately popular. Cassie’s crush on Greg and her budding friendship with Elena all progress predictably, leaving little in the way of surprises. Norris’s (Something to Blog About) prose is breezy, and playful references to the Iliad (footballer Ackley has sustained an ankle injury) entertain. But they’re not enough to elevate the story beyond its promising premise. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Lucy Schall
Social outcast Cassie faces difficult choices about friendship, love, and popularity when the beautiful and aggressive Elena is transferred from Lacede High (Spartans) to Troy High (Trojans) and decides to exchange her Spartan football hero for a Trojan one, Cassie's brother. The new Trojan couple use Cassie as their go-between, but Cassie's big problem is whether she should kiss the brother of Elena's former Spartan love. As both girls make their dating decisions, Cassie concludes that Elena, who encourages conflict, is a good friend and that part of her allure is self-confidence. Mired in the schools' rivalry and prank violence, Cassie and her new love weigh their school and family loyalties against their feelings for each other and finally decide that their personal choices trump a herd mentality that endangers futures and lives. The sustained allusion to Homer's Illiad with a bit of Romeo and Juliet fails to produce excitement or grave consequences, even in the predictable exploding Trojan horse scene. Cassie is often whining, naive, and unbelievably forgiving. Elena, the modern Helen, hangs on her new love. The male "warriors," even Cassie's conflicted boyfriend, lack appeal and development. The adult involvement is limited and shallow. The conclusions are didactic: "There are other things more important in life than being remembered by a bunch of high school kids." Romantic-minded, soap-opera focused, junior high girls may be drawn in by the glamorous cheerleader cover but might lose interest in the drama queen dilemmas. Reviewer: Lucy Schall
Matthew Lukach
Nothing quite depicts the intensity of a high school football rivalry like Greek mythology. Shana Norris has brilliantly recast the entire ensemble of Homer's Iliad to fit the contemporary setting in her novel, Troy High. The battlefield has transformed into the football field, and the beautiful Helen of Troy is now Elena of Troy High. The Trojans and the Spartans are now football teams. Readers will be seduced by the watchful observer, Cassie, who narrates the story with a simply honesty and takes you page by page into this vengeful tale of pride, love, and glory. Reviewer: Matthew Lukach
Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
Based loosely on Homer's Iliad, this novel about high school rivalries takes football tournaments, romantic entanglements, and petty pranks to new depths. The main character, Cassie Prince (her name, an Author's Note explains, derives from Cassandra the Seer, princess of Troy), is a sophomore at Troy High School, home of the Trojans. Her best friend, Greg Mennon (Agamemnon), goes to Lacede High, whose team is the Spartans. Cassie's brothers, Perry and Hunter, butt heads with Greg's brother, Lucas (Menelaus), over the long-standing feud between the two schools as well as over Lucas' girlfriend, Elena (Helen of Troy), who switches her allegiance from Lucas to Perry. Cassie and Greg's friendship, about which each is confused because, without admitting it, they are attracted to each other, becomes further complicated as their siblings demand loyalty to the respective home team. Pranks on either side quickly escalate from toilet-papering to graffiti to lacing the school lunch with laxative to letting chickens loose in the hallway (a witty, LOL scene). The few adults are unusually clueless, even for the genre. Their obtuseness and fecklessness is particularly and unrealistically evident when a Trojan horse, allegedly a peace offering from Lacede, explodes and burns Troy's gym during the homecoming dance—with no repercussions. The teenage characters are similarly flat and unconvincing. Some readers might find the multiple, shifting rivalries riveting. Most will probably find the story, which is so carefully plotted as to feel structured rather than developed, predictable. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Norris captures the drama of The Iliad by recasting the Greek epic in a modern-day football rivalry between two neighboring high schools. When school districts are reset and Elena Argos is sent from Lacede High (home of the Spartans) to Troy High, an all-out war erupts after she dumps Spartan Lucas Mennon for Trojan Perry Prince. Perry's younger sister, the outcast Cassie, is thrust into the thick of a conflict she doesn't even care about, and she has the awful feeling that things are only going to get worse. Students familiar with the epic will recognize the characters: Hunter Prince as Hector, who leads the battle despite the whole war having been caused by his irresponsible—even cowardly—brother; Greg Mennon as Agamemnon (here, Cassie's best friend); Spartan football star Ackley as Achilles, who seeks revenge for an ankle injury inflicted by Hunter; and more. Like Cassandra, Cassie's protestations go ignored, but her "Can we please grow up and forget this rivalry?" line gets repetitive and seems trite in the face of the escalating pranks. Still, she grows in her understanding of the cost of friendship and love, and unlike her namesake, gets her happy ending. While The Iliad story line lends richness to the narrative, the book stands alone, and readers unfamiliar with the classic will still enjoy the war between high schools, started over a beautiful girl.—Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
VOYA - Lauri J. Vaughan
Norris works in all the major players of the classic tale of Helen of Troy in her second novel. A victim of redistricting, beautiful Elena (Helen) is forced to leave Lacede High and enroll at crosstown rival Troy High. She simultaneously switches romantic alliances from Spartan Lucas Mennon (Menelaus) to Trojan Perry Prince (Paris). From the perspective of Cassie (Cassandra), Norris reduces the battle of Troy into the story of budding teen romance—Cassie's love is Greg Mennon (Agamenmon)—and a football rivalry culminating at the homecoming game and dance. Norris's idea of modernizing the famous tale is an intriguing one, but this reader anticipated a bit more depth in its execution. Unfortunately, none of the clever heft of Homer's sweeping epic shows up in Troy High. Those looking for fun brain candy, however, will not be disappointed. While Cassie, Elena, and Greg show glimmers of slightly better character development than a smattering of lesser players, on the whole they are superficial, wooden, and predictable. Still, Cassie's character, a normally ignored tomboy enjoying a rush of popularity, is credible. Norris's pacing carries the story effectively to a satisfying, if not surprising, finish. Voracious readers will devour this snack-size story quickly. It is a perfect recommendation for busy girls looking for a brief respite between the demands and responsibilities of teen life. Reviewer: Lauri J. Vaughan
VOYA - Isabel Crevasse
Norris's adaptation of The Iliad, Troy High is, if not the most original or memorable teen novel, a good poolside book. It moves quickly and sports a cast of generally interesting and likeable characters. Unfortunately, though perhaps fittingly, Cassie, the protagonist and modernized Cassandra of Troy, is a bit overshadowed by Elena Argos (Helena of Troy's modern-day parallel). Though the extremity of the high school rivalry is unbelievable, Troy High is a clever, fun summer read. Reviewer: Isabel Crevasse, Teen Reviewer

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Amulet Paperbacks
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Meet the Author

Shana Norris is the author of Something to Blog About, a BookSense summer 2008 pick, which ChildrenÆs Literature called ôan uplifting and quick readö and about which Publishers Weekly said, ôNorrisÆs prose is breezy and playful.ö She lives in Kinston, North Carolina, with her husband, dog, and three cats. Visit her online at

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Troy High 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like the book, but honestly i wouldnt call this a teen novel maybe 10-14 because it really is something i would see on disney channel and it is not very challenging at all. Reading should make the mind work, while this was.... blah. Not to crush the book or anything, i really did enjoy it, i love greek mythology and i love seeing the story be transformed into a high school setting, but im a young reader who was able to read this a day and wished it wouldve worked my brain. That is all. Maybe it could have used stronger vocabulary.
Lindsey_Kirk More than 1 year ago
If I am being totally honest, I have to say that I enjoyed reading this book. But with that being said, I need to let you all know that the story of Troy I love with all my heart. So, to see someone take the storyline and make it compatible for teens, and do it in a way where even I pretty much enjoyed it made me very thrilled. However, not everything was grade A on this little reading journey. For one, the writing was very simple. If you are going to write Young Adult and try to market to teens in the upper age groups you need to be willing to get a bit more down and dirty. You could have tossed so many darker elements into this book that you didn't. You kept it fairly cookie cutter and that, as an advanced reader very much disappointed me. The characters didn't give me enough to connect too; they felt almost one dimensional and lacked the depth I really needed to connect with them. The story as a whole fell flat for me, perhaps I was expecting more of the darker side of the tale rather than the watered down version. I expected it to get gritty really fast, because in the real world this story would have taken on a far uglier picture. I think more people would have been physically injured as opposed to just embarrassing them. If you are an adult, I'm fairly certain after taking the day to read this book (Because that is how long it took me to), you might be a bit upset that you took all that time to read it. That then brings me to how I would review this for the proper age group. I would say ages 9-13 would most enjoy this book. The writing style, and the plot line reads like an episode of one of the shows on the Disney Channel. It has a very heavy moral lesson, and it teaches the right and wrong way to handle a situation. Which, let's face it most actual high school kids lack these days. If I am being frank I would allow elementary school kids to read this more than I would hand it out to an actual teen. I just don't think they would buy it. The story would seem dry and unrealistic for them, because a teen these days would never hand over defeat that easy, and that is me just being honest. So considering the morals, the lessons learned, and how the book essentially ends, I would say it is a good read for the age group I described. For anyone older than 13, they just aren't going to appreciate it all that much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Troy High by Shana Norris is a story that is about two different high schools Troy high in the city of Troy and Lacede high in the city of Sparta. They have a rivalry between each other, Cassie Prince an outsider that has no friends she wants nothing to do with this war between them. Cassie's brothers Hunter and Perry Prince want absolutely everything to do with it. Their rivals names are Lucas, Ackley, and Patrick Lucas has a brother named Greg Mennon Lucas also has a girlfriend named Elena. Elena is transferred to Troy high along with fifty others from Lacede at Troy she befriends Cassie, Perry, and Hunter and a lot of others. She and Perry start to date and that starts the whole war between the two schools. The school pulls pranks on each other and one day the pranks get out of hand and it starts a big fire. I think that this is a great book and I recommend this book to all people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i rate it 4.5ish. i completely fell in love with his book! totally worth every penny! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book and i love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love to read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazingg
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Its amazing i just started today and i already read 100 pages (10 chapters) shana norris is defiantly one of my favorite authors now when i finish this book i will read more by her for sure!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Based on the greek war between the trojans and spartans
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book i coulgn put it down
Anonymous 7 months ago
This is my first book that I picked out my self at a school book fair and actually read it. I lost it Las ty summer and hopefully who ever found it read it and enjoyed it as much as I did. I just bought it on nook and nearly died when I found out that there was a second book. I wish that Troy High would have a movie as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it I have the stoy line I wash there was more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing i cant believe that i read it i wish that this book could also be in a movie. Please rate a yes if u agree with me. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiIIIII LLLOOOOOVVVVvVEEeEEeE this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this it is like my school but better........ lovrlovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelove it it took me 3 hours to read this heheehhe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! WARNING: one you start reading you cant stop!! I started reading at 2:00 and finished at 6:00 when I had to eat! Lol! But it's a great book I highly recomend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book once I started reading this book I literally couldn't stop reading. I can't wait to read the 2nd one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. It is appropriate for all kidlets and teens and everybody else on the planet!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such an action packed book!