Young Heroes: Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast

The Young Heroes series:

This third book in our Young Heroes series began with my vision of a girl and a bear roaming the woods together. In the old stories about Atalanta it was said that as an infant she’d been set out on a hillside to die, and was discovered and nursed by a bear. Around that same time, some research into the uses of honey in battles simply fell onto my desk. I shipped it off to my co-writer, Bob Harris, saying that I thought we could use it somewhere.Then when I was in Scotland during the summer, Bob and I sat down–coffee for him, tea for me–and we began to plot. I had written the opening scenes. He suggested we back up a bit, which we did, though we both knew that (alas) Atalanta’s dad would have to die early on if she was to go off adventuring with her bear. The story developed from there. Bringing Orion in was Bob’s idea, which I loved. As usual, we over-researched stuff about Arcadia and had to throw a lot of fascinating stuff out–like what the Herms in the center of the villages really looked like.

Accolades:

  • A Junior Literary Guild selection, 2004
  • Children’s Book of the Month Club

Around the web:

What reviewers have said:

  • “Yolen and Harris have provided another exciting installment in the series with this little-known Greek myth. Atalanta is a strong female hero and her adventures will thrill readers. ..the fast paced story will engage (readers) imaginations.” — School Library Journal
  • “The tale sweeps along at a good clip toward a rousing climax, and the authors have buttressed the action with many details and characters from classical mythology … Children intrigued by the often sketchy tales surrounding Atalanta will enjoy both this fleshed out version of her youthful adventures and the somewhat different take Stephanie Spinner offers in Quiver …” — Booklist
  • “Yolen and Harris craft another fast-paced historical novel set in ancient Greece. Combining plentiful action and dialogue, with frequent cliffhangers at chapter ends, the story will keep readers entranced.”–Kirkus

Available in hardcover.


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