Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Buy from

Rate this Book

Sonderbooks 34
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Young Adult Fiction
        Previous Book
        Next Book

Children's Nonfiction
Children's Fiction
Picture Books

2005 Stand-outs
2004 Stand-outs
2003 Stand-outs
2002 Stand-outs
    Previous Book
    Next Book

2001 Stand-outs

Five-Star Books
Four-Star Books
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Old Favorites
Back Issues
List of Reviews by Title
List of Reviews by Author

Why Read?
Children and Books
Links For Book Lovers
Book Discussion Forum

About Me
Contact Me
Make a Donation

I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


****Goddess of Yesterday

by Caroline B. Cooney

Reviewed August 1, 2002
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2002 (#9, Young Adult and Children's Fantasy and Science Fiction)
Delacorte Press, 2002.  263 pages.  Available at Sembach Library (JF COO).

Caroline B. Cooney’s books have long been popular with our teenage readers.  Now I see why.

I picked up this book after our family had watched a Hallmark presentation of the Odyssey, since I was in the mood for Greek myth.  I wasn’t sure I’d like it--The last young adult book I read about Troy was a real downer.  After all, we know they end up losing the battle.

Caroline B. Cooney overcomes the problem of the known ending by inventing a fictional character and placing her in the time of The Iliad.  This way we don’t know what her fate will be.  And what a character.  From the start, Anaxandra is feisty and fun.  The story starts when she is six years old and being carried off as a hostage.  When the captors question the value of a girl hostage, she boasts that her brothers can’t swim to her father’s caves, but she can.  Thus her captors find and plunder her father’s treasure, and they tell her that now her family will not want her back.

Life doesn’t get any easier for Anaxandra.  She ends up stealing the identity of a princess in order to survive.  Later on, she steals another identity, but this time it’s to help that person survive.  She goes to the kingdom of Menelaus of Sparta, where his beautiful wife Helen takes a dislike to her.  She is later carried off with Helen to Troy.  We see the ancient story play out in an unforgettable way.

This is a delightful book.  The history, or I suppose I should say mythology, is fascinating, and the story full of surprises.  There’s just a pinch of romance to spice things up.  The character of Anaxandra is one you will enjoy and root for.  May she live happily ever after.

Review of another book by Caroline B. Cooney:
Hit the Road

Reader comment:  An anonymous reader gives this book no stars.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

-top of page-