Pandora the Curious: Goddess Girls, Book 9
In the ancient Greek myth, Hephaestus fashions Zeus a daughter out of clay to live on earth with her husband Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus. This daughter, Pandora, and her marriage to Epimetheus was Zeus’s way to take revenge on Prometheus who had angered the King of the Gods by giving fire to humanity. Like all the myths of the ancient Greeks, the story twists and turns and famously entails Pandora opening a box which unleashes a series of calamities on humanity. Luckily, “hope” remains. It is a complicated myth with lots of interesting themes and one that young readers can sink their proverbial teeth into. To help get them acquainted with Pandora’s tale (albeit a very different version), check out PANDORA THE CURIOUS, book nine in the Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams.
"PANDORA THE CURIOUS is a sweet diversion that just may get some kids interested in the real myths behind this re-imagining."
At Mount Olympus Academy, Pandora is a mere mortal in a school full of gods and goddesses. Still, she has lots of good friends and is known for her good-natured (though sometimes annoying) curiosity. When new students Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus, distrusted because they are Titans, begin school at MOA, a secret prophecy involving Pandora is set in motion with disastrous results. The Titan brothers have a box, decorated with cryptic writing, which Pandora is quite curious about. Though no one else seems to be able to open it, Pandora can. Out float bubbles that look harmless enough, but each bubble, as it bumps into someone, afflicts them in terrible ways. Super-smart Athena is bumped by the “ditz” bubble turning her into a silly airhead. Fierce Artemis is hit by a vanity bubble and is instantly focused on only her looks and image. Even mighty Zeus is not safe: bumped by the “lazy" bubble, the powerful god and MOA principal, takes to napping over ruling. Can Pandora convince her classmates that something is terribly wrong, collect the bubbles and still finish her science fair project? To do so, she may have to ignore her crush on Poseidon and work with Epimetheus.
Pandora is as resourceful and clever as she is curious, and despite some major obstacles, she is left, of course, with hope. Armed with this sense of hope and assisted by Epimetheus (who she is finding increasingly attractive, nice and interesting) Pandora just may save her god-friends from the trouble bubbles, help put out a couple of literal fires and even complete her science fair project!
Holub and Williams take a lot of liberties with Greek mythology in the Goddess Girls series and PANDORA THE CURIOUS is no exception. Purists will be frustrated but the middle readers for which the book is written will be entertained. The reading is easy and the story interesting, though the teenage affection between the boy and girl characters may be slightly mature for younger readers; besides hand-holding, however, the affection is not expressed physically. PANDORA THE CURIOUS is a sweet diversion that just may get some kids interested in the real myths behind this re-imagining.
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on December 11, 2012