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This week in Word Play: Old myths for young readers

May 27, 2011 |  2:25 pm

Greek and Roman myth is alive and well in today's young adult book market thanks to writers like Rick Riordan, who has inspired young readers with his Percy Jackson series (and is taking on the Egyptian version in his latest series, "The Kane Chronicles"). But as Sonja Bolle points out this month in the column Word Play, there is still plenty of room for other authors to apply their own variations to Western civilization's oldest tales. Word Play looks at two books that do just that: Josephine Angelini's "Starcrossed" and Meg Cabot's "Abandon."

Josephine-angelini In "Starcrossed," Angelini (right) relocates the gods to Nantucket Island in the story of a conflict among five clans descended from the heroes who fought in the Trojan War. "The second book in this series, “Dreamless,” is slated for May 2012 — not soon enough, as far as I’m concerned," Bolle says. "I haven’t wanted a second book so much since 'The Hunger Games.' ”

In Cabot's "Abandon," the myth of Persephone plays out in a teen girl's life when she finds herself involved with a silver-eyed hottie she doesn't realize is Hades, king of the Underworld. When she does finally discover who he is, she puts the conflict in practical, amusing terms: “What did any of it mean? Where could it go? He was a death deity. I was a senior in high school. This was never going to work.” Now that's a sensible girl.

To see what else Bolle has to say about these books, check out her latest column.

-- Nick Owchar

Photo: Josephine Angelini, author of "Starcrossed."  Credit: Theo & Juliet / HarperCollins.