Deming, Sarah. 2007. Iris, Messenger.
The main difference between school and prison is that prisons release you early for good behavior. School lasts about thirteen years no matter how good you are. Also, prison has better food. (1)
When Iris Greenwold turns twelve and receives a copy of Bulfinch's mythology, her world changes dramatically. Imagine going from black and white to technicolor. Clue #1? The book was delivered by a strange boy on a skateboard. (Not your typical UPS or mail man.) Clue #2? The book has a strange and mysterious note. To Iris, on the occasion of her twelfth birthday. Knowledge is power and then Didn't you ever wonder, Iris, what happens to gods when people stop worshipping them? Where do they go? What do they do? (11, 13). Iris attends Erebus Middle School, a place where the teachers are weird and the punishments cruel and unusual. And while typically Iris is a bit of a dreamer--always on the verge of getting detention, she is still your average middle schooler. But Iris is about to witness the incredible as she discovers the wonderfully awful truth about herself. The Greek gods and goddesses? Not dead. The gods and goddesses are alive and living in a small town in Pennsylvania... Sad and prone to melancholy, yes. But far from dead. Her brief encounters with each god and goddess is an opportunity to listen, to learn, to appreciate the stories in a whole new way. For example, Apollo, he's a jazz musician. The loss of his son, Phaethon, has him singing the blues. Well, acting as muse as Iris makes her unexpected debut on stage. Each story is unique. And Deming gets the voices of these gods and goddesses just right.
Iris is a great heroine. She's a daydreamer. She may not have a lot of friends her own age, but she has her own unique way of seeing the world, and a gift for listening and understanding. Deming's writing style is charming and enjoyable through and through. There are so many great lines--observations that ring so true--but I don't want to spoil the plot by quoting them here. (You're just going to have to trust me on this one!)
I really loved this one and I am very happy that Sarah Deming agreed to be interviewed! My interview with her will be posted tomorrow, Monday, October 29th. I think you will enjoy it as she sheds light on Iris, Messenger. So be sure to come back tomorrow and read it!
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