Monday, February 6, 2012

Pandora's Key - Nancy Richardson Fischer

Publisher:  CreateSpace
Pages:  304
Source:  Received copies from Author for review
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

Do you love Greek Mythology?  I've been neutral on the subject for years, even though  I have had to teach it for years. Although I enjoyed that activity I had trouble keeping all the gods separated.  I enjoyed the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan as did my students.  Once again I found myself confused trying to keep all of the gods apart.  Then along came an author named Nancy Richardson Fischer  with a twist on the Greek myth Pandora's Box.

I and several of my students read this book.  I have not heard one single negative thing from them.  Every day one of them would come in and tell me how far they had gotten and how much they were enjoying it.  The biggest comment was always the same, "Oh my gosh Mrs. Stiles.  I thought I had things figured out and then she put another twist in.  You've got to read it if you haven't".  This book inspired my lower reading kids to pick up this book and read it.  I divided the book into manageable portions for them so they could read and feel successful at completing a book they normally would not read due to its size.  What follows is not only my review, but a full review by one of my students and several comments from other students.

Rebecca:  Dear Nancy Richardson Fischer:  I thought that Pandora's Key was a very exciting book because you twisted the history of Pandora's Box and made it sound like a real thing.

Jack:  This was one of the best books I have read all year.  I am really glad we got to read it.  It was more interesting because we were studying Greek myths and then we got to read this wonderful book.  I think it should be a book all sixth graders have to read as part of our curriculum.  It's a lot more interesting than some of the other books they "make" us read.

D'Andre:  I never thought I would finish a book that was this big and I really liked it.  It was so good and full of mystery.

Chey: Wow,  This was such a great book.  It was better than reading the Greek myths from our lessons.  I think the school board needs to get us books like this to read and learn from.

Review By Logan:
Pandora's Key is about a girl named Evangeline who on her sixteenth birthday gets the key necklace her mom has always worn.  She is  very happy with the gift.  She also gets her first kiss on her birthday.  She is so glad her birthday had turned out so well.  But, strange things have been happening.  Her mom has be having hallucinations.  Evangeline has been having dreams of other people, and her own godmother is trying to kill her mom.  Meanwhile a young boy named Malledy is trying to cure a disease by finding Pandora's box.  Can he find it?  Read Pandora's Key to find out.  In my opinion the book was very good and anyone would like it.  I was able to relate to this book because we are studying Greek Mythology.

My Thoughts on the book:
Never have I seen a book take over my classroom like this one did. I will always have one or two students who make it their business to read anything involving Greek mythology.  When a book can take over a class to the point they are fighting over which class gets to read it first or next then you know it is a great book.  Having students come from other grades to read the book because they heard the sixth graders talking about it was another testament to how great the book was.  The students are anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.  I haven't seen this much enthusiasm since the students started reading The Hunger Game Trilogy.  I too am looking forward to the second book.  I understood Evangeline's response to learning the truth.  I would have hated to have been in her shoes.  If you want to know what I'm talking about then you need to pick up this book and read it.  Then come back for the second book in the trilogy,  The Key to Tartarus.

About the Author:
I was born on the east coast and went to Cornell University. After college I worked as a writer for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. It was a fun first job and I learned how to write quickly, and also that when elephants sneeze on you it's very (VERY) messy. After a year in the circus, I moved out west. I lived in Aspen, Colorado where I skied as much as possible and worked as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant. Great experience but I learned that waitressing is hard (HARD) and I'm not very good at it. After Aspen, I moved to San Francisco, California where I worked as a writer for University of California, San Francisco and wrote freelance for LucasFilm. At UCSF I learned that sitting in a cubicle under fluorescent lights dulls my soul. LucasFilm taught me that writing freelance, especially fiction, is fun (FUN). So I headed to graduate school in Boulder, Colorado to further hone my skills. For the first part of my freelance writing career I wrote sport autobiographies. I'd visit and travel with an athlete like Monica Seles, Bela Karolyi, Nadia Comaneci or Apolo Ohno and then write their book. It was a terrific job, but after ten years and tons of incredible experiences I got tired of writing other peoples' stories and not my own. I've always loved books with adventure, magic, and dark forces. I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, Peter Straub, Neil Gaimanloveable (but sometimes vorpal) Vizsla, Boone. When I'm not conjuring a story, I love to kite-board, bike, ski or plan adventures with Boone and Henry, who both make me laugh for different reasons and who are the best partners in fun a gal could ever imagine.

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