Thursday, January 24, 2008


Lester, Julius. 2007. CUPID. San Diego: Harcourt. ISBN 015202056X [Suggested Grade Levels 10-12]

“A long time ago, when Time was still winding its watch and Sun was trying to figure out which was east and which was west, there was a king and queen. I don't know what country they were king and queen of. That information was not in the story when it came down to me. Sometimes, stories don't understand; what may not be important to them is very important to us.” Thus begins Julius Lester’s latest masterpiece, CUPID, a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. Psyche is a young woman that is reputed to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Her beauty inspires wrath in the goddess of love, Venus, and love and devotion in Venus’ son, Cupid. The action really begins when Venus orders Cupid to murder Psyche.

The power of love. The mystery of beauty. The wrath of gods and goddesses. CUPID is a great piece of storytelling that will enchant readers and bring mythology to life.

The story of Psyche comes from mythology, and in many ways mythology is better communicated through listening to the story than reading the story. Listen to the excellent audio recording of CUPID (in whole or part). If you’re ‘read’ both, compare your experiences.

Read a traditional telling of Psyche’s story. Thomas Bulfinch’s BULFINCH’S MYTHOLOGY or Edith Hamilton’s MYTHOLOGY may prove helpful. For those artistically minded, THE TALE OF CUPID AND PSYCHE: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY by Sonia Cavicchioli may prove fascinating.

Other novels based on Greek/Roman mythology:
Block, Francesca Lia. PSYCHE IN A DRESS. 0060763728
Cadnum, Michael. STARFALLl. 0439545331
Cadnum, Michael. NIGHTSONG. 0439545358
Friesner, Esther. NOBODY’S PRINCESS. 0375875281

By Becky Laney

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