Friday, June 3, 2016

Not the Curious Kind: Pandora Tells All

Pandora Tells All: Not the Curious Kind is part of the Other Side of the Myth Series. If you are familiar with the Other Side of the Story series, which retells fairy tales from another character's perspective you can see where this series is going.

The book begins by giving the reader a condensed version of the original Greek myth of Pandora. From there we are presented with Pandora's defense. She claims she was more than careful with Zeus' vase and not at all the curious woman portrayed in the myth. She blames the whole problem on her husband's mischievous cat, Cuddles who knocks over the vase allowing dark shadows to escape. Pandora is only able to replace the cover after all have left and only hope remains.

The author makes a convincing defense for Pandora. It is possible that a cat or other small house pet could have knocked the cover off a vase. I know my dogs have done plenty of damage in their time. If I was on the jury, she'd have provided reasonable doubt for me to let her go. That is what I look for in these other side stories. Some do provide an interesting alternate appeal, others fall flat and almost don't want to let the character off the hook.

These stories make for great discussions, debates, and trials. If you put Pandora on trial using the evidence from the original myth and her own testimony from this story is she guilty or innocent? Can you prove it beyond a reasonable doubt based on her story. It helps develop critical thinking skills and gets kids thinking beyond just the basic information presented.

This is also a great way to help reluctant readers access mythology. The material can be dry, but this series looks promising as a way to engage kids in a fun way of understanding the original story and then a silly defense of the character that might get those students more willing to engage with the material.

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