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The Moon Over Crete

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Gr 4-6-In this feminist time-travel adventure, Sreenivasan creates a story with positive role models for girls but fails to give it enough life to make it convincing. Lily, 11, accompanies her teacher back to ancient Crete and is surprised to find an egalitarian society in which women are respected, the goddess is worshipped, and a queen is the ruler. Crete is very different indeed from her normal life where a creepy boy shows her ``dirty'' pictures, where girls are routinely hassled and harassed by boys, and where dieting and obsession with clothing is all her friends discuss. At first, she wants to stay in this ideal society-even though she knows the country will soon be conquered by Greece-but then she realizes that she should return to try to make life better for girls today. Empowerment is certainly a commendable goal for a novel, but the author's message lacks subtlety, and her lesson overshadows her story. Also, Lily's world is unrealistically misogynistic. The character of Mrs. Zinn (the flute teacher who casually takes her student back in history and then leaves her there) is unbelievable and the writing is flat.-Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library

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