cover image Spin


Rebecca Caprara. Atheneum, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-6659-0619-7

Via alternating past and present narration told in sensate verse, Caprara (Worst-Case Collin) cultivates a tale of ill-fated competition between mortals and gods in this captivating read, a crash course in Greek mythology. Arachne often questions what the gods have done to warrant their station, especially when offerings upon their altars leave her feeling “unchanged./ I feel no divine infusion/ of confidence or strength./ My prayer, unanswered or unheard.” Wishing to engineer a good life for herself without the gods’ help, the 16-year-old takes up weaving; her prowess soon becomes well-known throughout the land of Lydia, garnering unwanted attention from jealous goddess Athena. Arachne’s wariness of the gods worsens when her friend Celandine is sexually assaulted. Arachne’s righteous anger, well-earned pride, and determination to rail against her society’s mores and strata are palpably wrought. Intricate descriptions of traditional weaving practices feature prominently throughout, and related terminology serves as section titles, signaling interludes and narrative shifts. Fittingly using Arachne’s mythos as a framework, Caprara navigates issues surrounding gender norms, grief, and trauma, while accentuating how art and storytelling can serve as acts of healing and advocacy. Ages 12–up. Agent: Allison Hellegers, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)