cover image Medusa (The Myth of Monsters #1)

Medusa (The Myth of Monsters #1)

Katherine Marsh. Clarion, $19.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-330374-4

Using the Medusa mythos as a framework, Marsh (The Lost Year) crafts a unique and distinctly feminist fantasy series launch set in a contemporary world. When confronting a bully, seventh grader Ava Baldwin somehow freezes him in place. Within days, she’s whisked away to Accademia del Forte in Venice, Italy, a boarding school her mother also attended. Things take a turn for the bizarre when headmaster Mr. O’Ryan reveals himself to be the mythic hunter Orion and announces that Greek gods are real—and that all the students at the academy are descended from monsters of myth. Though Ava seems to flourish at the academy, she’s haunted by her mother’s distraught silence upon Ava’s departure. As Ava’s new best friend, Irish-born Fia, defiantly questions the school’s male-focused dogma, Ava considers both what it means to be a monster and the school’s true intentions. By exploring the patriarchal origins often present in Greek mythology, Marsh evokes powerful analogies about how girls and women can be taught to fear the world and themselves via a take-charge, intelligent heroine and her compassionate first-person voice. Ava is described as having golden-brown skin. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alex Glass, Glass Literary. (Feb.)