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Author: Alyssa Larue
I am the teen librarian at DPL and the epitome of a book nerd. When I'm not producing our teen or tween short films or getting glue everywhere while making a teen zine, I can usually be found with my nose in a classic, historical fiction, or fantasy read!
First line: Numbers floated round my head like stars.
Summary: This book is a fictional story based on true events that happened at the American Library in Paris during World War II. Odile, a young Parisian woman gets a job at the library before war comes to France. Lily is Odile’s neighbor in Montana. The story jumps between Lily in the 1980’s and Odile from 1939-1944.
My thoughts: I had no idea there was an American library in Paris, let alone that it had managed to remain open through the Nazi occupation of the city. I’m a sucker for books about books or libraries or readers, so this one came to me naturally. However, once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down.
What incredible stories are written about the circumstances of those who experienced the hardships of the war firsthand. The author did an amazing job of slowly peeling back Odile’s story. And Lily was crucial to that telling. I love Lily and Odile so much.
FYI: Be sure to read the author’s notes to see which of the characters were actual staff members at the library.
Kiryn is fourteen years old, and a 2021 Summer Teen Volunteer.
First Line: “It was dusk – winter dusk.”
Summary: This book follows the story of a little girl named Bonnie Green. Bonnie’s mother is ill, and must go away on a voyage to sea with her father, leaving her under the care of Miss Slighcarp, a governess who is very rude and mean to the servants and to Bonnie. What Bonnie thinks will be an enjoyable time spent running about and playing with her cousin Silvia, who has come to stay with them at Willoughby Chase, quickly turns into a nightmare of the very bad sort. As soon as Bonnie’s parents leave, Miss Slighcarp sets her evil plan in motion. She dismisses all of the servants and sells the furniture. When Bonnie protests against her doing these things, Miss Slighcarp shuts her up in a closet, with only Silvia on the other side of the doors for comfort. But they discover a secret tunnel in the walls to help them avoid Miss Slighcarp and listen to her plot. When Miss Slighcarp has sold everything of value that once belonged to Bonnie’s family, she sends Bonnie and Sylvia to her friend, Mrs. Brisket’s prison-like orphan school, where the children are forced to work day in and day out until they drop from exhaustion.
They are fed very little and hardly get to sleep, working in harsh environments with only rags for clothing. Bonnie and Sylvia have to learn to work for hours and hours on little food and little sleep, in the harsh cold. When the children behave badly, they are thrown into the coal pit for up to days without food. Except for Mrs. Brisket’s own daughter of course, who gets to boss the other girls around and lives a life of luxury while the other girls are forced to suffer. But one day when Bonnie spots her old friend Simon coming along, driving his geese to town to sell them, she tells him about their predicament and he helps them escape. They run from Mrs. Brisket’s prison-school to London to try to get Sylvia’s great aunt Jane to help them. But Sylvia has fallen ill from the harsh work at Mrs. Brisket’s orphanage. A friendly farmer gives them shelter for a few nights, but then they must travel on. Will they make it to Aunt Jane’s in time? And if they do, how will they stop Miss Slighcarp’s evil plan to turn their home into a school run by herself and the horrible Mrs. Brisket?
Highlights: Watching Bonnie and Sylvia work together to get through they’re hardships and learn to think for themselves and figure out how to escape from their captors.
Lowlights: For it being called The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, there aren’t a lot of wolves in it. There’s a few at the beginning, but if you’re looking for a story about a thrilling chase fleeing from a pack of bloodthirsty wolves, this isn’t it.
FYI: This book is good for children of all ages. Other than harsh punishments from the adults in this story, it is perfectly fine for younger children.
Claire Stewart is fifteen years old and a 2021 Summer Teen Volunteer.
In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
Though this isn’t the first line of the novel, it’s one of the first mentioned in the film, and as soon as I heard it, I knew I was going to love this movie (and, later, the book). Douglas Adams has a unique way of writing that is just so indescribably hilarious; some more honorable mentions are, “the ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t” and “a common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” I mean, aren’t those lines just amazing?
This book, as the title suggests, is a guide for someone to use in the event that Earth is “demolished to make way for a galactic freeway” as the summary on the back of the book suggests. The story follows normal dude Arthur Dent (played by one of my favorite actors, Martin Freeman) as he is plucked from his garden, bathrobe and all, and is suddenly touring the galaxy with some of the oddest folks you’ll never meet. Complete with two-headed, three-armed ex-hippies, chronically depressed robots, and grad students obsessed with the disappearance of ballpoint pens, this tale keeps you laughing while also vaguely wondering what the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is – that’s an inside joke for those of us who know the story.
This absurd tale follows Arthur as he hitchhikes through space, unintentionally saves the world (well, part of it), encounters infinitely knowledgeable supercomputers that answer questions with more questions, and learns that his boring life on Earth was nothing compared to what the rest of the galaxy is doing. Adams uses cynicism and wit to spin this tale, and it’s quite enjoyable for anyone who’s humor is just a little dry and, from time to time, enjoys wondering what else the universe might have up its sleeves.
I definitely enjoyed this story, with its unique characters, confusing backstory, and random lines that, to this day, sort of leave me reeling. It’s the perfect read for, as I said, dry-humored folks, in addition to science and fiction lovers (or science fiction lovers!) with big imaginations. This book is also the first installment of a five-part series by Douglas Adams, all of which have interesting titles and even more interesting beings. There is also a sixth novel, written by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl fans, anyone?) after Adams’ death, plus a 12-part series on BBC radio. In short, it’s a beloved story, and quite famous for it, that everyone should read once in their lives. I really enjoyed it, and I hope you do too!
Sara is sixteen years old, and a summer 2021 teen volunteer
First Line: “During the summer of 1941, every weekday morning at the top of the tide, McCall Purnell and I would board my skiff and go progging for crab.”
Jacob Have I Loved is a tale of twin sisters in the early 1940’s living in Chesapeake Bay. The protagonist, Sara Louise, feels perpetually over shadowed by her beautiful, talented sister, Caroline. Caroline is frail and must be constantly taken care of and not exert herself, except, of course, to sing, which she can do so beautifully. The worst part of Louise’s life, however, is her grandmother, who compares Caroline to the biblical Jacob, while equating Louise to Esau. Growing up on a small island where everybody has always known everybody else, she feels like she can never escape the constant comparison to her sister. The book begins in her late childhood and follows her struggle to find her own identity apart from her sister and hometown.
Written by Katherine Paterson and published in 1980 by Thomas Y. Crowell Books, Jacob I Have Loved received the Newberry Medal in 1981 and has been loved by readers for over forty years.
Written as realistic fiction, the book can be considered over-dramatic by some readers. But it is a story of what it is like to feel unloved, and the angst that comes from being constantly overshadowed by someone else. While this story is written for children, its serious nature makes it a good read for adults and teens too. The story makes you think and stays in your mind long after you have finished the book.
Ultimately, it is the ending that really made this a fantastic book. It comes, almost out of nowhere, and draws the book into a full circle with its sudden conclusion that brings Louise a revelation about her life. In a story that takes its time to tell, the ending comes as a sort of snap when it becomes clear to the readers, and the protagonist, what has happened. Nevertheless it brings the book to a satisfactory close and leaves you with a story you will never forget.
I loved this book for its stirring story, for Katherine Paterson’s writing, and the ending that surprises the reader. Though it can be somewhat angsty, the writing keeps it fairly light. A classic coming of age story, this book is easy and fun to read, while still creating a thought-provoking story that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Stephanie is fourteen years old, and a summer 2021 teen volunteer.
It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.
First line of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 follows the tale of Guy Montag and his conflictions as he lives in a dystopian, book-despising society. He works faithfully at his job as a firefighter, someone who burns books and the homes of disobedient citizens, until he meets people that cause him to question his values and beliefs. Maddened by the constant desire to learn more, Montag finds more and more flaws in the society that he lives in. He makes friends and enemies, one of which is an animatronic canine. There are multiple suspenseful moments as well as thought-provoking statements woven throughout the story.
Even though it was written in the 1950s, the book’s description of a futuristic world is oddly like our current world. It shows the addiction to technology extremely well. Montag’s wife wastes away her time in a room surrounded by screens and false realities. She does not care about the world outside or her neighbors. The book also describes a fast-paced world where silence and rest are unnatural. Nobody takes walks for enjoyment and even when nothing is happening, people are listening to their own personal entertainment in Seashells, the dystopian version of ear buds. One character mentions how communities have become indistinguishable. Every joke is the same. Conversations are dull, only consisting of talk about fancy cars or clothing, or new television shows. All knowledge about classical works of literature and true art are nonexistent. While Fahrenheit 451 does exaggerate some realities, it is still very close to our lives in the 21st century. Bradbury’s imaginings of the future can be somewhat discouraging, seeming as if our world is drifting away from the love of books and knowledge, but it offers hope when Guy Montag fights for change.
An enjoyable aspect of the book is Bradbury’s talent for exhibiting anxiety and creating suspense. It is easy to get caught up in the emotions of the book. In a couple situations, Montag becomes overwhelmed. Bradbury showcases Guy’s anxiety through realistic inner monologues. Montag’s emotions, whether it is stress, anger, or despair, are clearly communicated and can be relatable to those who feel stuck in a constantly moving world. Montag has some suspenseful scenes that lead to moments far from any cliché. With these small but essential aspects of the story, Bradbury draws every reader into Guy Montag’s journey.
However, no book is completely enjoyable, and Fahrenheit 451 has some rough parts. There are a few odd metaphors that can be confusing, and some paragraphs are tedious to read because their topics get overcome by too much poetry. A slightly annoying factor about the book is that it is split up in a strange way. There are not frequent chapter breaks, and it can be hard to find a break in the text. These aspects do not overcome the many good parts of the book, though, and are simply things that were not enjoyed.
There are a few things to be aware of about the book. Characters understandably get angered, causing them to spout mild profanity. As mentioned earlier, Montag deals with anxiety, and overwhelming situations are expressed in a very realistic way. Some sensitive readers who cannot handle emotionally intense situations may want to be wary.
Overall, Fahrenheit 451 is a fantastic book for anyone looking for a classic, but exciting read. It offers topics to think about or discuss such as a fast-paced world vs. a slow, simple life, or the importance of maintaining knowledge and wisdom. It is a wonderful and enjoyable book full of surprises, thoughts, a little bit of poetry, and adventures.
Maya is sixteen years old, and a summer 2021 teen volunteer
First line of the book: “Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair Family. No one is a criminal. No one is an addict. No one is a failure.”
Summary: We Were Liars is the story of Cadence Eastman, a girl with a “perfect” family that is falling apart. Each summer they travel to a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. The Sinclair family is composed of Grandfather Harris Sinclair, the aunts: Penny, Carrie, and Bess, the littles: Will, Taft Liberty, and Bonnie, and last but not least the liars: Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat. The story centers on Cadence and her group of cousins nicknamed the liars. Cadence suffers from post-traumatic headaches ever since an accident that happened two summers ago (summer fifteen). The thing is she can’t remember anything about the events that led up to her accident. Her mother claims that she would tell her every day what happened but then the next day Cadence would simply ask again. Finally the doctors told her mother to leave it alone and that it was best if Cadence remembered on her own. The only part of the story Cadence seems to retain is that she went swimming one night in late July all alone, was later found curled up on the beach half naked, and no one knows what happened. In addition to this piece of information, she remembers bits and pieces of summer fifteen but there are a few gaps in her memory. The main plot of the story begins when Cadence returns for the first time since the incident to the island to spend three weeks of the summer with her family and beloved liars. Determinedly she makes it her goal to discover for herself the truth of what happened during summer fifteen.
Thoughts: One of the best aspects of this story is the ultimate friendship that exists between Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat. I also loved the idea of a broken family that looks perfect on the outside. Overall I thought it was really well written and I loved the unique style the author wrote in. The ending was very unexpected but I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it for anyone who loves a story about overcoming tragedy narrated by the main character.
Favorite Quote: “We should not accept an evil we can change.”
FYI: There is definitely some foul language but not much more than your average YA novel. This book also might be unsuitable for those who are triggered by death, grief, or fire.
Aleah is fourteen years old and a summer 2021 teen volunteer
At my school library, the William Allen White award is a big deal. Each class gets a short summary of each nominee book, with the hope of getting students interested in reading them, and eventually, voting for their favorites. I enjoyed the opportunity to read several different nominee books and then vote. That’s how I stumbled upon Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster.
First Line: “There are all sorts of wonderful things a person might see very early in the morning.”
This book is about a girl named Nan, who lost everyone and everything she ever knew. She is left with only two things to remember Sweep, her father figure. His hat, and a clump of soot that sometimes seems to have a mind of its own. Nan is hired to join a group of climbers, boys that climb chimneys to clean out the soot and grime, and she becomes a sisterly figure to them. When an “accident” happens on the job, and Nan is assumed dead, she escapes to an abandoned house. With new friends of the most unlikely kinds, including a magical golem, she continues to live in fear of her old boss, Wilkie Crudd. Her golem, whom she names Charlie, continues to protect her from harm. Nan starts to feel the pressure when she finds out that a golem doesn’t have a happy ending. She doesn’t want that to happen to Charlie because they are such great friends. Then, the time comes that she has to make a decision; continue to live in hiding or risk being found by Crudd as she protests unjust conditions of the climbers all over London?
This book is not only an exciting adventure, but it also has historical elements in it as well. When I read this book, I learned about the children who took on the role of climber to provide for themselves. It also teaches a lesson of friendship. Nan becomes friends with characters of all shapes and sizes, and also, characters of all species.
This book is really enjoyable to read because of all the plot twists woven in throughout the story. It is also a fun read because of the uniqueness of all the characters and their different personalities.
For some, this book might be a little confusing because of all of the flashbacks that appear throughout the story. Thankfully, all of Nan’s flashbacks are in separate italicized chapters, so it should be easy to distinguish when the flashbacks occur.
Sweep is an amazing story. It is a fantasy, history, and adventure story all rolled into one. It is a really exciting read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is over the age of ten. Younger kids may find some events in the story a bit intense.
This is an amazing story, and I would highly recommend that you read it and some of the other William Allen White Nominees. You may find a new favorite!
FYI: A few of the scenes in this book are a little intense, and a couple “accidents” happen that are slightly gruesome, but are not described in great detail.
Claire is fifteen years old and a 2021 Summer Teen Volunteer
Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine.
First line of Heartless by Marissa Meyer
This book begins by telling the story of Lady Catherine Pinkerton, one of the most desired girls in all of Wonderland, amidst her real dream – baking. She spends the novel fighting fate, avoiding the King’s marriage proposals and her mother’s insistence that she will be Queen.
Of course, she will eventually be Queen – the infamous Queen of Hearts, in fact. And that’s not a spoiler, don’t worry! In fact, it’s the theme of the whole story. We all know who the Queen of Hearts is, and what it is that makes her so well-known; namely, one phrase: “Off with their heads!” So what is it that made Catherine of Hearts, the sweet girl who fell in love and wanted nothing more than to open a bakery, into the terrifying and memorable ruler of Hearts?
This story leads its readers through twists and turns, keeping us on our toes as we try to piece together the puzzle and differentiate fact from fiction in this strange world. We meet famous characters like the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and, of course, the Queen herself. She does what she can to avoid love by the King and finds it elsewhere, at his black-and-white ball – a love that sends her spiraling, literally and figuratively, through Wonderland. This story features everything from lemon tarts and unfortunate turtles to strange pumpkins and unbeknownst best friends to magical rose bushes and criminals who aren’t so villainous. In short, it’s a thrilling read, one that practically jumps at you from off the pages.
As for the novel itself, my family can attest to the fact that it was practically glued to my fingers while I was reading it. I’m hesitant to speak too highly of this book, in case you, dear reader, end up not actually liking it, but this book was definitely to my taste. It’s quite sad, to be honest, and not for the faint of heart. It’s a given that there will be loss of life, love and limb – how else will Cath become the raging “off with their heads” kind of person? So, as long as that’s down your alley, I think you’ll quite enjoy it.
I also found each and every character rather enthralling, just because of intricate backstories and quite humanoid feelings and motives each one possessed. It isn’t the kind of book you’ll find yourself scratching your head and saying, “well, no real person would do that!” – if, of course, you can remember that no rabbits in our world speak and a multitude of hats doesn’t make you magical. I found myself really relating to our leading lady, and being pulled so deeply into her feelings that it was as if they were my own.
Overall, this book was quite sad, so I do give a word of warning to anyone who’s a bit too empathetic and accidentally ends up as an unpaid therapist for fictitious beings. But it was also witty, and interesting, and, ironically, magical. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and hope you do, too!
Rachel is fifteen years old and currently a 2021 Summer Teen Volunteer
When I picked up The Ruins of Gorlan, I did it to escape the constant heckling of my school librarian. According to her, the book was infinite in virtue and would never be praised enough.
Right off the start, the author caught my attention with his – shall we say interesting – writing. Take the first line for example:
“Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, former Baron of Gorlan in the Kingdom of Araluen, looked out over his bleak, rain-swept domain and, for perhaps the thousandth time, cursed,” – Flanagan pg 1.
That quote gives you a pretty good idea of what the rest of the book is written like. The dialect is interesting and is not unrealistic. Even though the book is set in feudal times, the book is never hard to read and is easy to follow.
The Ruins of Gorlan is an exciting adventure that I couldn’t put down. The book starts with an orphan named Will, hoping he is chosen to be a knight, like his father. Though that wish is not fulfilled, he does find happiness being trained to become a ranger by Halt,the mysterious man who lives in the forest. Then Morgarath, lord of a whole bunch of depressing stuff – as was shown in the quote – hatches an evil plot and Will and Halt team up with a few side characters to take care of it. The ending was riveting and plausible. Let’s just say Will got his chance to save the day and prove himself, and leave it at that.
Not only is the book interesting, it also encourages hard work. Will starts out with nothing and no one, but through working hard to become a Ranger, he gains skills, admiration, and a few close friends. Will doesn’t get all that stuff for free – he has to study and practice with his bow and knives to earn his triumph.
In The Ruins of Gorlan even the side characters are interesting. Firstly there is Alyss, who trains to become prominent in the diplomatic service. She is interesting, strong, and witty. Horace takes Will’s dream and makes it become a reality for himself. He struggles through Battleschool, and truly has a hero’s journey as surely as Will does. He starts out bullying Will, then after joining Battleschool and working harder than ever before, he has a few adventures with Will and they end up as best friends. Halt is perhaps the most interesting of the side characters. He starts out as grumpy and enigmatic. Then through Will’s young and cheerful influence, he becomes cheerful and begins to love Will like a son. One of the most interesting plot lines in the story is Will discovering Halt’s mysterious past.
I enjoyed this book a lot and owe a big thank you to my school librarian. Even though I might not have enjoyed it quite as much as she did, I still liked it a lot. Since reading the first book, I read the whole series and found each of the books to be just as – if not more interesting than the first. I would recommend this book to anyone who can read and is older than ten.
FYI: There was a little action and violence, but no more than one might expect in a fantasy adventure.
We were so thrilled to offer a take-home murder mystery this season in collaboration with the Big Read. This Greek mythology-themed mystery had you digging through emails, text transcripts, and private journal entries in the hopes of discovering the truth surrounding the mysterious death of Madame Phoebe Gaius.
Now it’s time to reveal the truth!
The suspect who murdered Madame Phoebe is…
Did you guess correctly?
We gave out roughly 140 take-home mystery kits, and of those who submitted answers, 57% of the them were correct with the second most popular guess being Professor Theus!
So why and how exactly did Cassie kill Madame Phoebe?
It all started with Madame Phoebe’s grandson, Apollo. As a member of a prominent Greek family, Apollo attended many public functions that were covered by journalists. At one of these functions, Apollo met renowned art journalist, Cassandra Troy and asked her out on a date. Cassandra rejected his affection, and Apollo was so offended that he used his Instagram platform to discredit Cassandra’s reports. She was subsequently fired from her job at “To Vima,” but Apollo showed no remorse.
Seeking both the truth and revenge, Cassandra started a personal blog, The Oracle, where she researched the Gaius family and soon uncovered actual scandals associated with both the Acropolis Museum and Madame Phoebe.
These scandals were:
In attempts to purchase artifacts that he felt were important, Professor Theus was embezzling funds through the use of a fake cooperation called Pyronix.
Madame Phoebe’s granddaughter, Artemis, refused to get married which greatly strained their relationship. Out of pride, Artemis rejected Phoebe’s money, causing her animal sanctuary to suffer financially. Artemis turned to identity theft and fraud to pay the bills.
Lord Dio Russo, the museum’s event coordinator, hosted parties with unseemly activities, one of which involved an intern suffering from alcohol poisoning.
Madame Phoebe had a tumultuous relationship with her sister, Rhea, involving their inheritance. Rhea, the eldest, was passed over in favor of Phoebe, and this caused tensions in the family
Madame Phoebe and Mr. Z, the museum’s curator, were engaged years ago, but Mr. Z was caught in an affair with his personal assistant, and Madame Phoebe broke off the engagement.
Having had experience running a popular gardening blog in her spare time, Cassandra’s new blog gained traction, particularly with other media outlets like the gossip journal, Kous Kous, which hired her on as a social media journalist. This gave Cassandra a little more access to the family, and she truly thought if their secrets were revealed, it would destroy them.
No one believed her, and Madame Phoebe sent a Cease and Desist out, threatening a lawsuit. Cassandra sent flowers to Madame Phoebe as a peace offering, but the threat within the flowers, the “devil’s bread” or poisonous hemlock flower, didn’t go unnoticed. Cassandra was enraged that no one believed her about the scandals at the museum or the wrongs this family was committing.
After the Cease and Desist was sent, Cassandra decided to torment Madame Phoebe with the truth by sending her the box with all of the evidence. She also started stalking her, leading Phoebe to believe she was seeing shadows.
On the day of Mythos Fantastikos, Cassandra used the party’s disorganization to her advantage, swiping a press pass and sneaking about in the kitchens. An avid gardener, Cassandra knew that hemlock would be mistaken for another leafy green and placed it on Madame Phoebe’s plate of ambrosia salad. Madame Phoebe suffered from coniine poison, a toxic chemical found in hemlock. The hemlock is a nod to the death of Socrates, the Greek philosopher.
What mythology-based clues hinted at the true killer?
Besides the evidence in the documents, a few clues based upon Greek mythology were included. Seven Greek gods were presented in the box as well as six items. These gods were associated with the seven deadly sins, and the items correlated to the gods. The gods also correlated to the seven suspects.
Plutus and coins = greed, Professor Theus
Eros and roses = lust, Mr. Z
Adephegia and grapes = gluttony, Lord Dio
Lyssa and sword = wrath, Cassandra
Phthonus and eye = envy, Countess Rhea
Hybris and mirror = pride, Artemis
Aergia and no item (due to laziness) = sloth, Apollo
In Madame Phoebe’s journal entry, she said that the statue of the goddess, Lyssa, seemed to be watching her and that she believed the goddess of wrath to be the most feared. Also below Cassandra’s blog was a quote from the Greek dramatist, Menander, that said “the sword the body wounds, sharp words the mind” referencing both the power of words and the power of the sword.
What other connections to Greek mythology were in the story?
Each suspect was inspired by a Greek god or goddess. Readers could say that it’s all a coincidence or they can decide if perhaps these suspects were in fact gods disguised as mortals. It’s up to you!
Madame Phoebe = the Titaness, Phoebe
Phoebe’s last name comes from a blend of Uranus and Gaia, the titans’ parents. Phoebe also had twin grandchildren, Apollo and Artemis. In mythology, Zeus actually had a relationship with Phoebe’s daughter, Leto, but Letitia (the personal assistant) is a nod to her.
Cassandra Troy = the Trojan priestess, Cassandra
The story goes that when Cassandra rejected the god Apollo, he cursed her to always speak of true prophecies but that no one would believe her.
Apollo Barros = the Greek god, Apollo
Apollo talks about “keeping things shiny” and “bringing things into the light” referencing the sun. Apollo also puts himself into the light via the most modern method; Instagram!
Artemis Barros = the Greek goddess, Artemis
The goddess Artemis is a hunter and protector of wildlife, hence Artemis Barros running an animal sanctuary. The god Orion is actually one of Artemis’ closest companions, and all the names of the identities that Artemis stole are names that the goddess also used.
Lord Dio Russo = the Greek god, Dionysus
Like Dionysus, the god of wine, Lord Dio loves to party hard, sometimes with reckless abandon. The reference to “Dove Coeur” is actually a nod to Aphrodite and her relationship with the Greek god.
Mr. Z = The Greek god, Zeus
Though in the myths, Zeus had a relationship with Phoebe’s daughter, Leto, we reference it in the story with the mention of Letitia, the assistant who broke up their engagement.
Professor Theus = The Greek god, Prometheus
Professor Theus is embezzling money to purchase items that he thinks are important. He is sending this money to a fake organization called Pyronix, referencing the story of Prometheus’ gift of fire to the humans. His first name, Metis, is also a Greek word meaning “magical cunning.”
Countess Rhea Crohn = the Greek goddess, Rhea
The goddess Rhea is really Phoebe’s sister in mythology and though she was considered “the mother of the gods,” she had no real following or place of worship. Similar to the story’s Rhea, the goddess Rhea was slighted by the more popular deities. The goddess Rhea did marry Cronus which is noted by our Rhea’s last name.
We hope you all enjoyed taking this mystery home and exploring the clues and story. Thank you to all of you for participating, and be on the lookout for more mysteries like this coming to the Derby Public Library soon!