Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**     = Enjoyable
*       = Good, with reservations


***Mightier Than the Sword

World Folktales for Strong Boys

collected and told by Jane Yolen

with illustrations by Raul Colón

Reviewed October 20, 2003.
Silver Whistle (Harcourt), Orlando, 2003.

This book provides a collection of stories from all over the world where the heroes solve their problems through cleverness, not through violence.  The tales come from America, Europe, Asia and Africa.  Some are familiar, but different forms of old classics.  All are intended to show that, even from ancient times, heroes have been different from the smash ‘em up daredevils we see on TV.

The stories are told well, too, and beg to be read out loud.  These would make excellent family bedtime stories.  It was written as a companion to Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls, so all the heroes are boys.  However, girls will enjoy the stories, too, and, as Jane Yolen’s sons and grandsons point out in an open letter at the back of the book, “While we know boys using brainpower instead of firepower can be heroes, girls need to know it as well.”

Other books by Jane Yolen:

The Perfect Wizard:  Hans Christian Anderson
Take Joy:  A Book for Writers

Sleeping Ugly

Sword of the Rightful King

The Tartan Magic series:
The Wizard's Map
The Pictish Child
The Bagpiper's Ghost

With Robert J. Harris:
Girl in a Cage  
Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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