Cover image for Medusa
Lattimore, Deborah Nourse.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A retelling of the myth of Medusa, turned by Athena's curse into a gorgon whose gaze turned men to stone, and Perseus' quest to vanquish her in order to save his mother's life.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.5 0.5 42032.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL820.M38 L38 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area

On Order



Medusa was born the only beautiful daughter to the ugliest sea witch ever to inhabit the depths of the ocean. Her looks were radiant enough to gain the adoration of Poseidon, King of the Oceans, causing her to become very vain. But vanity is a dangerous thing in a world controlled by jealous gods. Athena, goddess of beauty, is angered by Medusa's conceit and pronounces a curse: "Anyone who looks at you will turn to stone. Hide yourself if you can!" With this, Medusa is transformed into a hideous monster, forced to hide herself in a distant cave and await her fate.

When Perseus, a mortal son of Zeus, is ordered by the sinister Polydectes to deliver the head of Medusa, it seems he has been chosen to see that Athena's curse reaches its fruition. But how will he accomplish what no other mortal has been able to? How will he survive the glare of Medusa? Is it possible Medusa will defy her cursed fate?

In her masterfully written and imaginatively illustrated book, Deborah Nourse Lattimorere-creates the tragedy of one of the best-known Greek myths--the tale of the gorgon Medusa.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. The Grecian maiden looks like Barbie and the storytelling is dull in this version of the Medusa myth. The narrative starts off with an account of Medusa as a proud blond beauty, transformed by jealous Athena into a snake-headed monster, so ugly that those who look at her turn to stone. Then the story switches to Perseus, who must behead Medusa and save his mother. What will hold kids are the stand-offs between people and gods ("you bragging daughter of a mud toad") as well as the lush paintings of the gorgon with her swirling head of snakes. The paintings make you see that the blond beauty's springy curls could become swirling snakes, just as the monster-woman's head is like a gorgeously colored mosaic, wild and terrifying. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Lattimore's retelling of the story of the beautiful mortal who engaged Poseidon's passions but enraged Athena's jealousy is faithful to Olivia Coolidge's version in Greek Myths (Houghton, 1949). Large print and simple sentence structures and word choices make the text accessible to young readers. The sexual aspects of the story are omitted and the gruesome parts softened, rendering it suitable for children. Unfortunately, Perseus is a weaker hero, Medusa is a less scary monster, and all of the figures are milder shadows of themselves. Nonetheless, the plot moves quickly. The formal language and the ornate illustrations suit the myth, giving it stateliness. The deep-hued colors and rich textures on the cover will attract readership, but not every page is illustrated with the same detail. The gods and goddesses lack the spark and fire of the old tales. They look dead and ghostlike, dully characterized in dismal hues of gray. Noted for her brilliant work in Frida Maria (1994), Lattimore utilizes a style here that is similar to her work in Zekmet, the Stone Carver (1988, both Harcourt).-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.