The Children’s Book Review | November 10, 2017
Written by Erick Berry
Foreward by Betsy Bird
Age Range: 14-18
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Paul Dry Books (2017)
What to Expect: Greek Myths, Ancient Greek History, Strong Female Protagonist
Known as much for her illustration as her writing, Erick Berry (Allena Champlin) was a writer of fiction as well as non-fiction, and published or illustrated nearly one hundred books in her lifetime. The Winged Girl of Knossos, which retells the story of Icarus and Theseus with a feminist twist, was originally published in 1933 and received a Newbery Honor in 1934. Now available once more for modern readers, this story is classic, timeless, and surprisingly modern.
Inas is curious, courageous and adventurous: whether she is diving for sponges, competing in the annual bull-vaulting competition, or racing chariots, Inas invites both admiration and exasperation from her family and friends for her daring escapades. Her favorite adventure, however, is helping her father to test his miraculous invention: glider wings that allow the wearer to soar from the Cretan cliffs like a bird. However, the local people are fearful of Daidalos’ invention, and suspect him of working black magic; Inas and Daidalos must be secretive with their invention to allow their devotion of logic and science to triumph over the superstition of their fellows. However, even more trouble will follow Inas when her friend, Princess Ariadne, falls desperately in love with the Greek Theseus, imprisoned within the Minoan labyrinth. Ariadne seeks her daring friend Inas’ help to free her lover, but neither Inas nor Ariadne can foresee just how much trouble they are bring down upon themselves.
Not only is The Winged Girl of Knossos a riveting adventure story and a moving tale of love and friendship; it is also filled with fascinating historical detail about this lost period of Greek history. For readers who have already developed a love of Greek mythology through series such as the Percy Jackson books, this new offering offers fascinating insight into the civilizations of ancient Crete and the Minoan people. It is a fascinating and enjoyable read.
About the Author
Erick Berry was the pen name of Allena Champlin (1892-1974), an award-winning author and illustrator. She was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, studied art in Paris, and spent time in Africa. She wrote nonfiction about life in Africa as well as historical fiction. She was married to author Herbert Best and illustrated many of his books in addition to her own.
The Winged Girl of Knossos, by Erick Berry, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like The Winged Girl of Knossos by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Ancient Greece,Greek Mythology, and Strong Female Characters.