Sunday, June 16, 2013

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon
Banks, Anna.  New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2012 ISBN-13: 978-1-25000-332-4

Reading Level: Lexile 650

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
The most difficult aspect of this text is that it is told from different points of view.  The story is told in alternating chapters between Galen and Emma.  But not only that, Galen’s part of the story is told in third person and Emma’s is in first person.    Other things that affect the text complexity are some shifts in time, some figurative language, and multiple layers of meaning.  There are many allusions to cultural events and literary knowledge including knowledge of Poseidon, Triton, Atlantis, the Titanic, and even folklore about mermaids.  Using the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measure Rubric for Literary Text” I would rate this book as Middle High.

Plot Description:
When Emma literally runs into Galen she is embarrassed but also intrigued.  She doesn't realize that he has been looking for her because he has heard she has some unique talents and when he witnesses her behavior during a tragic accident his suspicions are confirmed.

You see Galen is merman - or Syrena as he prefers to be called - and Emma has the gift of Poseidon.  But how does she have the gift when she is a human?  Or is she?  Galen follows Emma and slowly reveals who he is and who he believes her to be.  Galen struggles with his feelings for Emma because if she is who he thinks she is then she is destined to be "mated" with someone else - his brother.

Content Area:Reading/ELA

Personal Thoughts:
 I really enjoyed this book.  What I didn’t realize when I read it was that it was the first book in a series.  It became very evident as I neared the end that it wasn’t going to wrap up neatly.  I am curious to see how the rest of the series plays out.  I think this book will be popular with those who like Twilight, etc but are sick of Vampires.  The Syrena are an interesting new “species”.  It has enough romance, intrigue, and mystery to keep a teenage reader entertained.

Subjects/Themes: Love and Sacrifice, Individual vs Society, Forcefulness of Love

Series Information: This is the first book in a series.  The sequel Of Triton was published in 2013.

Character Names/descriptions:
Galen: Prince of Syrena
Emma: Half human, half Syrena, has the gift of Poseidon

High Interest Annotation:
 If you like Twilight but are sick of Vampires this might be just the book for you.

Classic/Contemporary Novel Pairing:
 When I originally chose to read this book I did because it was the on the YA Sync Download list for the summer and was paired with The Tempest by William Shakespeare.  I thought it would be perfect for this assignment.  Unfortunately as I read Of Poseidon and then reread The Tempest I realized it wasn’t such a great pairing after all.  In fact, Of Poseidon would be paired much better with Romeo and Juliet so I changed my pairing.  In Of Poseidon, Emma is of the house of Poseidon and Galen is of the house of Triton.  The two houses have been rivals for thousands of years but in order to keep the Syrena and their gifts alive the two houses must “mate” every so often.  Unfortunately for Galen, if Emma is who he thinks she is, she will need to be mated with Galen’s brother Grom.  It is a story of forbidden love and the conflict of  sacrificing your own desires for the good of your people. 

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