So I’m writing this post way in advance of when you’re reading it, because while you’re reading this post, I am in Greece! I’m taking a trip with alumni, students, and two professors from my alma mater. I was a Latin major with an Ancient Greek minor (quick poll: does this sound a.) hard b.) awesome c.) dorky or d.) all of the above? Responses to the whole “Latin major” thing usually fall in one of those categories…). I’m going now as part of a learning trip, and I am SO excited.
So in honor of Greece and Classics nerdiness, I’m going to do a few Classics nerd-themed posts. To start with, I’m going to get extremely personal and self-centered, and talk about a few books featuring characters who love Classics.
Over You by Amy Reed – I loved this book for a lot of reasons. It was intense and emotional, the character development was phenomenal and reading about Max and Sadie’s friendship felt real and disturbing at the same time. But one of the reasons I loved it so much was that Max is a total Classics nerd. She recounts myths at various points in the story, some that are really obviously related to what’s going on, some that are a little more obscurely connected (but they are connected). Sadie brags about Max’s interest in Classics, and Max plans on being a Classics major in college. Now that’s a girl after my own heart!
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede – Admittedly, this is geared for younger folks than teenagers. But that doesn’t take away from the awesomeness that is Princess Cimorene deciding she doesn’t want to do traditional princess things, and running away to live with a dragon. And as it happens, one of Cimorene’s decidedly un-princessy interests is in Latin – a skill that comes in very useful when she has to organize a dragon’s library and sort through a variety of Latin scrolls. Easy read or not, I still re-read this book every now and then, because it’s delightful.
Beauty by Robin McKinley – This straightforward but very engaging re-telling of Beauty and the Beast has all the traditional elements. An enchanted castle, Beauty sacrificing herself to save her father, her unlikely romance with the Beast and of course, a fairy tale ending. But Robin McKinley brings the world she writes about alive with vivid descriptions and enhances it with lovely friendships, such as the one between Beauty and the Beast as well as, slightly more unusual in this fairy tale, Beauty and her sisters. And Beauty herself is an engaging and likable heroine. She loves riding her horse and studying, and her favorite topics are – of course – Greek and Latin.