Song of the Magdalene by Donna Jo Napoli

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Synopsis

Set in turbulent ancient Israel, a richly detailed historical tale follows the love story of two young outcasts, one of whom grows up to become Mary Magdalene.
 

About Donna Jo Napoli

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Donna Jo Napoli was born in 1948. She has earned three degrees from Harvard University: a B.A. in Mathematics, an M.A. in Italian Literature, and a Ph.D. in General and Romance Linguistics. She has taught on the university level since 1970, is widely published in scholarly journals and has received numerous grants and fellowships in the area of linguistics. She teaches linguistics and was chair of the linguistics program at Swarthmore College. She is a published poet and coeditor of four poetry volumes. Napoli was introduced to Dutton by Lloyd Alexander. Dutton promptly published her first middle grade novel, Soccer Shock, in 1991 to critical and popular acclaim. In 1993, Napoli's versatility became evident with the publication of The Prince of the Pond which won the New Jersey Reading Association's M. Jerry Weiss Book Award in 1997. Napoli has also won a Bulletin Blue Ribbon, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and a Publishers Weekly Choice of the Years Best books for her novel Zel. Napoli's Stones in Water won the Golden Kite Award in 1997. She has written many young adult novels including The Wager in 2010.
 
Published February 25, 2012 by Scholastic. 260 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Song of the Magdalene

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As is true of the protagonists in Napoli's The Magic Circle (1993) and Zel, Miriam's trials make her a tragic figure but also strengthen her, freeing her from the physical and intellectual restraints imposed on those of her sex.

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Publishers Weekly

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This novel imagines the youth of the girl who would become Mary Magdalene and the events that shaped her into a powerful Biblical figure.

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Publishers Weekly

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The plotting, too, suffers from conflicting impulses toward periodicity (e.g., the belief in demons) and contemporary sensibilities (Miriam's surprise and outrage at the men's prayer of thanks for not being born women).

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