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Pandora of Athens, 399 B.C.

(Life and Times)

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  38 reviews
In this departure from our first person diaries, we leap into ancient times in a third person novel filled with action, adventure, and glory -- all the drama of life in ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece is brought brilliantly to life by renowned author Barry Denenberg.

Pandora is trapped in the roles laid out for Greek women by her narrow-minded father. Much to her despair,she
Hardcover, 125 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Scholastic Inc.
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3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  246 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Kate Hastings
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grades 5-8, ancient greece, historical fiction
Pandora is a girl growing up in Ancient Athens, Greece following the Peloponnesian War and the overthrow of the Spartan government. Pandora comes from a wealthy family and had very few opportunities to escape the house, but for her weekly trip to the Fountain House, where she meets an unusual man who opens up opportunities to live a better life. That man is Socrates.

I liked this book-- I learned a LOT about Ancient Greece. Every time I read a historical detail and thought it was in inaccuracy, I
Ms. Patterson
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
I wasn't sure if I wanted to read PANDORA OF ATHENS or not, simply because of my dislike of another book in the Life and Times series. I thought it was best that I give the series another try and picked PANDORA up, hoping to view this one without any influence from the other book.

Pandora is a young girl growing up in ancient Greece. She's sheltered like most girls in Athens at that time, and the most she has to look forward to is getting married when she turns fourteen. Pandora's been taught th
Elaine Shipley-pope
Mar 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014
I really didn't care for this book as I felt it was really lacking in several areas. There were lots of main and secondary characters but they were treated in passing. Some characters which seemed important at first were dropped halfway through and never mentioned again. Moments that maybe should have had greater importance in the book were glazed over. The book was short and a very quick read which perhaps led to the problems with the story and the characters.
Leigh Ann
Elementary book club selection that was just boring, sorry kids
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Oh dear so much potential but you guessed it turned in to yet another romance!
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm very fond of stories set in ancient Greece or Rome but there just wasn't much to this tale of a young girl who meets Socrates.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting reading about every day life in Athens at this time, but the writing wasn't great. Too much telling and not enough showing. Half the time, it felt like Pandora was summarizing her experiences rather than actually experiencing them. Which was a little silly when the 'summary' was literally dialogue without quotation marks.
I probably would have given this three stars, but I'm getting very tired of seeing more adult things in books meant for children. Yes, certain things may have been
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2017
Wonderful book, a short historical fiction novel. You do not at first know where the book is going and yet you never want to put the book down because of the fascinating story which enfolds the greek culture of the old days as well as the understanding and sympathy most readers will have with Pandora. As she struggles to understand the acts of her family and others because of her different mindset that was unwelcome at the time.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story was very interesting and also the book included a lot of information so it was fun to read.
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I just felt there was a lack of dialogue. I'm not spoiling it, but the ending was very anonymous, almost anything can happen to Pandora.
Concetta Kellough
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Denenberg writes in a concise manner that will attract younger readers who become overwhelmed with "fat" books. Even though the story isn't long, the reader learns much and is drawn into Pandora's life and feelings. The reader is also introduced to Socrates and the Greek world of his time. I would definitely recommend this book for the junior high level student.
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the story of Greek girl from a rich family. Pandora is like most Greek girls of the time. She has very little future ahead of her except as a wife. She will not be allowed to vote, and women are not expected to get an education. She is kept home most of the time, but on one of her trips to get some water she runs into the philosopher Socrates.

Socrates is one of the most famous of all philosophers, and in this story he befriends Pandora who becomes interested in the way Socrates talks and
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Pandora of Athens

Barry Denenberg

This story is about a 13 year old girl named Pandora. "Silence , submission, and suffocation" are the words her and her father think of women. This book takes place in 399 B.C. in Athens. Pandora is only allowed to visit her best friend named Appolonia or go to the Fountain House to get fresh water. One day at the Fountain House Pandora sees a large crowd gathering. When she ventures closer, she sees that everyone is listening to an elderly man, the Wise One, spea
Chase Panno
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: yal-read
A thirteen year old girl named Pandora lives with her father that believes in 'silence, submission, and suffocation'. Pandora is confined to her house and only allowed out of the house if she is visiting her friend, Appolonia. One day when Pandora was at the fountain house, she met a wise old man that she planned to meet again the following week. When she arrives back at the fountain the next week, she finds a handsome young boy named Phoenix instead of the old man. Phoenix, the messenger, invit ...more
Apr 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Thirteen-year-old Pandora, living in Athens in the year 399 B.C., resents that as a young girl of ancient Greece, she has no say at all in her future. She is already betrothed, to a man she despises, and who is more then twice her age -- her stupid, useless cousin Menander. And as soon as she turns fourteen, she will be forced to marry him. But one day while Pandora is fetching water, she meets the philosopher Socrates, and what he tells her changes her life forever. She is even more determined ...more
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book, part of the "Life and Times" series, contains only 124 pages. The character of Pandora wasn't really fleshed out and I didn't get to know her. Likewise, the supporting characters were thin. Maybe this was due to the extreme brevity of the book. Whatever, I think that this would be a good book for Home Schoolers to learn a little about life in ancient Greece but I didn't enjoy it very much. The only thing that interested me is the ancient Greek beliefs on medical problems and the treat ...more
Alyssa Greatbanks
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Greek history and mythology, I also enjoy reading 'diary' books from time to time such as the Dear America series, so I was pretty sure this book would be great for me. The setting was great, but the characters not so much. I found Pandora to be very bland. I would have also liked to see something other than the typical 'Sheltered girl leaves shelter, finds the perfect boy and instantly falls in love' kind of thing.
I also would have like it to be a little longer, fleshed out mo
Elizabeth *Book Lover*
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Growing up in Ancient Greece was hard. But growing a woman in Ancient Greece was even harder. Pandora is growing up-but the world around her is not. Women aren’t allowed outside, at parties, or even in the theater.
Desperate to escape a life with her much older cousin, Pandora takes the chance of lifetime when she meets Socrates.

Filled with great detail and history, Pandora of Athens tells the story of a young girl desperate for a better future.
As with the other two books in this now-defunct series (and it's probably better that way, truthfully) the plot was very thinly developed. I really can see this one being so much more than it ended up being.

I can only imagine what it must be like for a successful author to put out something so out of character from the rest of his work. All I can think is that his publisher asked for it and rushed him for a manuscript...for what other reason would you cheat the story like this? *sigh*
Tabitha H.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pandora of athens by Barry Denenberg is a likable book. I particularly like Pandora, and her disapproval of her father and brother. She believes women should be equal, and longed for a life like her stepmother had had. I was greatly interested by the fact that socrates though all should be equal, and condoned the fact that pandora was a girl. I liked the book, but it was not perfect. It ends abruptly, and i belive that takes away from the whole experience.
Sherry Thornberry
What a great introduction to the teaching of Socrates. This is a great book about what its like to be a girl child of the elite in Greece. Its also a great peep into Greek culture of ancient times. I enjoyed this book and really enjoyed reading one girls coming of age right when a new way of thinking was being pondered by one of the worlds greatest thinkers of all time.
May 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
As a historical book telling readers about how life was for young girls in Athens, the book is good. Denenberg add lots of vocabulary and description about like in Greece and the genera idea of philosophy. However, the story itself is boring and Pandora is the most uninteresting, flat character ever. Mercifully it is a short, fast read.
Kelly Carey
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Pandora is named after the famous character from Greek mythology, and she takes after her namesake in terms of being curious and wanting more. Pandora is not happy with her secluded life as an aristocratic young girl living in Ancient Athens. The book provides an interesting point of view for the time period.
Kris Irvin
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
This book was pretty terrible. It was dry and boring. The plot was almost nonexistent. The sentences were structured very oddly, to the point that they jarred me out of the story several times. I hope the other Life and Times books are better than this one.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people
Recommended to Audrey by: me
this is the book that turned me onto reading greek mythology, it add a realistic fiction sense to the entire era of ancient greece, which made it less. well, dull.
even if it was meant for a younger age group, it was a good quick read, which remains as one of my favorite books.
Maya Shankar
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The reason I gave it four stars instead of five, is because I felt like it was kind of short and didn't get very in depth.

Overall it was a good story. It had a fair amount of historical facts that I hadn't known, but it still seemed kind of short.
Brianna Phelps
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Pandora of Athens. It surprised me that I enjoyed it because I usually don't prefer historical fiction. I would recommend this book to someone just starting to read this genre. It's about a girl named Pandora who is starting to question how women are treated in Athens.
Apr 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
This book was kinda neat just for the historical aspect from a young woman's perspective. Quick one-hour read.
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Barry Denenberg is the critically acclaimed author of non-fiction and historical fiction. His historical fiction includes titles in the Dear America, My Name is America, and Royal Diaries series, many of which have been named NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. His nonfiction books have covered a wide array of topics, from Anne Frank to Elvis Presley. After the publicatio ...more

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