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Myths of Mexico

by David Bowles
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Kirkus Reviews' Best YA Books of 2018 That Feed Imaginations
Texas Institute of Letters’ Best Young Adult Book Award
A contemporary retelling of the origin myths of Mexico, crafted as a single cohesive narrative.

Product Details

10-digit ISBN1-941026-71-7
13-digit ISBN978-1-941026-71-7
Also Available InPaperback
Publication DateApril 17, 2018
Starred Review1 Stars - see reviews
RightsAll Rights Available
The stories in Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky trace the history of the world from its beginnings in the dreams of the dual god Ometeotl, to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico and the fall of the great city Tenochtitlan. In the course of that history we learn about the Creator Twins, Feathered Serpent, and Dark Heart of Sky, and how they built the world on a leviathan’s back; of the shape-shifting nahualli; and the aluxes—elfish beings known to help out the occasional wanderer. And finally, we read Aztec tales about the arrival of the blonde strangers from across the sea, the strangers who seek to upend the rule of Motecuhzoma and destroy the very stories we are reading.

David Bowles stitches together the fragmented mythology of pre-Colombian Mexico into an exciting, unified narrative in the tradition of William Buck’s Ramayana, Robert Fagles’ Iliad, and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Myths. Readers of Norse and Greek mythologies will delight in this rich retelling of stories less explored.

Legends and myths captured David Bowles’ imagination as a young Latino reader. He was fascinated with epics like the Iliad and the Odyssey. Despite growing up on the United States/Mexico border, he had never read a single Aztec or Mayan myth until he was in college. This experience inspired him to reconnect with that forgotten past. Several of his previous books have incorporated themes from ancient Mexican myths.
School Library Journal 1 Stars
“Vibrant and vital, this collection is an essential addition to library collections.”
- Jessica Agudelo, New York Public Library, June 5, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Kirkus Reviews 1 Stars
"Mexican-American Pura Belpré honoree David Bowles brings his passion and expertise to this new compilation of mythological tales from Mexico ... Despite the darkness that pervades most of the tales, Bowles' dense yet lyrical prose raises the narrative to a level suited to high mythological tradition and illuminates the foundations on which contemporary Mexican culture is laid."
- April 3, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
World Literature Today
A masterful storyteller, Bowles packs the richness of the Mesoamerican cosmos into every sentence, bringing to vivid life ancient characters who are by turns funny, heartbreaking, lovable, grotesque, and venerable. … Bowles’s Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky will be crucial to Mesoamerican literary and cultural studies as well as important to Mexican and Mexican American rediscoveries of effaced pasts for many years to come. Scholars and readers of mythology and folklore: add this to the classics.
- Sean Guynes-Vishniac, Michigan State University, May 1, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
La Bloga
David Bowles’ Feathered Serpent Dark Heart of Sky Myths of Mexico deserves to be a best-seller for all the right reasons: accessible, informative, essential. It’s destined to be the cultural anthropology equivalent to Occupied America for C/S majors.
- Michael Sedano, May 8, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Avalinah's Books
Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky was a spectacular collection of myths, written in an easy to follow way, arranged chronologically, and truly epic enough to just read them casually, without the aim of education or research.
- Evelina Avalinah, May 15, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
MBR Bookwatch
A fully absorbing and inherently fascinating read throughout, Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico is an impressive work of simply outstanding scholarship that is enhanced with the inclusion of a two-page Pronunciation Guide, an eight-page Glossary, a four-page listing of Source Notes, and a two-page Bibliography.
- August 25, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Barnes & Noble
"An important, well-written, and compelling text that teaches us about a lost history and the rich and too often forgotten magic of various groups like the Aztec, Maya, and Toltecs."
- J. C. Cervantes, Author of The Storm Runner, September 17, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Book
“While certainly a treasure trove for storytellers, this is also highly valuable as a classroom resource for units on Mesoamerican history or examinations of how a place's myths are inherently linked to its history.”
- Kate Quealy-Gainer, September 26, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
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