Picture of author.

Donna Jo Napoli

Author of Beast

121+ Works 12,871 Members 492 Reviews 26 Favorited

About the Author

Donna Jo Napoli was born on February 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in mathematics, an M.A. in Italian literature, and a Ph.D. in general and romance linguistics from Harvard University. She has taught on the university level since 1970, is widely published in scholarly journals, and has received show more numerous grants and fellowships in the area of linguistics. In the area of linguistics, she has authored five books, co-authored six books, edited one book, and co-edited five books. She is also a published poet and co-editor of four volumes of poetry. Her first middle grade novel, Soccer Shock, was published in 1991. Her other novels include the Zel, Beast, The Wager, Lights on the Nile, Skin, Storm, Hidden, and Dark Shimmer. She is also the author of several picture books including Flamingo Dream, The Wishing Club: A Story About Fractions, Corkscrew Counts: A Story About Multiplication, The Crossing, A Single Pearl, and Hands and Hearts. She has received several awards including the New Jersey Reading Association's M. Jerry Weiss Book Award for The Prince of the Pond and the Golden Kite Award for Stones in Water. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Donna Jo Napoli

Beast (2000) 848 copies, 31 reviews
Zel (1996) 803 copies, 30 reviews
Stones in Water (1997) 775 copies, 13 reviews
Bound (2004) 757 copies, 48 reviews
Sirena (1998) 711 copies, 18 reviews
Daughter of Venice (2002) 539 copies, 11 reviews
Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale (2007) 515 copies, 30 reviews
Spinners (1999) 379 copies, 8 reviews
The Magic Circle (1995) 359 copies, 13 reviews
Albert (2001) 345 copies, 18 reviews
Three Days (2001) 275 copies, 4 reviews
The Smile (2008) 273 copies, 10 reviews
North (2004) 272 copies, 5 reviews
The King of Mulberry Street (2005) 240 copies, 8 reviews
The Prince of the Pond (1992) 236 copies, 5 reviews
Alligator Bayou (2009) 223 copies, 12 reviews
Fish Girl (2017) 219 copies, 19 reviews
Song of the Magdalene (1996) 216 copies, 6 reviews
Breath (2003) 215 copies, 4 reviews
Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace (1995) 170 copies, 1 review
The Wager (2010) 161 copies, 13 reviews
The Bravest Thing (1995) 145 copies, 2 reviews
Crazy Jack (1999) 125 copies, 1 review
The Great God Pan (2003) 116 copies, 8 reviews
Dark Shimmer (2015) 104 copies, 1 review
Mogo, the Third Warthog (2008) 94 copies, 4 reviews
Ugly (2005) 89 copies, 6 reviews
Fire In The Hills (2006) 84 copies
Sly the Sleuth and the Pet Mysteries (2005) 81 copies, 2 reviews
The Wishing Club: A Story About Fractions (2007) 73 copies, 5 reviews
Storm (2014) 69 copies, 6 reviews
Hunger: A Tale of Courage (2018) 68 copies, 2 reviews
Friends Everywhere (1999) 64 copies, 1 review
The Crossing (2011) 61 copies, 11 reviews
Hidden (2014) 59 copies, 3 reviews
For the Love of Venice (1998) 54 copies
Lights on the Nile (2011) 53 copies, 7 reviews
Shark Shock (1994) 46 copies
The Earth Shook: A Persian Tale (2009) 43 copies, 1 review
Skin (2013) 42 copies, 2 reviews
Ready to Dream (2009) 40 copies, 1 review
Little Creatures (1999) 39 copies
Changing Tunes (1998) 37 copies
A Single Pearl (2013) 33 copies, 6 reviews
Playing Games (Angelwings) (2000) 30 copies
On Her Own (1999) 30 copies
Syntax: Theory and Problems (1993) 29 copies
Flamingo Dream (2002) 27 copies, 2 reviews
No Fair! (Angelwings) (2000) 25 copies
How Hungry Are You? (2001) 24 copies, 2 reviews
Soccer Shock (1991) 24 copies, 1 review
In a Flash (2021) 24 copies
On Guard! (1997) 22 copies
Pink Magic (2005) 19 copies
Treasury of Bible Stories (2019) 18 copies
Bobby the Bold (2006) 15 copies, 3 reviews
Rocky: The Cat Who Barks (2002) 15 copies
Trouble On The Tracks (1996) 10 copies
Hero of Barletta, The (1988) 9 copies
Shelley Shock (2000) 7 copies
Syntactic Argumentation (1979) 6 copies
Partners (2001) 6 copies
Hotel Jungle (2004) 5 copies
Hang in There (2001) 4 copies
Linguistic muse (1979) 2 copies
Angelwing 1 copy
Hacia El Norte (2005) 1 copy
Presente Mágico (2006) 1 copy
Three Teen-Ages (2003) 1 copy
Books 1 copy
Angelwings 1 copy

Associated Works


(147) adventure (68) Africa (72) animals (57) Beauty and the Beast (67) biography (53) children's (98) China (98) Cinderella (69) fairy tale (131) fairy tale retelling (75) fairy tales (379) fairy tales retold (60) fantasy (554) fiction (641) Greek mythology (52) historical (73) historical fiction (482) history (75) Holocaust (61) Italy (133) Kenya (67) love (56) mermaids (71) non-fiction (88) novel (55) picture book (137) Rapunzel (74) read (89) retelling (145) romance (82) survival (65) teen (66) to-read (468) trees (59) unread (68) WWII (83) YA (315) young adult (392) young adult fiction (96)

Common Knowledge




I found the beginning of this book quite slow and I thought I might be disappointed which was sad because I loved the previous book "Hush". However the further I read the more invested I became and I read the second half in a couple of hours.
The main character Brigid is very strong and I loved how she broke through conventions to live the life she needed to. In this society women and especially foreign women are treated as second class citizens but Brigid refuses to be hidden away and she continues to look for her lost sister. She faces many obstacles but she intelligently overcomes each one and ends up building great character.
This book was intense, exciting and very powerful with a lesson that you don't need to give up on a dream even if it might be very difficult.
… (more)
ChariseH | 2 other reviews | May 25, 2024 |
Narrated mainly in the second person ("We fly, all of us together"), this is a poetic explanation of how murmurations of starlings form. Back matter includes a more straightforward explanation. Watercolor, pencil, and digital collage art combine to make beautiful color gradients for the sky on each page; outlines and edges are sometimes sharp, sometimes blurred.
JennyArch | Mar 30, 2024 |
I have mixed feelings for this book; on the one hand the story moves along at a good pace and you can see Xing Xing's life (how she is able to draw small comfort from just being called her name, how strongly she believes in the spirits of her father and mother, her stepmother's disdain) and you are given a very detailed accounting of what life could have been like back then. From Xing Xing's unwavering sense of duty to Wei Ping's selfishness and self-delusions and to Stepmother's (who is given no other name) obvious abuse of Xing Xing as a punishment for her husband caring for her more.

My main concern was the quick way that Xing Xing gains her confidence (in herself and trusting the future). The book isn't very long, but up until the last quarter of the book she accepts her fate, does her best to make the most of things and doesn't resent anyone. Indeed if her Stepmother hadn't done something so heinous, I doubt she would have spoken up for herself at all. Which is a crying shame because Xing Xing in the last five pages is very interesting!

The book however, like Napoli's other fairy tale retellings, offers a different look at what has been done to death. A fish as a 'fairy godmother', bibbity-boppity-boo indeed.
… (more)
lexilewords | 47 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Christina Balit Illustrator
Jim LaMarche Illustrator
Heather Maione Illustrator
Kadir Nelson Illustrator
David M. Seager Cover designer
John Green Letterer
Lita Judge Illustrator
Amy Bates Illustrator
Laurel Molk Illustrator
Judy Schachner Illustrator
Rafal Olbinski Illustrator, Cover artist
Stephen T. Johnson Cover artist
Steven Adler Cover artist
Donna Diamond Cover artist
A. Borin Traduttore
Diane Dillon Cover artist
Leo Dillon Cover artist
Rich Deas Cover designer
Mary Grandpre Cover artist


Also by
½ 3.7

Charts & Graphs