The Wager

Donna Jo Napoli

Henry Holt and Co.

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Don Giovanni was once the wealthiest and handsomest young man in Messina. Then a tidal wave changed everything. When a well-dressed stranger offers him a magical purse, he knows he shouldn’t take it. Only the devil would offer a deal like this, and only a fool would accept.  

Don Giovanni is no fool, but he is desperate. He takes the bet: he will not bathe for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days. Beauty is a small price to pay for worldly wealth, isn’t it? Unless he loses the wager—and with it his soul.

Set against the stunning backdrop of ancient Sicily, Donna Jo Napoli’s new novel is a powerful tale about discovering what truly matters most.

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Book Excerpts

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Messina, 1169
DON GIOVANNI LOOKED OUT THE CASTLE WINDOW OVER THE strait that separated the island of Sicily from the mainland. He fingered the fine silk of his shirtsleeves and smiled. “The sea is bluer because it’s mine.”
“Don’t be absurd.”
He turned. A maidservant carried a tray into the room. The scent of honey and sheep’s milk ricotta promised such sweet satisfaction that his smile lingered, despite her words. He tilted his head. “What did you say?”
“You heard me.” Her attention was on the heavy tray.

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Reviews

Praise for The Wager

“Napoli expertly sets the scene for this retelling of a traditional Sicilian tale…The lifelike, tactile details of the story make it all eerily real.” --The New York Times Book Review

“Readers follow Don Giovanni's journey of the flesh and spirit as he suffers humiliation and physical decay; descriptions of lush feasts and brightly colored brocades give way to wretched scenes described in lurid detail…Napoli never underestimates her audience, depicting human nature at its worst and its best.” --Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

Evocative of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, this marvelous story is well told, and the rich, sophisticated language will grip skilled readers.” --School Library Journal

 

A surprise twist leads to a satisfying love story and closes the novel with more joy, and fewer devilish triumphs, than the original tale.” --Booklist

 

"No hero ever deserved a happy ending or a bath more.” --Kirkus Reviews

 

Napoli ably describes the ensuing tribulations Don Giovanni undergoes as he becomes more offensive to be around even as he longs for companionship for the first time in his life.” --VOYA

 

“Impeccable pacing conveys the burden of the three-year ordeal, and even those readers for whom the end is no surprise will breathe a sigh of relief to find Giovanni reclaimed and within reach of happiness.” --BCCB, STARRED review

 

There's something rotten at the center of this novel-length fairy-tale retelling, and that's what makes it so delightful.” --Horn Book Magazine


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About the Author

Donna Jo Napoli

Donna Jo Napoli teaches linguistics at Swarthmore College. An acclaimed author whose books have won such honors as the Sydney Taylor Book Award and the Golden Kite Award, Donna Jo lives with her family in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

www.donnajonapoli.com

Donna Jo Napoli

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Wager
Donna Jo Napoli

Award

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Henry Holt and Co.
April 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429946810
ISBN10: 1429946814
Young Adult Fiction272 pages
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Range: 7 and up
$9.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Henry Holt and Co.
April 2010
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805087819
ISBN10: 0805087818
Young Adult Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Range: 7 and up Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


F&P Level A-Z: Z+

$16.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Square Fish
11/18/2014
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250050809
ISBN10: 1250050804
Young Adult Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages
Age Range: 12 to 18
Grade Range: 7 and up
$9.99
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Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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