Monday, September 3, 2012

Books for Kids Hooked on Greek Myths

I have focused on this subject before, but there is no end to the voracious appetite that kids have, after finishing Percy Jackson, for their Greek myths.  Thankfully these stories have been around for quite some time, so Rick Riordan isn't the only author to give us another take on these mighty legends and larger than life deities.

This week I am introducing you to Myth-O-Mania, an extremely fun series with quite a humorous take on the Greek gods.  I also have a series from the UK, which may not be as well known here, but is quite popular across the pond.  And finally, I cannot leave out my beloved Norwegian gods and goddesses.  A fabulous retelling of an ancient Norwegian poem, in story format, rounds out my list.

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Title:      Myth-O-Mania: Have a Hot Time, Hades!

Author:  Kate McMullan

Target:   Grades 4-7

Series:    Yes

What this book is about:
This book is a hilarious, tongue and cheek take on the Greek myths from the perspective of Hades.  Seems that Zeus overinflated his role in the overthrow of the Titans to become Ruler of the Universe.  Hades gives us a blow by blow description of the history of the gods, from Hades’ life in the belly of Cronus, to the epic kickball match that determined who would live in Olympus.  Also, we can’t forget the poker game that divided the realm.  

Why I love this book:
Any kid interested in Greek myths will devour this book.  This is such a funny look at these stories that I was laughing the whole time I was reading it!  But aside from the humor, the book does provide a great overview of the Titans, the Olympians and their children.  Without realizing it, your kids will improve their knowledge of these stories and the role of the gods.

Who this book is for:
Any child who is interested in Greek myths and who likes funny books.  This is a fast paced story and the type is larger so it is not at all intimidating for reluctant readers.

Final thoughts:
Leave it to the King of the Underworld to have the “true story!”

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Have a Hot Time, Hades! (Myth-O-Mania)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:      The Fire Thief

Author:  Terry Deary

Target:  Grades 4-7

Series:   This is a trilogy

What this story is about: 
This story is based on the myth of Prometheus, who is punished by Zeus for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans.  Prometheus manages to escape his punishment, but Zeus will not forgive him until Prometheus finds one true human hero.  A pair of magic wings and a trip to the future lead him to Eden City.  Here he meets Jim and Uncle Edward, two theatrical thieves, and their stories intertwine.

Why I love this book:
The book is not long, and it is a fairly easy read but it’s tone is funny with lots of sarcasm thrown it.  Comical footnotes throughout the book add an amusing touch.

I liked how the two stories came together.  Felt almost like two stories in one and the humor reminded me quite a bit of The Pig Scrolls!

Who this book is for:
If your child got obsessed with greek gods after Percy Jackson, this is a fun book to fuel their interest! 

Final thoughts:
A really spirited read for those interested in the greek gods!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: The Fire Thief (Fire Thief Trilogy, Book 1)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:      Thor’s Wedding Day

Author:  Bruce Coville

Target:   Grades 4-8

Series:    No

What this book is about:
This story is based on an old Norse poem about Thor, the Thunder God.  In this book, Thor’s hammer is stolen by the giants and the giants demand the hand of the goddess Freya as payment for its return.  Freya has no intention of being betrothed to a giant, so Thor must disguise himself as the goddess of love and beauty and try to convince the giants he is the real deal.  He has the help of his goat boy (our narrator) and Loki, a norse god better known for his ability to make mischief than anything else!  Will the ruse work, or will Thor’s hammer be lost forever?

Why I love this book:
Well first off, any book that entertains us with my beloved Norwegian myths is a winner!  But despite my obvious bias for the subject matter, Coville does a wonderful job of bringing the story to life, introducing us to some of the more colorful characters in Norse mythology and infusing some laugh out loud humor into this already clever story!

I was actually surprised by how much mythology Coville got into the book, and while it may slow the story dow a bit, it is a great primer for kids who may not be as familiar with some of the characters.

Who this book is for:
Kids who like mythology and those who like funny books.

Final thoughts:
In my humble opinion, Coville wrote the character of Freya a bit too temper mental, but thankfully her beauty is undisputed!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Thor's Wedding Day: By Thialfi, the goat boy, as told to and translated by Bruce Coville (Magic Carpet Books)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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