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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Greek mythology, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 58
1. Goddess Girls & Heroes in Training | Book Giveaway

Enter to win an autographed copy of Goddess Girls #14: Iris the Colorful and Heroes in Training #7: Ares and the Spear of Fear, written by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams. Giveaway begins July 31, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends August 30, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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2. Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite

The Science of Monsters: The Origins of the Creatures We Love to Fear Matt Kaplan

Kaplan looks at many mythical monsters and what was going on in the world that people explained with monsters. He then looks at how the roles of the particular monster have changed over the years as our understanding and world has changed. I think it's at it's strongest when talking about the scientific explanation for things that we understand now, but back then Occam's Razor really did logically lead to "vampire." I also found the exploration of the role such creatures play today in our collective psyche (and how it has changed over time) to be interesting--especially when he looks at what we most fear today, and what's going on in our world that makes us fear those things instead of others. (Although, see below, I do have a few complaints about this section.)

Kaplan writes for the Economist, and much of this book has that same tone of sarcastic snark, which is something I personally love but may be a major turn-off for some readers. It's an adult book, but it's written in a very accessible, readable style (again, think Economist) and I think many teens would enjoy it.

My main complaint is when he’s looking at Greek monsters today, he obviously uses a lot of Percy Jackson, but… he uses the movie, not the books. I’m not even sure he’s aware that they are books. *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* He does the same thing with Harry Potter, but we at least mentions the books. When it comes to adult stuff (such as Jurassic Park) he’ll actually talk about the differences between books and movie.

But, I did learn a lot and it was very readable and interesting. It’s mostly European-centric, but he does pull in non-European cultures and monsters occasionally. He does a great job at looking how sometimes different cultures have different monsters that look similar but are very different-- often one sees it as evil, one sees it as an overall benevolent force.

It’s a great look at how humans use monsters to explain what we don’t understand and also as a way to name our fears.


Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

0 Comments on Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite as of 5/14/2014 11:56:00 PM
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3. Everbound

Everbound Brodi Ashton

Jake went into the Everneath in Nikki’s place. Jake is what kept her alive when she was there and she’s not about to let him go that easily. There’s only one solution--she’s going in after him. Of course, to save him, she has to work with, and trust, Cole, who has his own agenda for getting Nikki back to the Everneath.

I do love a good story where the girl saves the guy. I also like how this one builds on the mythology, politics, and world-building of the Everneath. You really get to dig into this world more, as most of the action takes place in the Everneath as Nikki tries to rescue Jake.

I reviewed the third book in the trilogy, Evertrue, here at RT Book Reviews.


Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

0 Comments on Everbound as of 5/7/2014 9:42:00 AM
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4. Everneath

Everneath Brodi Ashton

Nikki Beckett is back in town, but everything’s different. She’s been gone for 6 months and there are rumors surrounding where she’s been--most people assume rehab. She knows she was taken by Everliving, an immortal who feasts on human energy. Being feasted on kills you, but Nikki survived, never being able to forget Jake, her boyfriend. But because Nikki survived, she’s not the only one who’s back--Cole, the Everliving who dragged her into the Everneath, is also back, and has to get her to go back to the Everneath with him. Nikki only has 6 months, and then she has to go back for good. 6 months to say goodbye properly and to make everything right, but it’ll be harder than she ever expected.

I liked this one. It’s told in alternating timelines, now, when Nikki’s trying to settle back into life so she can fix the mess she left behind and make things OK for when she goes away again, and then, which shows the beginning of her relationship with Jake, and how she ended up in the Everneath. This allows for a slow unveiling of the backstory, and a slow introduction to the mythology that Ashton’s creating and playing with (overall, the story is Persephone meets Orpheus). I also liked her family. Things are tense with her politician father after her disappearance, but they’re working on it. I like the balance he tries to strike between being a responsible parent and getting her the help he thinks she needs and not being so stifling that she leaves again. And her little brother is awesome.

I also just liked Nikki. I liked her voice. I liked that she didn’t have any superpowers, but could also take care of herself. She wasn’t a shy mousey clutzy girl that everyone actually loved, but was more middle-of-the-road real.

Stay tuned for my review of the sequel tomorrow.

ARC Provided by... the publisher for review consideration (hey look at that! Sometimes I do get around to reading the unsolicited ARCs that I set aside because they look interesting!)

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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5. Book Review- Fleeced by Julia Wills

Title: Fleeced
 Author: Julia Wills

Series:  N/A
Published:  1 January 2014 by Templar
Length: 400pages
 Source: Publisher
Summary : Meet Aries, the wise-cracking ghost-ram of the Golden Fleece!
Aries, the ram of Golden Fleece fame, remains furious at the loss of his beautiful coat - stolen by Jason and the Argonauts centuries ago. So he hatches a plan to return to earth, along with his friend Alex, zookeeper of the Underworld. But instead of arriving in ancient Greece, they teleport slap-bang into the British Museum in modern day London.
Aries and Alex soon discover that the Golden Fleece is in the clutches of evil immortal sorceress Medea - now a world-famous fashion designer. With the help of twelve-year-old human girl Rose, Aries and Alex must foil Medea's wicked plans and save Aries from an eternity of being bald!
A madcap, mythological adventure ewe don't want to miss!
Review: Those of you who know Greek Mythology may have heard about Jason and the Argonauts and their quest to find the Golden Fleece. Everyone remembers Jason, but what about the ram? Aries, the ram from whom the Fleece is stolen, is still upset at the loss of his fleece. When Athena holds a contest in the Underworld for a chance to go up to the real world, Aries and Underworld zookeeper Alex compete and win, sending them up to modern day London. With the help of a human girl, Rose, they try and find the Fleece. It won't be as easy as they hoped. It's  in the hands of Medea, the sorceress, who is now a fashion designer, and who has a plan for the next wearer of the clothes made with fleece...
  I heard about this at the Templar/Hot Key blogger event thing. They said something along the lines of “I know this is aimed at slightly younger readers but I think you'll enjoy it.” Whoever said that was right.
The idea for this is wonderful. The big name Greek myth book is of course Percy Jackson, and Fleeced presents Greek mythology in a totally different way.
Either Rose or Aries is my favourite character. Not sure which. Rose is a wellbuilt character, and one of the few twelve year olds I don't find really annoying. Aries, well for starters non human main characters are awesome, and I love his thought processes. Medea is a wonderfully put together interpretation of the one from the original myth. Both she and Rose are sharp and clever, and seeing them dance around eachother with wits is great to read.  I didn't really like Hazel, because she didn't seem to do much, but everyone else was good.
The plot moves quickly, with a lot of back and forth around the scenes for effective cliffhangers, with commentary remarking that they're moving back and forth around the scenes.  It works in a lot of Greek myth elements, and I liked seeing them all have a small part.
This is one of the most fun, and funniest, books I've read all year.  My love of Greek Mythology meant I enjoyed all the gags about that, and there's lots of more modern jokes in it too. Then there's the chapter titles, of which about 95% are puns. By the time I got to The Flocky Horror Show, I was  absolutely done.  Then there's everything to do with
The narrator is one of the most sarcastic ones I've met. They're chatty, and narrate everyhing in a distinct way that made me laugh a lot. Then there's the bit at the end, the scroll providing a handy glossary of creatures and characters in Greek Mythology. Best who's who ever; Medusa's says “anyone who looked at her immediately utrned into stone, which made it very difficult to get agood hairdresser” and Narcissus' says “He stayed by the pool until he died. I know. How silly was that? But, as I said, he was good looking, not smart”.
Final point-my Latin teacher loves the idea of this. 
Overall:  Strength 4 tea to another book spreading the love for Greek Mythology
Quotes from the Uncorrected Proof. They may change in the final copy.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

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6. Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, by George O’Connor | Book Review

The Olympians is a series based on Greek mythology that is captivating, and, more importantly for mythology fans, historically accurate. O’Connor tackles each god in succession in his series, which starts with, of course, Zeus, Athena, Hera, Hades and Poseidon. The newest addition to O’Connor’s Olympians series is Aphrodite: Goddess of Love.

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7. Goddess Girls: Athena the Proud, Book 13 | Book Giveaway

Enter to win an autographed copy of Goddess Girls #13: Athena the Proud, by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams. Giveaway begins April 24, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 23, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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8. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | April 2014

It's just so great when The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book turns out to be a great classic. Such is the case with this months title, The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy, by Padraic Colum—what a great introduction to the always intriguing Greek mythology. The hand selected titles from the nationwide best selling middle grade books, as listed by The New York Times, feature books by super-talents Kate DiCamillo, Katherine Applegate and R.J. Palacio.

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9. Medusa's Head

As you can tell from my Medusa book (or if you've taken one of my Humanities courses), I'm a bit of a mythology junkie.
I thought I had looked upon almost every depiction of Medusa imaginable, but today, I just found another new one:

Now that one creeps me out. It's not just scary, but it's realistic, as if I'd be scared to get within a few feet of that dead head--and the snakes don't look dead at all! EEEk.
One look would indeed petrify me with fear.
Another creepy one that isn't as scary, but is more famous is by Caravaggio, the Baroque painter:



And then another fairly common image in relief sculptures:
http://www.loggia.com/myth/images/medusa01.gif.

There, your Medusa for the day.

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10. Greek Mythology Easy Readers by Joan Holub | Book Giveaway

Enter to win autographed copies of Do Not Open: The Story of Pandora's Box & The One-Eyed People Eater: The Story of Cyclops, by Joan Holub. Giveaway begins March 4, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends April 3, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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11. Goddess Girls, Book 12: Persephone the Daring | Giveaway

Enter to win an autographed copy of Goddess Girls, Book 12: Persephone the Daring. Giveaway begins September 20, 2013, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 18, 2013, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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12. Book Review-The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Title: The Song of Achilles
 Author: Madeline Miller
Series:   N/A
Published:   September 2011
Length: 384 pages
Warnings: gently described sex scenes, taking of women as prisoners to most likely be used and abused, the normal gore/death/blood that comes with Greek mythology and war
Source: library
Summary : Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.
Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.
Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

Review: Patroclus, son of a king,  is just a boy when he is exiled for accidentally kiiling another boy. Sent to the court of King Peleus, he gradually befriends and falls in love with his son Achilles, growing close over training for war and despite sea-goddess Thetis, Achilles’ mother, disapproving. Carry on a few years. Helen of Sparta’s been kidnapped. Achilles is destined to go to war and be the greatest of the Greeks. Patroclus is honour bound to go to war because of an oath he swore when he was nine and being put up as a suitor for Helen. Together they go to war and meet their destinies.
I’ve been in love with Greek mythology since I was...eight? maybe. And ever since we studied the Trojan War in history when I was ten, I’ve loved it (even though the thing I’ve always remembered most is that Hector dies and Achilles drags his body round Troy three times). So yeah. Retelling of Illiad. Fun times.
Patroclus is really the main character, despite the title. You follow him from an early age, you get into his head a lot, you see him following around Achilles a lot. Achilles is a bit annoying at times, but also kind at times, mainly because Patroclus asks him to be. My favourite character is Briseis, a girl from one of the villages raided that Patroclus asks Achilles to claim, and then befriends. I also really liked Odysseus. Some of the Greek kings were idiots.
The romance features heavily. The connection between Patroclus and Achilles is different to the typical male/male relationship structure seen in Ancient Greece-it’s a very deep one, grown over years, that you can easily see how it would set up the climax of Patroclus’ story-Achilles sulking after Briseis is taken, Patroclus going off in Achilles armour, and the following events.
You get a lot of action written well. It’s all very quick, you feel as though you’re there. Madeline uses the mythology really really heavily, giving sea-goddess Thetis a starring part, and having gods like Apollo show up onthe battlefield. I would have liked to go a little more into the way that the gods interact with humans, but I guess that wasn’t really the focus. Also, there’s a lot of stories from along the timelines of Patroclus and Achilles, for example the killing that sets it up, the training of Patroclus and Achilles with centaur Chiron, the hiding as a woman at someone’s palace that Achilles does to avoid  being called to war and so on. I would have liked Madeline to put in a bit more of her own spin on things like plot and characterisation, instead of the only major additions to the stories I already know being Patroclus gushing over Achilles (which he does fairly regularly).
The writing is poetic, the dialogues a little less so. It’s kind of awkward going into a book knowing that your narrator dies. However, Madeline keeps the story going after this happens, really well, before drawing it to a good conclusion.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a beautiful retelling of the Illiad, with further backstory and character interaction.

1 Comments on Book Review-The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, last added: 9/11/2013
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13. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1), by Rick Riordan


Release Date: April 1st, 2006
Age Group: Middle Grade
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Bought
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Interest: Series, Greek Mythology
Categories: Fantasy, 
Greek Mythology
Read in February 2013

Summary:
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

My Opinion:


Ever since watching the film, I've wanted to read this book. Now I have more bookish friends who love anything Riordan, so I thought it was time for me to read this. I started it yesterday morning and finished it just a little while ago. I haven't read a book that fast in a long while! 

A lot of people compare this book to Harry Potter and I guess now I see why. Percy is a 12-year-old boy who keeps experiencing weird things in his life, and is forced to go to a summer camp for demigods to learn  (among other things) how to stay alive. Another comparison I made was the fact that this book also featured a trio of MC's: Percy, Annabeth and Grover (much like Harry, Hermione and Ron). 

But apart from those little things, TLT is a book that stands on its own, and is packed with excitement, magic and Greek mythology, something a geek like me loves! (I'm placing this book under the MG category, but a YA fan can be just as enthralled by it.)

The first chapter alone is a mind-boggling one, that traps you right into the story. I think that is just what books today are lacking, the ability to grab your attention in just the first chapter; instead, they make you wait until the third, fourth chapter to let you know what's really going on. 

Percy's voice is so rich, and his way of talking to the reader flows beautifully off the pages. I know this is a book I'll be giving to my little brothers in their future birthdays. Every character is as tridimensional as Percy, they all have their quirks, and there are so many of them! I was fascinated by the way Riordan crafted so many people and never once lost me along the way. I knew just who everyone was, and I started feeling different emotions toward each of them.

I especially enjoyed the descriptions in this book, going from the Half-Blood Hill and its Camp for Half-Bloods, to the layout of NYC and Las Vegas, and finally, the Underworld and the Olympus. Everything was beautifully detailed; the film didn't do this book any justice. 

The Lightning Thief is going to my favourites shelf right away! 

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14. “Studying Mythology? Consider Reading These Contemporary Fiction Novels for Added Insight,” by Patricia Garza


From the stories of Hades and the Underworld to Persephone and Zeus.
Thousands of years ago brilliant minds like Homer and Plutarch told and wrote the tales of characters like Zeus, Hades and Persephone. The stories ranged in theme, moral and purpose, but had such far-reaching, universal appeal, many of the motifs can still be found in the literary works of today. At its core, mythology served as a way for humans to analyze both themselves and life as a whole—something people still do—either independently or in classes— to this day.
Humans seem to have this innate desire to make sense of their existence and the world around them, and that is reflected in the arts such as writing, music and dance. That being said, it comes as no surprise to me that several contemporary teen fiction/young adult novels mirror these thoughts and ideals. Below are just some titles to consider if you are looking for some added mythological context. Many of them use the myths and characters in modern settings, which eloquently displays their timeless relevance.
Iris, Messenger
Centered around middle-schooler Iris Greenworld, this book by Sarah Deming puts ancient Greek gods and goddesses like Dionysus, Aphrodite and more in modern day Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Throughout the novel, Iris learns some lessons in self-confidence and strength, while also instilling some morals of her own onto the gods and goddesses. She also learns of various myths. It’s a great take on a traditional coming of age novel as it has an element of escapism I think many adolescents crave, while giving a cool, relevant history/culture lesson all at the same time.
Overall, it’s a story about self-discovery, which, if you think about it, is all the myths really were to begin with. Trying tales of a species trying to make sense of its existence.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Really any book in this series is a great example of the juxtaposition of the modern world and ancient characters from myths of the past—this one just happens to be my favorite. Taking place in New York, the story centers on Percy Jackson—a demigod who is just 12 years old. The ever-present reminders that they are, in fact, in modern times, such as the presence of magical sneakers and references to a Las Vegas Casino, help the reader connect to what might otherwise be a foreign, unrelatable topic.
It keeps readers grounded in reality, while giving them just enough room to slip into the fantasy realm. Overall, just like the other works mentioned, it helps remind people that no matter how far we’ve come as a species, the human experience will remain the same—same hopes, fears, dreams and emotions curse through us as they did through the people around during the heyday of these myths.
Oh.My.Gods
Authored by Tera Lynn Childs, this book examines the life of Phoebe, a high-schooler with dreams of attending USC. When a strange, unexpected turn of events places her on a secret island in Greece, amongst peers who have god-like superpowers, she is forced to find her inner strength in order to persevere. Along the way, she is faced with her fair-share of distractions, because after all, everyone has their own “Achilles heel.”
That is perhaps the biggest take-away from this book, that regardless of era or culture, people are imperfect and must rely on a sense of self and willpower to succeed.
Psyche in a Dress
Call me bias, but this book just might be my favorite on the list. It follows the life of Psyche—a young woman struggling to find her identity. I find it so compelling, because it gets right down to the fact that the struggle of self-acceptance is far from a new concept. It is an age-old dilemma that, women especially, struggle with.
All about lost love, and loving one’s self, this is a great read for anyone trying to have faith in themselves as an individual.
Nobody’s Princess
Written by Esther Friesner, this story recounts the tale of Helen of Troy—only this time from a different perspective. Although unlike the other books listed this novel does not take place in particularly “modern times” its approach is definitely contemporary as it allows the reader to hear and connect with Helen’s inner feminist. Unlike the traditional tale where Helen is seen as an object, she is given real personality and character here. She’s an individual with her own thoughts and feelings and girls everywhere can connect with her.
This is a must-read for anyone who can relate to the feeling of being ignored and overlooked—a timeless emotion far too many people experience….
So, whether you’re studying it for a class, or just interested in it yourself, you might consider reading one of these books. They offer new, fresh perspective on age-old tales we’ve all heard.
Patricia Garza is a freelance blogger and education writer that can offer suggestions on anything from choosing between accredited online colleges to picking a major. She welcomes your comments below.

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15. Giveaway: Heroes in Training Book 1: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 7, 2012

Enter to win a copy of Suzanne Williams’ and Joan Holub’s first book in their newest series, Heroes in Training Book 1: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom—plus a Heroes in Training bookmark.

After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series!

Giveaway begins August 7, 2012, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 4, 2012, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Reading level: Ages 6 and up

Paperback: 112 pages


Overview

The terrible Titans—merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans—have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe….

Ten-year-old Zeus is mystified (and super-annoyed) by the fact that he keeps getting hit by lightening. Every. Single. Year. He also longs for adventure, as he has never been far from the cave where he grew up.

Zeus gets his wish—and a lot more than he bargained for—when he is kidnapped by dangerous half-giants who work for evil King Cronus. After a harrowing sea journey and an escape, he is cornered in a temple in Delphi. In self-defense, he grabs the first thing he sees—an actual thunderbolt he pulls from a stone. Because of that feat, Zeus is soon off on a quest to rescue his youthful fellow Olympians from the clutches of the evil king Cronus. Armed with his trusty thunderbolt (named Bolt, of course), Zeus is on an adventure of a lifetime—and a journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Gods.

About the Authors

Joan Holub is the author of 130 books for young readers, including Zero the Hero, Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers and Swirly Stars, and Shampoodle. She lives in North Carolina. Visit her at joanholub.com.

Suzanne Williams is the author of 35 books for young readers, including Library Lil, Ten Naughty Little Monkeys, and the Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power series. She lives near Seattle in Washington State. Visit her at suzanne-williams.com

Joan and Suzanne are co-authors of the the Goddess Girls series: Athena the Brain, Persephone the Phony, plus ten more titles, and the Heroes In Training series:Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom; Poseidon and the Sea of Fury (Jan. 2013), and two more titles.

How to Enter

  • Fill out the required fields below
  • Enter once daily

Giveaway Rules

  • Shipping Guidelines: This book giveaway is open to all participants.
  • Giveaway begins August 7, 2012, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 4, 2012, at 11:59 P.M. PST, when all entries must be received. No purchase necessary. See Add a Comment
16. Abandon

AbandonAbandon Meg Cabot

Two years ago, Pierce died. She hit her head, fell into a pool, and was dead for over an hour before the doctors could bring her back. Since then though, things haven't been the same. The adults in her life think she's slightly mentally unbalanced, and after what happened at her last school, dangerous. But Pierce knows the truth-- there's evil in the world and she can see it. She has to stop it.

After her mother moves her back to her hometown on the Isla Huesos (Island of Bones-- very much based on Cabot's current home of Key West) Pierce starts to discover more and more clues about what happened, and why.

So... this is based on Persephone. Basic premise is Pierce meets John (Death Deity) in a graveyard when she's young. When she dies, she sees him again. He gives her a pretty necklace. Pierce can't accept she's dead, runs away, and ends up back in the world of the living. John keeps showing up to save her from bad guys trying to kill her. And now Pierce has moved right on the gateway of it all (so... like Sunnydale's Hellmouth, but it's the mouth of all dead stuff, good and bad.)

So this is Cabot doing something a bit darker than most of what she does. It's not too twisted or dark or depressing and if you like Cabot, you'll probably like this, but just be warned, it's not funny (and it's not trying to be).

BUT! TOTAL CLIFFHANGER ENDING! Gah! That's how the 2nd book in a trilogy is supposed to end!* Not the first!!!!

I like how this takes a well-known myth and doesn't retell it, but uses it to go in a completely different direction.

I like the world Cabot has built and can't wait to explore it more. I really want to see what's going on with the A-wingers and why Pierce's cousin hates them so much.

I also like Pierce a lot. She's nice and strong, but has believable weak moments, so she seems more real. The tension between her and John doesn't overtake the novel (in fact, there could have been more). I like that she's dealing with some serious other stuff besides boys and her problems aren't of her own invention. She's troubled, but not annoyingly neurotic.

Also, I love that Pierce and her friends who are obviously the good guys are all in the New Pathways program, which is for troubled youth. Yay for a book that paints troubled kids as real kids with yes, problems, but they aren't the bad guys, even if the rest of town sees them that way.

Overall, I really liked it and can't wait to read more.

*This is a rule I learned when Boba Fett carted off Han's carbonite encased body at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. It's not a rule I like, but it's one I have come to accept. Luckily for me, when

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17. Cover Art Revealed: Dreaming Awake (Falling Under #2) by Gwen Hayes

Gwen Hayes recently revealed the cover art for the sequel in her Falling Under series, Dreaming Awake. Check it out:

Coming January 3, 2012!


She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…


I think this cover is really beautiful. The rose petals she's laying on, her elaborately curled hair and that gorgeous, gorgeous dress all evoke the romance of the story, while the black rose in her hand, and the contrast of the black on her dress with the red of the rose petals gives it a kind of Gothic feel. It's also a nice inversion of the first book's cover -- which had black roses and a red dress. I'm not crazy about the title though -- it just doesn't quite have that ring to it, you know?

What do you think? Does this make you want to read the series? Have you read Falling Under? I need to! I've heard it's really good.

Here's the Falling Under cover for comparison:




In other news...

Rachel Hawkins just announced that the third book in the Hex Hall series has a title! And it is...*drumroll please*...

SPELL BOUND

I think it works well with the other two-syllable titles in the se

2 Comments on Cover Art Revealed: Dreaming Awake (Falling Under #2) by Gwen Hayes, last added: 6/25/2011
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18. Waiting on Wednesday: A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2) by Kelly Keaton

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting!


Coming February 21, 2012!


A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2) by Kelly Keaton

A power she can’t deny. A destiny she’s determined to fight.

When Ari first arrived in the dilapidated city of New 2, all she wanted was to figure out who she was. But what she discovered was beyond her worst nightmare. Ari can already sense the evil growing inside her—a power the goddess Athena will stop at nothing to possess.

Desperate to hold on to her humanity and protect her loved ones, Ari must fight back. But Athena’s playing mind games, not just with Ari but with those she cares about most. And Athena has a very special plan for the brooding and sexy Sebastian.

Ari is determined to defeat Athena, but time is running out. With no other options, Ari must unleash the very thing she’s afraid of: herself.

I LOVED Darkness Becomes Her, so I cannot WAIT for the sequel! The New Orleans atmosphere, mythology, magic, mystery and even a little dystopian for good measure -- what's not to love? Athena was a killer character in the first book, and I can't wait to see what chaos she has up her sleeve in this one -- especially where "brooding and sexy Sebastian" is concerned. I also hadn't seen this cover until recently, but I think it works PERFECTLY with the books. There's nothing quiet as haunting and creepy as a weeping angel, don't you think?

Have you read Darkness Becomes Her? Wasn't it a-MAZ-ing?
19. Giveaway: Aphrodite the Diva (Goddess Girls)

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 17, 2011

Calling all contemporary tweens! Enter to win a copy of Goddess Girls #6: Aphrodite the Diva by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams—a classic Greek myth with a modern twist. Will Aphrodite end up proving she’s a diva with more beauty than brains? We have one (1) signed copy to giveaway to one lucky reader! Giveaway begins August 17, 2011, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 15, 2011, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Reading level: Ages 8-12
Paperback: 220 pages

About the Goddess Girls series: These classic myths from the Greek pantheon are given a modern twist that contemporary tweens can relate to, from dealing with bullies like Medusa to a first crush on an unlikely boy. Goddess Girls follows four goddesses-in-training—Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis—as they navigate the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.

“…a clever take on Greek deities…” ~ Booklist

“…an enchanting mythological world with middle-school woes compounded by life as a deity…” ~ School Library Journal

Book overview: After a teeny misunderstanding in class, Aphrodite is failing Hero-ology. To raise her grade, she concocts a brilliant plan—an extra-credit project for matchmaking mortals. This brings her face-to-face with fierce competition—an Egyptian goddessgirl named Isis. Now the race is on to see which of them can matchmake Pygmalion—the most annoying boy ever! Will Aphrodite wind up making a passing grade after all? Or will she end up proving she’s a diva with more beauty than brains?

About Joan Holub: Joan Holub is the author of over 130 books including eight in the Goddess Girls series: Athena the Brain, Persephone the Phony, Aphrodite the Beauty, Artemis the Brave, Athena the Wise, Aphrodite the Diva, Artemis the Loyal, Medusa the Mean (ages 8-12; co-written with pal Suzanne Williams). Coming soon: Zero the Hero (illus by Tom Lichtenheld 2-2012, Henry Holt & Co); Wagons Ho! (Albert Whitman & Co 2011); Who Was Babe Ruth? (2012). Her other books include: Groundhog Weather School; Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers and Swirly Stars; and The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School.

Visit her at http://www.joanholub.com and http://joanholub.blogspot.com.

About Suzanne Williams: Suzanne Williams has written over 30 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives in Renton,Washington (near Seattle). Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children’s choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. Her most recent series are Princess Power (ages 8 – 12), Fairy Blossoms (ages 7 – 10), and the popular Goddess Girls (ages 8 – 12, with co-author Joan Holub.) You can visit her at her website: www.suzanne-williams.com and

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20. Children's book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters: a review

Dorling Kindersley, Inc. 2011. Children's Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters: An introduction to fascinating myths and legends from around the world. New York: DK.

Thanks to the prolific writer, Rick Riordan,  kids cannot get enough of mythical beasts and magical monsters.  DK's new book should give them all the background information they need to keep up with Rick Riordan or their favorite fantasy writers.

This book is much more than a mythology book, however.  It is divided into three loosely organized sections, Nature and Nation, Magic and Mayhem, and Quests and Battles.  Each section contains approximately fifteen to thirty different entries covering civilizations from across the globe and spanning all of recorded history.


Nature and Nation features creation and pourquoi stories,  Magic and Mayhem - tall tales, legends, legendary creatures and trickster tales. Quests and Battles is self-explanatory - dragons, Robin Hood, El Dorado, Durga, the Hindu warrior goddess and more.  There are four "types" of pages with the book, each type marked with a color-coded symbol,

  • Around the World: Wonder at the similarities and common elements in myths from around the world
  • Who's Who: Find out about the relationships between gods of certain cultures and characters that feature in famous legends
  • Telling the Tale: Discover the excitement and drama of myths that have been passed down from generation to generation.
  • Character Up Close: Take a close-up look at mythological characters, how they are depicted, their role and their adventures.
With a table of contents, usage guide, extensive index, glossary, and acknowledgments for the hundreds of illustrations from museums and libraries, this is more of a reference book than a browsing book, however, its appealing layout and busy pages will likely attract browsers as well.  The Children's Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters can easily serve as a starting point for school reports. A well-balanced and informative book.

This images of this cover found on the web are not entirely accurate.  The actual colors are much brighter and more garish than portrayed - jarring, to be sure, but most certainly eye-catching!  Kids will pick this one up.

Today's
3 Comments on Children's book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters: a review, last added: 9/26/2011
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21. The Lost Hero (MG)

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (#1 Heroes of Olympus) 2010. Hyperion. 576 pages.


Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day.

I had my doubts. Even though it's Rick Riordan, I had my doubts. How could The Lost Hero hope to compete with The Lightning Thief. It could be good, it could even be really good. But how could it really compare with such a great book?! For me, that was THE best book, the one that was the best of them all. Yes, the series as a whole was a good adventure, but the first one? Well it was OH-SO-MAGICAL!

I was surprised by how much I loved this one. I thought it was a great read. Compelling, exciting, and magical!!! It has multiple narrators. Now practically every book with multiple narrators has me sharing with you how much I really don't like that element in books, but with this one it WORKED and worked well. It didn't feel awkward or silly like it does in Rick Riordan's other series--The Kane Chronicles, The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire.

Our narrators, our heroes and heroines, are Jason, Piper, and Leo. Two have been under the protection of Coach Hedge, the third appears out of nowhere on a school field trip. The mist effecting everyone's memories--even Piper and Leo. (Piper just KNOWS that Jason has been her boyfriend for weeks. She can almost remember every moment they've ever shared.) But trouble is coming and the three will have to fight to survive long enough to reach the safety of Camp Half-blood. To complicate matters, Jason has NO MEMORY at all of who he is or where he came from.

So the book does feature a quest, and it is EXCITING. I won't go into the details of this one. Chances are if you're familiar with Percy Jackson and his series, then you'll want to read this new series anyway. And if you haven't read Percy Jackson yet, if you've yet to discover the joys of The Lightning Thief, then this is NOT the place to start your journey with Rick Riordan.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 Comments on The Lost Hero (MG), last added: 9/28/2011
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22. The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2)

The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2). Rick Riordan. 2011. Hyperion. 525 pages.

The snake-haired ladies were starting to annoy Percy. They should have died three days ago when he dropped a crate of bowling balls on them at the Napa Bargain Mart. They should have died two days ago when he ran over them with a police car in Martinez. They definitely should have died this morning when he cut off their heads in Tilden Park.  

I loved this book. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book. The Son of Neptune is the sequel to The Lost Hero. In the first book, a new hero, Jason Grace, is introduced to readers. He with two other newbies (Piper and Leo) are trying to reach the relative safety of the Camp Half Blood, the Greek camp. They arrive, of course, meet everyone--including some characters that we know and love--and are sent on a big, big, big mission of their own.

The second book stars Percy Jackson. He is trying to make his way to camp--but not the Greek camp that is his home away from home. No, when readers meet Percy he can't remember who he is--not really. Though he has a very strong but very vague memory of Annabeth. No, he's on his way to the Roman camp for demi-gods.

This book is all about Roman mythology. We see how the sons and daughters of Roman gods and goddesses do things. Is this Roman camp anything like Camp Half-Blood?! Percy becomes close with two campers in particular Frank and Hazel. In fact, the story is told in alternating perspectives of the three.

I really, really, really loved reading all three perspectives. I loved the new characters, the new mythologies, the new stories. I loved the action and adventure of it. I thought it was an exciting read. It was just a great, great book!

I would definitely recommend this one. But I'd start with the first book of the first series, The Lightning Thief, and go from there.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 Comments on The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2), last added: 11/8/2011
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23. Giveaway: Goddess Girls #7, Artemis the Loyal

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 9, 2011

Enter to win a signed copy of Goddess Girls #7: Artemis the Loyal by Suzanne Williams & Joan Holub. This dynamic writing duo give classic myths from the Greek pantheon a modern twist that contemporary tweens can relate to!

Giveaway begins December 9, 2011, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends January 6, 2012, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Reading level: Ages 8-12

Paperback: 288 pages

Book overview: It’s time for the annual Olympic Games, and the four goddessgirls are not happy–especially Artemis. Even though she’s better at sports than most of the godboys, she can’t compete because rules say the Games are boys-only. No fair!

Led by Artemis, Athena, Persphone and Aphrodite, the ladies of Mount Olympus hatch a plan to get Zeus to open up the games to everyone. Will they succeed–or end up watching from the sidelines again?

About the Goddess Girls series: These classic myths from the Greek pantheon are given a modern twist that contemporary tweens can relate to, from dealing with bullies like Medusa to a first crush on an unlikely boy. Goddess Girls follows four goddesses-in-training – Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis – as they navigate the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.

“…a clever take on Greek deities…” ~ Booklist

“…an enchanting mythological world with middle-school woes compounded by life as a deity…” ~ School Library Journal

Next to comeMedusa the Mean (April 2012)

About the authors:

Joan Holub is the author of over 130 books including eight in the Goddess Girls series: Athena the Brain, Persephone the Phony, Aphrodite the Beauty, Artemis the Brave, Athena the Wise, Aphrodite the Diva, Artemis the Loyal, Medusa the Mean. (ages 8-12; co-written with pal Suzanne Williams). Coming soon: Zero the Hero (illus by Tom Lichtenheld 2-2012, Henry Holt & Co); Wagons Ho! (Albert Whitman & Co 2011); Who Was Babe Ruth? (2012). Her other books include: Groundhog Weather School; Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers and Swirly Stars; and The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School.

Visit her at http://www.joanholub.com and http://joanholub.blogspot.com.

Suzanne Williams has written over 30 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives in Renton,Washington (near Seattle). Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children’s choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. Her most recent series are Princess Power (ages 8 – 12), Fairy Blossoms (ages 7 – 10), and the popular Goddess Girls (ages 8 &n

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24. Giveaway: Medussa the Mean (Goddess Girls: Book 8)

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 1, 2012

Enter to win one of two autographed copies of Goddess Girls: Medusa the Mean (Book 8) by the talented author duo Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams.

Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills . . .

Giveaway begins April 1, 2012, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends April 14, 2012, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Reading level: Ages 8-12

Paperback: 245 pages

Book overview: The Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills . . .

Medusa wants to be more like her two sisters and the other kids at Mount Olympus Academy — immortal. Is that too much to ask? As one of the few mortals at MOA, it’s hard not to get jealous when you’re surrounded by beautiful, powerful goddessgirl and godboy classmates. And it isn’t easy making friends either, especially when you have snakes for hair and one mean reputation!

About the authors: Joan Holub is the author and/or illustrator of over 130 books for young readers and Suzanne Williams has written over 40 books for young readers. Visit Joan at www.joanholub.com and Suzanne at www.suzanne-williams.com

How to enter:

  • Fill out the required fields below
  • Maximum entries: Three (3)

Giveaway Rules:

  • Shipping Guidelines: This book giveaway is open to all participants with a US mailing address.
  • Giveaway begins April 1, 2012, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends April 14, 2012, at 11:59 P.M. PST, when all entries must be received. No purchase necessary. See official rules for details. View our privacy policy.

Sponsored by Joan Holub.

©2012 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.

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25. Giveaway: Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: July 10, 2012

Enter to win an autographed copy of Suzanne Williams’ and Joan Holub’s Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games.

Game on! It’s time for all young readers to embrace their mythical girl power and Olympic spirit!

Giveaway begins July 10, 2012, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends August 7, 2012, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Reading level: Ages 8 and up

Paperback: 320 pages


Overview: 
The first-ever standalone Super Special in the Goddess Girls series—let the games begin!

Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis are so annoyed at being left out of the annual boys-only Olympic Games. Their solution? The Girl Games! But as the Goddess Girls work to turn their dream into a reality, they come up against plenty of chaos, competition, and even the cutest kitten ever. Told in the four girls’ alternating points of view, this Super Special is packed with Olympic spirit!

About the authors:  Joan Holub is the author of 130 books for young readers, including Zero the Hero, Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers and Swirly Stars, and Shampoodle. She lives in North Carolina. Visit her at joanholub.com.

Suzanne Williams is the author of 35 books for young readers, including Library Lil, Ten Naughty Little Monkeys, and the Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power series. She lives near Seattle in Washington State. Visit her at suzanne-williams.com

Joan and Suzanne are co-authors of the the Goddess Girls series: Athena the Brain, Persephone the Phony, plus ten more titles, and the Heroes In Training series:Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom; Poseidon and the Sea of Fury (Jan. 2013), and two more titles.

How to enter:

  • Fill out the required fields below
  • Enter once daily

Giveaway Rules:

  • Shipping Guidelines: This book giveaway is open to all participants with a US or Canadian mailing addresses.
  • Giveaway begins July 10, 2012, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends August 7, 2012, at 11:59 P.M. PST, when all entries must be received. No purchase necessary. See official rules for details. View our privacy policy.

Prizing courtesy of Suzanne Willaims.

©2012 The Childrens Book Review<

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