What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'Greek mythology')

Recent Comments

Recently Viewed

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 7 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Greek mythology, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 67
1. Early Greek incantations from Selinous

The so-called “Getty Hexameters” represent an unusual set of early Greek ‘magical’ incantations (epoidai) found engraved on a small, fragmentary tablet of folded lead. The rare verses provide an exciting new window into the early practice and use of written magic and incantatory spells in the Greek polis of the 5th century BCE.

The post Early Greek incantations from Selinous appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Early Greek incantations from Selinous as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
2. Sex, love, and Shakespeare [slideshow]

Whether he fills his scenes with raunchy innuendos, or boldly writes erotic poetry, or frequently reverses the gender norms of the time period, Shakespeare addresses the multifaceted ways in which sex, love, marriage, relationships, gender, and sexuality play an integral part of human life.

The post Sex, love, and Shakespeare [slideshow] appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Sex, love, and Shakespeare [slideshow] as of 2/6/2016 5:28:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. A comma in Catullus

Only Oscar Wilde could be quite so frivolous when describing a matter as grave as the punctuation of poetry, something that causes particular grief in our attempts to understand ancient texts. Their writers were not so obliging as to provide their poems with punctuation marks, nor to distinguish between capitals and small letters.

The post A comma in Catullus appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on A comma in Catullus as of 8/15/2015 7:38:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. Review: The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan

I absolutely adored The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan! It’s the first book in his secondary series about Percy Jackson. The first series and I had a mildly rocky start. Oh don’t get me wrong! I love Percy Jackson and the middle-grade series was cute and quirky and fun. But it lacked punch. And, for me […]

Add a Comment
5. Book Review- The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Title: The Penelopiad
Author: Margaret Atwood
Series: Canongate Myths
Published:  October 2005
Length:  198 pages
Source: library
Other info: Atwood has written many things, such as The Blind Assassin, The Handmaid's Tale, and The Heart Goes Last. The Penelopiad was written as part of the Canongate Myths series.
Summary : For Penelope, wife of Odysseus, maintaining a kingdom while her husband was off fighting the Trojan war was not a simple business. Already aggrieved that he had been lured away due to the shocking behaviour of her beautiful cousin Helen, Penelope must bring up her wayward son, face down scandalous rumours and keep over a hundred lustful, greedy and bloodthirsty suitors at bay...And then, when Odysseus finally returns and slaughters the murderous suitors, he brutally hangs Penelope's twelve beloved maids. What were his motives? And what was Penelope really up to? 

Review: Since her husband Odysseus left to fight in the Trojan War, and then gets caught up for ten years on the way back, Penelope has been left running her household, and fighting off suitors who want to marry her, and eat her out of house and home. Now that she's dead, she's ready to tell her side of the tale, as are the twelve maids who were hanged.
According to Goodreads, I read this a few years ago and gave it three stars, but I don't remember doing that. Now I know the Odyssey a bit more, and we're doing a feminist-orientated piece of English coursework, I decided to pick this up, and now I understand things better, I loved it.
There's reinterpretations and challenges to the characters and stories. Obviously, there's those against Odysseus, where there's the question of whether the Cyclops he fought was a monster or a one-eyed barkeeper, and whether his years with Circe and Calypso were spent in brothels or nymphs and witches. But there's also a conversation with Antinous, one of the suitors, explaining why they wanted to marry Penelope so much, and the presentation of Helen as vain, proud, and wanting to conquer men just because she can. Atwood has taken inspiration from multiple sources, not just Homer's epic, but also theories from Robert Graves (who used many writers to inform his work) and Homeric hymns. I like the possibilities this gave Atwood to work with, and the ways she used them.
Penelope's voice often dryly comments on various parts of the stories, and I enjoyed her different insights. What I liked most was the use of the chorus, the twelve maids, whose chapters mostly alternate with Penelope's and change styles each time. Poems, songs, plays, and a transcript of a modern-day murder trial are some of the ways the maids pass their story on in many ways. The writing is well crafted, allowing each of the styles as well as Penelope's main narration to work together to make a story that is intriguing and easy to read.

Overall: Strength 5 tea to a book that makes you think about the different interpretations a myth can have, and provides a new one.

0 Comments on Book Review- The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood as of 11/18/2015 1:20:00 PM
Add a Comment
6. A history of modern scholarship on Ancient Greek religion

The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are a key period in the history of modern scholarship on ancient Greek religion. It was in nineteenth-century Germany that the foundations for the modern academic study of Greek religion were laid and the theories formulated by German scholars as well as by their British colleagues in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century exercised a profound influence on the field which would resonate until much later times.

The post A history of modern scholarship on Ancient Greek religion appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on A history of modern scholarship on Ancient Greek religion as of 12/27/2015 7:32:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. 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

0 Comments on Book Review- Fleeced by Julia Wills as of 5/2/2014 12:27:00 AM
Add a Comment
8. 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.

0 Comments on Everneath as of 5/6/2014 10:21:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. 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
Add a Comment
10. 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
Add a Comment
11. 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.

Add a Comment
12. Book Review- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Title:  Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Author:  Rick Riordan
Series:   Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Published:  May 2005 by Miramax,  May 2006 by Miramax
Length:  377 pages
Source: bought and library
Other info: Many other series such as The Heroes of Olympus and the Kane Chronicles have stemmed off. There was a film adaptation of The Lightning Thief.
Summary :  Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Review: Percy Jackson is a mostly normal child. Yes, he has trouble concentrating and keeps getting thrown out of schools but mostly, he's ok. Until, on this school trip, it looks like he'll get thrown out because his maths teacher wants to kill him. And he vaporises her with a sword. More things happen, and Percy ends up at Camp Half Blood, with satyrs, demigods, and a centaur of a Latin teacher. And a quest. Because Zeus is angry. And things get better from there.
I love this series from the bottom of my heart. I read it first when I was eight or nine, maybe? I don't know, but I wanted a book and I asked my dad for recommendations in Waterstones and he picked this off the shelves and I fell in love with it when I read the chapter titles. Add the fact that I already had a love of Greek mythology and you can see how this is going to work out.
I reread this because my reading aim for 2015 is to work my way through all of Rick Riordan's demigod series and this is the first one.
The world of this is wonderful. The Gods are alive and kicking and operating out of the USA, doing what they've always done in a more modern way. This "what they've always done" includes having children with mortals, thus necessitating Camp Half Blood, a safe place to train and live without fear of monsters.
The characters  are well fleshed out and great to read about. The new takes on mythology are genius, especially when you notice the clever ways little things are updated'. You just fall in love with all the characters- Percy for his determination to keep trying, Grover for his determination to keep trying, Annabeth for her cleverness and levelheadedness, Chiron for his general badassery of being both a centaur and a Latin teacher...the list goes on.
They adventure in such a way that we meet a variety of creatures from Greek myth. I must say, when I first read it, I felt so proud of myself for being to guess ahead as to who this threat was, and I also enjoyed learning about new aspects of mythology too.
The writing describes well, but has a huge dose of humour. Case in point: chapter titles. But I loved the sheer amount of fun that this book was, comparatively speaking to everything else I was reading.
The  plot keeps running in new direction throughout the whole novel. The twists at the end where we learn how the thing got in, I  did not see coming the first time I read it. It was foreshadowed so perfectly and the way it all came round made me happy.

Overall:  Strength 5 tea to  a strong opening to a brilliant series.

0 Comments on Book Review- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan as of 1/23/2015 6:43:00 PM
Add a Comment
13. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | May 2015

It's true TCBR readers are fans of Greek myths! That's why, this month, the National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

Add a Comment
14. 5 Things to look for in Fairy Tale Retellings by YA Author Kaitlin Bevis...

Retellings of fairy tales and myths are all over the place, but some are better than others. Here are five things to look for in a great retelling.

1)                          The author only borrowed elements from the original version, not copied it entirely. Let’s look at Cinderella for this example. Unless you are affiliated with Disney, chances are, you can’t just retell the same story in a different, albeit gorgeous, format. The foundation of the story may have existed before, but the author has taken those roots and twisted them into a story of her own telling. A great example of an original Cinderella retelling is Cinder by Marissa Myer. Cinder took pieces of the original story and wove it into something entirely new story set in a dystopian future, featuring an alien Cyborg missing a foot for the title character. Liz DeJesus also wrote a fantastic retelling of Cinderella set in modern day. When reading multiple retellings, you should be able to identify the elements that were borrowed from the original, but otherwise they should be entirely different stories.

2)                          Something major is different. That something needs to move beyond the surface. We’ve all seen and read retellings that only genderbent the cast or changed the setting but otherwise left everything the same. When a key component is changed that should force the author and the reader to consider the story from an entirely different perspective. A great example of this is Fool by Christopher Moore. He takes the story of King Lear and tells it from the Fool’s perspective. Almost all the original dialogue is there, but the perspective is so different that the plot arc has completely changed. No one could say Fool is the same story as King Lear. It’s something different entirely.

3)                          It uses the changes to highlight some important social issue, but not at the expense of the story. Westside Story changed the setting of Romeo and Juliet to highlight gang violence as well as racial tension. But Westside Story didn’t go overboard. There are no after-school special monologues hitting the viewer on the head with the message. The comparison is quietly made and the viewer is left to draw their own conclusions from it.

4)                          Most of the stories that are retold have had a profound impact on culture. The absence or repetition of that myth needs to be explained in the universe. In my story, Persephone, the myths are still happening in modern day. Persephone, the character or the myth, didn’t exist until she was born. That made changes to the culture. I used the lesser known myth of Boreas and Oreithyia as a stand in for the Persephone myth in their culture. I also had to consider the myths she was involved with later and consider how removing these from the society would change that society. Other versions use reincarnation or have characters allude to the original myth and the similarities in what they’re going through.

5)                          They go deeper. The story, the motivations, the world building, the characters. A shallow version of the fairy tale or myth already exists. If the author built on it, at all, that should automatically make it deeper. The deeper, the better. A great example of this is Wicked. The Wicked Witch of the West was a very flat character in The Wizard of Oz. And it worked because she was an archetype. She didn’t need depth. But a good retelling forces you to reevaluate the story by adding depth. Elphaba has major depth and motivation and a backstory and flaws and great traits. She’s a three dimensional character at its finest. But the original mythology is accounted for in the story. When watching the Broadway, it’s easy to see how Dorothy would have seen her as the wicked witch caricature.  The original story is acknowledged, respected even, but it goes deeper. That’s what makes it an amazing retelling.

There are many retellings out there, but some are better than others. Share your favorites, and what made them great, in the comments below.

Blurb: The Daughters of Zeus, Book One

One day Persephone is an ordinary high school senior working at her mom's flower shop in Athens, Georgia. The next she's fighting off Boreas, the brutal god of winter, and learning that she's a bonafide goddess--a rare daughter of the now-dead Zeus. Her goddess mom whisks her off to the Underworld to hide until spring.

There she finds herself under the protection of handsome Hades, the god of the dead, and she's automatically married to him. It's the only way he can keep her safe. Older, wiser, and far more powerful than she, Hades isn't interested in becoming her lover, at least not anytime soon. But every time he rescues her from another of Boreas' schemes, they fall in love a little more. Will Hades ever admit his feelings for her?

Can she escape the grasp of the god of winter's minions? The Underworld is a very nice place, but is it worth giving up her life in the realm of the living? Her goddess powers are developing some serious, kick-butt potential. She's going to fight back.

Kaitlin Bevis spent her childhood curled up with a book and a pen. If the ending didn't agree with her, she rewrote it. Because she's always wanted to be a writer, she spent high school and college learning everything she could to achieve that goal. After graduating college with a BFA and Masters in English, Kaitlin went on to write The Daughters of Zeus series.

Connect with Kaitlin: www.kaitlinbevis.com

0 Comments on 5 Things to look for in Fairy Tale Retellings by YA Author Kaitlin Bevis... as of 6/8/2015 3:58:00 AM
Add a Comment
15. 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

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<

Add a Comment
16. 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


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
17. “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.
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.

0 Comments on “Studying Mythology? Consider Reading These Contemporary Fiction Novels for Added Insight,” by Patricia Garza as of 10/2/2012 1:02:00 PM
Add a Comment
18. 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

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! 

Add a Comment
19. 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
Display Comments Add a Comment
20. 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.

Add a Comment
21. 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.

Add a Comment
22. 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:

There, your Medusa for the day.

0 Comments on Medusa's Head as of 3/30/2014 5:17:00 PM
Add a Comment
23. 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.

Add a Comment
24. 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.

Add a Comment
25. 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.

Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts