New York: Hyperion Books, 2014
In Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, using his signature irreverent style, Rick Riordan gives us the scoop on about 20 of the Greek Gods. For pleasing Percy Jackson fans, it is, to use the vernacular, da bomb. If that isn’t enough, in August, 2015 Hyperion published Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes! As we might suspect, it’s more of the same, only about heroes.
First, readers learn about the Greek creation story, Chaos, Gaea and Uranus (go ahead and snicker), along with the Titan children and grandchildren that came along. Riordan acknowledges the ick factor in siblings, even Titan siblings, marrying oneanother, but offers a reasonable explanation. Then come chapters with titles like “The Golden Age of Cannibalism,” “The Olympians Bash Some Heads,” “Hera Gets a Little Cuckoo,” and “Ares, the Manly Man’s Manly Man.” You get the idea. All the stories are real Greek Myths, only with a little P.J. twist to make them fresh and appealing to the modern 9-14 year old set. Only Riordan can get away with Zeus channelling Joey from Friends with “How you doing?” after spiriting Europa away to Crete while disguised as a bull.
The illustrations are clear, beautiful, and a little similar to Michael Hague’s work. They are scattered throughout the book in full page glory, and in smaller side bars and chapter headings, and are the tiniest bit scary. Bonus!
Elementary schools will want to invest in this encyclopedia sized volume if Riordan’s fiction is in the collection. Middle school libraries will absolutely need this in their mythology section as it is acurate and engaging, with middle school humor at its finest.
Idaho Core Standards for Literature: Grades 6-8, Standards 2-9.
Dewey: 813.54 Interest Level: Grades 4-8
Awards and Reviews: Kirkus Reviews; School Library Journal; Voice of Youth Advocates.
Younger Readers might enjoy: Kronos the Titan Tells All: Tricked by the Kids by Eric Braun.
Older Readers and Teachers might like: Greek Mythology for Teens: Classic Myths in Today’s World by Zachary Hamby.
Fiction pairing: Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus series.
On the Web:
Education Resources at http://www.rickriordan.com/educational-resources/teachers-guide.