Tag archives for Mythology
BOOK NAME: Treasury of Greek Mythology
AUTHOR: Donna Jo Napoli
Mythology is a fascinating genre with classic stories about gods, villains, and heroes. National Geographic’s Treasury of Greek Mythology takes you to the world of the Greek gods and goddesses. The book shows the birth, the different qualities, and the significance of the mythological figures in the Greek world.
From the king of the Olympian gods to the strong, enormous demi-god, the stories of all the Greek gods are being retold in this book. The prophecy states that Zeus will overthrow his father, Cronus, and take over the throne. Zeus fights his father and his uncles successfully and the prophecy comes true. Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, sprung out of Zeus’s head because she was the daughter of Metis, one of Zeus’s wives whom he had swallowed. Heracles is a strong hero who is driven insane and for the crime he commits has to perform twelve labors in order to be forgiven. These are just a few of the many enchanting stories in this book.
Treasury of Greek Mythology is an intriguing mythological book appropriate for all ages. The stories are simple to understand and are very engaging. Each story has an interesting fact which makes it more fun for the reader. The illustrations are beautiful and use vivid colors, bringing out the splendid atmosphere surrounding the Greek gods. Also, the lush family tree and the cast of characters helped me understand each Greek god and their relations with other gods.
BOOK NAME: The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles
AUTHOR: Padraic Colum
Let’s take a journey back in time and encounter Greek gods, heroes, mysterious creatures, and more! Greek mythology is truly interesting and intriguing. When you read The Golden Fleece, the characters and images described are vivid and remarkable.
This is the tale of the hero, Jason, and his quest for the legendary Golden Fleece in Colchis. The legendary, solid gold wool is a fabulous treasure. It takes a powerful warrior to earn and obtain it. Along with his comrades Heracles, Atlanta, Orpheus, and many other warriors, Jason sets out on a long, treacherous voyage aboard a ship known as the Argo. They face many battles, testing both their physical and mental limitations. However, one major obstacle awaits them in their quest to obtain the Golden Fleece. To reach the Golden Fleece, they must first triumph over the magic spells that guard it. Can the heroes ever reach the Golden Fleece and return safely home with their treasure? Along the perilous trek, stories are told of the courageous encounters and battles of Heracles and the Hydra, Theseus and the Minotaur, and Perseus and Medusa.
This book was filled with amazing characters! I particularly was fascinated by Jason’s physical and mental strength. I seldom read books about Greek mythology, but this book captured my interest immediately and makes me want to read more about Greek mythology. I learned a lot about ancient Greek civilization and learned of the gods known as the Olympians and the Titans. The book was well written with elaborate detail. The illustrations were described with such clarity, that I could picture every character and every scene. For example, the author describes the Minotaur as a huge, muscular beast. This creature is half man, half bull, with fangs, a slobbering mouth, thick lips, calloused skin, dragon claws, icy breath, and no blood in its veins. I could definitely picture the true essence of the legendary Minotaur. I enjoy drawing, so I often try to sketch pictures of the creatures based on the author’s brilliant descriptions. Overall, The Golden Fleece was truly a magnificent read!
BOOK NAME: The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor (Revised Second Edition) (Vol. 1)
Susan Wise Bauer
This book is about history. There are stories about all kinds of battles, buildings, empires, Romans, seas, Atlantis, and even gods. There are many cool things in this book.
I’m going to tell you about one story about a kid who wanted to take over the whole world. The boy’s name was Alexander and his horse was named Bucephalus. His dad, King Philip, takes him to get a warhorse and he sees the big beautiful black horse Bucephalus. Nobody could ride it except Alexander, and so his King Philip buys it for him.
When King Philip dies Alexander became the new King. He became known as Alexander the Great. He wanted to take over Persia and he won those battles. He didn’t want to stop there and he conquered the rest of Asia Minor. He wanted to keep on going and take over the whole world. He went south into Egypt and captured a big city and named it after himself–Alexandria. And Alexandria is still in Egypt!
Then he tried to conquer India. He even used Elephants in combat. But a lot of Macedonians died in those battles and so the men said, “We don’t want to die in battle.” And the men then said, “We don’t want to fight anymore, can we go home.” Alexander told them that he was tired and told them that he’d have an answer for them the next day. But he got sick and when he was seen the next day, he could only move his eyes. He died that day. He was only 31 years old.
Some of the other stories I liked were about Romulus and Remus who founded Rome, Odysseus who had to battle a giant Cyclops, and I learned all about Gladiators.
BOOK NAME: The Red Pyramid
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
Hi, it’s Mairen again. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan, has been the focus of a lot of controversy among fans. When the movie came out, there was outrage within the most avid followers, while the people who hadn’t read the books loved it.
But Riordan has burst out with a new book: The Red Pyramid. While this new novel does focus on myths and gods, the gods are not Greek or Roman, they’re Egyptian. We follow Carter and Sadie Kane as they quest to figure out what exactly is going on and what they need to do to stop the evil god Set. Set was released when their father worked magic with the Rosetta Stone, releasing the 5 major gods. Carter and Sadie grew up apart after their mother died: Carter traveled with their Egyptologist father around the world, and Sadie stayed with their mother’s parents in London. They are very different – Sadie has almost Caucasian skin, and Carter’s skin is much darker; Sadie has a British accent; and Carter is an expert on Egyptology.
As much as I loved the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, this book didn’t really do the trick for me. Sure, it was good–it just didn’t pack the punch that his first series did: it wasn’t as funny, and the characters didn’t come to life as much. It was confusing at times, and I couldn’t really get into it. While I was reading, I kept telling myself that it would get better, but it really didn’t. All I can hope for is that the next two books will be better. One of the big turn-downs for me was that the story was apparently told while Sadie and Carter were recording themselves retelling the story. This didn’t really work for me. It confused me, and while I could tell it was meant to be funny, it only served as an interruption to the actual plotline of the story.
The Red Pyramid was an okay book overall. If you’re a Rick Riordan fan, you should definitely read it. Please comment and tell me your thoughts!
Want another opinion? Read Reed’s review of The Red Pyramid.
BOOK NAME: The Sea of Monsters
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
This book picks up with the cliffhanger of The Lightning Thief and is just as hard to put down as the first Percy Jackson book. In this one, Percy learns that he has a Cyclops brother named Tyson. In the beginning, Percy thought Tyson was just a friend from school. However, when Percy finds out Tyson is immune to fire, he discovers Tyson’s true identity. Also in this book is the Golden Fleece, which gives power to whatever or whoever is touching it. Percy needs the Fleece to save the tree of Half-Blood Hill, which actually is Thalia, the daughter of Zeus who was turned into a tree by her father when she was close to death. Thalia, or the tree, was poisoned by Luke, who is a constant troublemaker and the lightning thief in the first Percy Jackson book. With the Fleece, Percy is able to save the tree. This book has some funny parts, including when the mean Cyclops named Polyphemus tries to marry Grover, Percy’s satyr friend, because he can’t see very well. This book is better than The Lightining Thief because it’s funnier.
BOOK NAME: The Red Pyramid
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
It started off when my Mom brought me home a book order from school (she’s a teacher there). I decided to get a Gary Paulsen book called Caught by the Sea: My Life on Boats and The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. I wanted The Red Pyramid because it looked like it had some cool adventure. Everyday after school, I’d ask my Mom, “Did it come? Did it come?” It took a while for it to finally come because it hadn’t even been published yet! It finally came in the middle of one school day and I started reading it that night.
The story’s narrators switch off between the two main characters, Carter and Sadie. Carter and Sadie’s mom died when they were young so Sadie had to go live with her grandparents on her mom’s side of the family. Carter lived with his dad who’s an archaeologist, but they only went to visit Sadie twice a year. Carter was named after Howard Carter, who discovered King Tut’s tomb (if you want to learn more about King Tut and mummies, read Braden’s review of the book Mummies).
Carter and Sadie’s dad takes them to the British Museum in London, where they see the Rosetta Stone, a famous archaeological discovery. He tells them to stay in an office, but when they leave the office they find their dad doing something that looks like magic. It turns out to be that he’s summoning gods from the Rosetta Stone. One of the gods puts their dad into a coffin which then sinks into the ground.
The rest of the story is about how the kids, along with their uncle Amos, try to find their dad. It’s story is full of twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
It’s really for advanced readers who are 8 and 9 and other readers who are 10-12. It’s sort of like The Lightning Thief where there are gods in modern times. You should definitely get this book. It may take you a while to read because it’s 514 pages long, but it’s definitely worth it.
Until next time…SEEYA!
It’s time to prove to Mount Olympus just how well you know Percy Jackson and Greek mythology.
If you’re up for the challenge, take this Quiz Your Noodle, and we’ll tell you how you rank among the gods.
Plus, look out for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5: The Last Olympian, the final book in the series coming out May 5, 2009!