Posts Tagged 'gods'

Nobody’s Princess by Esther Friesner


Genre: Historical Fiction/Mythology

# of Pages: 305

RAC Book: Yes

In this fictional account of the childhood of Helen of Troy, Helen grows up wanting to learn swordplay with her two older brothers and fighting with her twin sister, Clytemnestra. She is heir to the throne and in her sister’s eyes it seems like she gets away with everything. Helen does manage to get the same training her brothers have because their teacher believes her motives for wanting to defend herself are reasonable. When her sister is betrothed and asked to leave at the age of 14, Helen and her brothers accompany her so that she will feel safe. This begins a few crazy adventures for her and her brothers that include a boar hunt and visiting an oracle. The story is continued in Nobody’s Prize.

This retelling of Helen of Troy’s childhood puts a fun spin on a character that has been mainly known for starting the Trojan War. The author does a nice job of explaining why these characters worshiped the gods and why they had to provide valuable offerings in order to please them. Helen seems unaware of her beauty throughout a lot of this book, which makes her seem more driven to reach her goals in her own way. Her desire to hunt, use weapons, and even go on dangerous adventures endears her to readers. For those readers who like adventures and mythology this will be a winner.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Genre: Fantasy

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 375

RAC Book: Yes

2008 Iowa Teen Award Winner

Percy Jackson has had lots of trouble in his life due to circumstances that seem to be out of his control. After getting kicked out of yet another school, Percy goes home expecting to upset his mom and unfortunate stepfather “smelly Gabe.” Instead, his mom surprises him with a camping trip. On the way she tells him he will probably have to go to a special summer camp where he can be protected. Percy doesn’t understand why he needs protection, but then remembers the numerous occasions in which strange creatures have tried to harm him.

At camp Half Blood Percy learns that his father was a god, but no one knows which. He is believed to have stolen something very valuable from Mt. Olympus and several people are trying to get it back. Percy’s life is in danger and he must go on a quest to save not only himself but the whole planet because if his quest fails the gods will declare war on each other and the entire world will be in jeopardy.

The mythology characters and elements woven through this story made it a fun read. If students do not know a lot about different gods and mythology characters they may not pick up on details as fast as others, but each character and his or her role in the mythology stories are explained well and integrated into this modern story. There is a lot of action and adventure as Percy tries to complete his quest which makes the story move quickly. This was a very successful modern day hero quest. Students who like super hero type stories or stories like Alfred Kropp will enjoy this well-written adventure.