Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review - Greek Mythology for Teens

I received the book Greek Mythology for Teens: Classic Myths in Today's World by Zachary Hamby from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. This book caught my eye immediately when I saw it on the list of books up for requesting that month; I absolutely love Greek mythology and I have to say I was most definitely not disappointed with this book!

Every time I pulled this book out to read, my fiancé laughed at the title, but that is what this book is: a book on Greek mythology, targeted to teens. This is actually a textbook, complete with assignments and side lessons for students to think about, but don't let that stop you from reading this. Regardless of your age, this is a good book.

The book is arranged by chapters in a theme (for instance "Wisdom vs. Intelligence" and "Greed") and each chapter begins with a play based on a specific myth in the theme (Icarus for "Wisdom vs Intelligence" and King Midas for "Greed"). Following this are more in-depth explanations of specific myths within the theme, some modern-day examples of things related to the myths, and spaced throughout are blurbs about the different beings in Greek mythology. Also included are comic-like drawings of the different characters mentioned in the book, drawn by the author. I think this really added to the book and will appeal to the target audience- and probably anyone, since I liked the drawings, too, and I'm definitely no longer a teen. This book is written in a way that's easy to understand, but still interesting and educational. As I said, I'm a big fan of Greek mythology so I already knew most of these stories, but I still learned from this and I enjoyed hearing how the author put his own spin on the tales, then expanded on each of the themes following that.

I'm going to give this book five stars out of five. It does exactly what it's supposed to do, which is be interesting to younger readers (or at least I think it would be!) and would hopefully get them to seek out the actual myths and stories, but it also will appeal to older audiences, as well, assuming they like their mythology with a side of humor. I know I do!

As an aside, I have to say that I was very happy to see a section involving Icarus since out of all mythological characters, he's my favorite non-deity. I broke out in a huge grin when I saw the author's drawing of him and Daedalus at the start of the "Wisdom vs. Intelligence" chapter.

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