Friday, March 19, 2010

Ancient myths & some tales old and new

Mythology makes for great storytelling! Ancient tales about gods and goddesses, heroes and villains have entertained people for thousands of years. Here are some exciting and colorful recent books that use old myths in new ways. Look for them using the World Catalog and search boxes here on BookBag.

Medusa Jones, by Ross Collins (Arthur A. Levine Books). Fiction. Medusa Jones can top anyone's bad hair day--she's got snakes on her head instead of hair! Medusa and her friends (Mino the minotaur and Chiron the centaur) are known as The Freaks and get picked on at school by the perfect, popular students, who call themselves the Champions. Medusa's parents won't let her turn anyone to stone, so she can't fight back. But when the Freaks and the Champions are teamed up on a class trip to Mount Olympus and disaster strikes, Medusa gets a chance to be the hero for a change. If you think it would be fun to imagine what gods and goddesses might be like as kids, you'll love this quick, funny read.

Walking With the Dead, by L.M. Falcone (Kids Can Press). Fantasy/Adventure. Twelve-year-old Alex has plenty to worry about; he can't get the time of day from the girl of his dreams, and he has to pay the local bully not to beat him up. But when Alex's dad brings home a mummy to add to his museum of "oddities" and a freak lightning strike resurrects the corpse, Alex and his friend Freddie find themselves journeying to the Underworld to clear the mummy of an ancient murder charge. Bullies are nothing compared to monsters from Greek mythology! Packed with action, humor, and suspense, Walking with the Dead is a must-read for fans of Jon Scieszka's Time Warp Trio series.

It's All Greek to Me, by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith (Puffin Books). Humorous Fiction. This 8th entry in the zany time-travel series that began with Knights of the Kitchen Table finds buddies Joe, Fred, and Sam transported to Hades just as they're about to go on stage for their school play on ancient Greece. Facing Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the Greek underworld, the three friends are certain they're about to be eaten--but they are only at the beginning of their adventures on Mount Olympus. If you like wacky stories that don't take long to read, be sure to check out the whole Time Warp Trio series. (This volume has a glossary of gods, goddesses, and monsters that will help you get all of its jokes.)

The Pig Scrolls, by Paul Shipton (Candlewick Press). Fiction. After he was turned into a talking pig by the sorceress Circe, Odysseus' former crewman Gryllus decided

to remain in pig form (it's easier than being human). Pie-loving, sarcastic Gryllus is perfectly happy as a pig...until pushy prophetess Sibyl nabs him and insists that he must help her save the world! Full of crazy antics involving gods, monsters, and really bad puns, The Pig Scrolls is a hilarious adventure story that Greek mythology buffs are sure to enjoy. Gryllus, who narrates the book, continues his epic tale in The Pig Who Saved the World.

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