Connor, George. Zeus : king of the gods. New York London: First Second, 2010. Print.
Audience: Ages 9-13, Grade 4-7
Summary: The story of the creation of the Olympians starting from nothing but Gaea, Mother Earth, and her husband Ouranos, the sky. Their son Zeus is born and hidden from his father Kronos until grows to be a lightning bolt throwing hero. At the end, he defeats his father in an exciting battle. This book is the beginning of a series of graphic novels on Greek gods.
Strengths: The book is extremely true to the author’s extensive research on the original Greek myths, even using the more literal “Greek” translations of the characters’ names rather than the familiar Latinized versions. The illustrations are outstanding, and the subject matter is high interest for many students. It could lead readers into learning much more about mythology.
Weaknesses: The vocabulary and themes are very advanced and would be difficult for many readers. I would definitely recommend this book more for the older portion of the suggested age range.
Uses: The vocabulary is advanced (CCSS ELA:L.4 Grades 3-5) and the writing style is unique (CCSS ELA:W.3 Grades K-6). Graphic novels are excellent for inferring, since the reader must “read” the illustrations in order to follow the narrative (CCSS ELA: RL.1 Grades 4-7). Art teachers could use the illustrations to talk about graphic design and line drawings. This book is perfectly suited to put in the hands of reluctant readers, especially boys, and would be high interest for many students. For TN 6th grade Social Studies teachers, it would also be an introduction to Greek mythology.
· Olympians series – George O’Connor (the continuation of the same series)
· Percy Jackson & the Olympians – Rick Riordan (series of novels about a boy who discovers he is a descendent of the god Poseidon)
· Demeter and Persephone: Spring Held Hostage- Justine Fontes (Beginning of a series of graphic novels about Greek myths)
· Oh My Gods!: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Gods of Mythology (Mythlopedia) – Megan Bryant (Reference book about the Greek gods, part of the Mythlopedia series)
· D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths- Ingri d’Aulaire (Classic retellings of famous myths)
Other: Starred review in Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
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