Daily Archives: May 10, 2008

SMART List #12: Gripping Greek Mythology

I think Greek mythology has it all: gripping plot, flawed / beautiful / proud / powerful / doomed characters, tragedy, humour, great quests, love affairs and plenty of revenge going on. Is it any wonder that kids eat it this stuff up? There’s something so satisfying about piecing together the relationships between all of the gods too. This seems to be another feature of Greek mythology that kids really buy into. They love making those connections. It’s like a giant puzzle they can fit together, the more myths they hear. (“Oh, Hera is Zeus’ wife. OK… got it. And she’s his sister too? Gross.”) The Mythology section of my unit on Ancient Civilizations is always the biggest hit with my students. They could sit and listen to me read from Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths for a whole afternoon – and I would be more than happy to oblige.

Here are some of my favourite Greek myth collections, and stories inspired by the original tales:

Collections & Picture Books
Z is for Zeus – Helen L. Wilbur
Persephone and the Pomegranate – Kris Waldherr
Pegasus – Marianna Mayer
D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths – Ingri D’Aulaire
Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths – Lucy Coats
Black Ships Before Troy – Rosemary Sutcliff
Mythology (Ologies series) – Lady Hestia Evans

Middle Grade / Teen Novels
It’s All Greek to Me (Time Warp Trio Series) – Jon Scieszka
The Lightning Thief (and subsequent titles in the series) – Rick Riordan
Medusa Jones – Ross Collins
Myth-o-Mania Series (#1: Have a Hot Time Hades) – Kate McMullan
Ithaka – Adele Geras
Quiver and Quicksilver – Stephanie Spinner