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


9 thoughts on “SMART List #12: Gripping Greek Mythology

  1. Tasha

    The Rick Riordan books are great. I just finished The Lightning Theif and loved it!! Another great mythology book for teens is Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs.

  2. hipwritermama

    My third grader is interested in Greek mythology, now that she’s discovered Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. Thanks for these other book suggestions. I’ll have to check them out.

  3. shelfelf Post author

    I bet your daughter will enjoy the Percy Jackson series even more as she learns more about the gods and goddesses. I’m such a fan of Rick Riordan. He’s hilarious.

  4. Ms. Yingling

    As a former Latin teacher, I am always excited about books set in either Ancient Greece or Rome. On May 8, 2007, I posted a list on my blog. There’s also Ford’s Fires of Ares, Pandora Gets Jealous, and The Night Tourist. It’s amazing how many titles there are– twenty years ago when I was teaching Latin, there was nothing!

  5. shelfelf Post author

    Thanks for telling us about your list. I’ll be sure to check it out. There are so many mythologically-themed stories at the moment. I love it!

  6. Karen

    My students LOVE the Percy Jackson series (as do I)! After Percy, I have been directing them to The Pig Scrolls and The Pig who Saved the World by Paul Shipton. They are both hilarious! They also like the Corydon books by Tobias Druitt. The younger ones also like the Fire Thief trilogy by Terry Deary.

  7. Megan

    Wow, I have so many new books to check out! My students and I live on a T.I.N.Y. Bahamian island where everyone is related and life often feels like mythology, I think that helps them love Greek myths so much! Thanks for sharing these books with us.

  8. Jordan

    i will totally cheak them out they sound so cool thx very much oh i just finish the percy jackson series in under a month and i’m still in middle school

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