Tag Archives: mythology

Artemis by George O’Connor

Artemis: Wild Goddess of the Hunt by George O’Connor. January 31, 2017. First Second, 80p. ISBN: 9781626720152.  Int Lvl: 5-8; Rdg Lvl: 3.0.

From high atop Olympus, the nine Muses, or Mousai, recount the story of the powerful and quick-tempered Apollo, the Brilliant One. Born of a she-wolf and Zeus, King of Gods, Apollo is destined fro the greatest of victories and most devastating of failures as his temper, privilege, and pride take him into battle with a serpent, in pursuit of a beautiful but unattainable nymph, and into deadly competition with his beloved. Watch closely as Apollo navigates the tumultuous world in which he lives. Will he rise above the rest and fulfill his destiny as the son of Zeus, or will he falter, consumed by his flaws, and destroy all that he touches?

Part of Series: The Olympians (Book 9)

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Violence; Mild sexual themes

 

Author Interview

Reviews

Kirkus Reviews (December 1, 2016)
O’Connor offers a portrait of the Wild Goddess of the Hunt as probably the last of the Olympians you’d want to cross.Born without labor pains (unlike her twin brother, Apollo) and a picture of gap-toothed charm as a child, Artemis grows into a lissome young white hunter with a ferocious glare beneath blonde bangs and a short way with all who offend her. Acteon learns this when he spots her bathing and is transformed into a deer to be torn apart by his own hounds, as does Queen Niobe of Thebes after she sets herself up as a replacement for the twins’ mother and sees all 14 of her children slaughtered. To keep temptation at bay and her sworn virginity intact, Artemis ultimately even has an arrow for her soul mate, the peerless hunter Orion—himself born, so the tale goes, from a bearskin on which Zeus, Poseidon, and Hermes “all, uh, micturated” (“Fun with words, kids,” O’Connor comments in an endnote). He is portrayed here as a brown-skinned  hunk with a herculean physique. Though the Olympians here are, by and large, a pale lot, groups of humans and demigods display some variation in hue. Artemis and Atalanta in particular show rather a lot of skin, but artful hand placement and angles of view keep things PG. Admire her—from a distance—and don’t dis her or her mom. (notes, character profiles, discussion questions, reading lists) (Graphic mythology. 8-14)

School Library Journal (January 1, 2017)
Gr 4-8-With the latest in his series of books focused on the Greek deities, O’Connor brings to life the goddess of the hunt. Various individuals share anecdotes, weaving a nuanced portrait of Artemis: formidable, quick-witted, occasionally cruel, yet always deeply devoted to the natural world and intensely protective of women and girls. The images are dynamic, with the use of different perspectives creating drama and suspense. Blonde, blue-eyed Artemis is illustrated with cool tones, befitting her characterization. Complementing the visuals, the writing is exciting yet lyrical, evoking the poetry of the original legends. Some stories contain violence, and there is brief nudity but nothing explicit (in one scene, the hunter Actaeon spies the goddess bathing naked and as punishment is transformed into a stag and devoured by his own dogs). The back matter is particularly noteworthy: in “Greek Notes,” O’Connor provides insightful-and witty-commentary, and his bibliography will intrigue readers curious about the source material. Though the author is true to the original tales (never shying away from their less savory elements), he injects a feminist perspective, emphasizing Artemis’s strong relationships with other women and, in “Greek Notes,” referring to Actaeon as a “creepy peeping Tom.” VERDICT An excellent addition to graphic novel and Greek mythology collections.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

About the Author

George O’Connor is the author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Kapow!, Kersplash, and Sally and the Some-thing. JOURNEY INTO MOHAWK COUNTRY was his first graphic novel, a long-held dream that weaves together his passion for history and ongoing research into Native American life. He’s also the author/illustrator of a new picture book, If I Had a Raptor.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

His website is http://olympiansrule.com.

Teacher Resources

The Olympians Activities

Around the Web

Artemis on Amazon

Artemis on Goodreads

Artemis on JLG

Artemis Publisher Page

Apollo by George O’Connor

Apollo: The Brilliant One by George O’Connor. January 26, 2016. First Second, 80p. ISBN: 9781626720152.  Int Lvl: 5-8; Rdg Lvl: 4.0; Lexile: 800.

From high atop Olympus, the nine Muses, or Mousai, recount the story of the powerful and quick-tempered Apollo, the Brilliant One. Born of a she-wolf and Zeus, King of Gods, Apollo is destined fro the greatest of victories and most devastating of failures as his temper, privilege, and pride take him into battle with a serpent, in pursuit of a beautiful but unattainable nymph, and into deadly competition with his beloved. Watch closely as Apollo navigates the tumultuous world in which he lives. Will he rise above the rest and fulfill his destiny as the son of Zeus, or will he falter, consumed by his flaws, and destroy all that he touches?

Part of Series: The Olympians

 

Author Interview

Reviews

Booklist (February 1, 2016 (Online))
Grades 6-9. It’s fitting that the entry in O’Connor’s popular Olympians series focusing on Apollo, god of music, among other things, would be narrated by the nine muses. Each of the seven stories (a few of the muses pair up) matches the style of its teller. For instance, Clio, muse of history, presents the story of the death of Apollo’s son, Asklepios, as a kind of documentary, referring often to “the historical record” while reading from a scroll. Meanwhile, Melpomene and Thalia, muses of tragedy and comedy, respectively, recount the tale of Marsyas, who challenged Apollo’s standing as best musician and met a grim end (or a comical one, depending on who you ask). Since there are so many stories about Apollo, these brief glimpses offer a tidy overview of the god, with an emphasis on his more human qualities. O’Connor’s bright, colorful, clear-lined artwork, particularly of the dancing muses, captures movement and emotion beautifully and adds an engaging undercurrent of comedy. Informative back matter, including further reading and endnotes, closes out this excellent piece of graphic nonfiction.

Kirkus Reviews (December 1, 2015)
O’Connor makes out his latest Olympian as a tragic hero “who has had many loves, but whose loves seldom prosper.” To say the least. No sooner are the frowning lad and his twin sister, Artemis, welcomed to Olympus by their father, Zeus, than Apollo is off to avenge his mother, Leto. He riddles Python, the humongous serpent who had harried Leto at Hera’s instigation, with fiery arrows. He then proceeds himself to harry the virgin nymph Daphne until she is transformed into a laurel, gruesomely flense the satyr Marsyas for claiming to be a better musician, kill his bosom buddy Hyacinth, prince of Sparta, with a misguided discus, and get Artemis to shoot the unfaithful mother of his own not-yet-born son, Asklepios. Finally, he later sees his miraculously rescued son himself killed for creating, as Hades puts it, “a glitch in the system” by healing so many mortals. These and other incidents are narrated, sometimes in Classical meter or rhymed prose, by the nine worshipful Muses–lissome figures who pose and dance gracefully through the panels, then gather at the end to explain why their immortal patron’s unique blend of gifts and faults is profoundly inspirational: “The most divine god is also the most human.” As in previous series entries, the backmatter includes commentary, analysis, reading lists, and discussion questions. Apollo’s darker tendencies overshadow his divine radiance here but, as usual, make better tales. (Olympian family tree) (Graphic mythology. 8-14)

About the Author

George O’Connor is the author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Kapow!, Kersplash, and Sally and the Some-thing. JOURNEY INTO MOHAWK COUNTRY was his first graphic novel, a long-held dream that weaves together his passion for history and ongoing research into Native American life. He’s also the author/illustrator of a new picture book, If I Had a Raptor.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

His website is http://olympiansrule.com.

Teacher Resources

The Olympians Activities

Who is Apollo? Lesson Plan

Around the Web

Apollo on Amazon

Apollo on JLG

Apollo on Goodreads

 

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

The Hammer of Thor: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book Two by Rick Riordan. October 4, 2016. Disney-Hyperion, 480 p. ISBN: 9781423160922.  Int Lvl: 5-8; Rdg Lvl: 5.1; Lexile: 690.

Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.

Sequel to: The Sword of Summer

Part of Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Discrimination; Violence; Mild sexual themes; Reference to drugs; Allusions to abuse

 

Book Trailer

Book Tour

Reviews

Booklist (January 1, 2017 (Online))
Grades 6-9. Death has been pretty good to Magnus Chase, son of Norse god Frey. After a victory against Fenris Wolf, preventing Ragnarok (for now), Magnus has started to settle into his (after)life in Valhalla. But nothing is quiet for long when gods are involved: Thor’s hammer is missing again (shh); two of Magnus’ best friends have disappeared; Valkyrie Samirah, a daughter of Loki, is being forced into marriage with a giant king; and Loki himself might be behind it all. It’s a good thing Magnus has allies—even if they include a talking sword with a penchant for Top 40 songs. Riordan combines Norse mythology with a number of social issues: gender fluidity (Alex, a child of Loki, was born male but predominately identifies as female), disability (elf Hearthstone is deaf, and several characters know ASL), and race and religion (Samirah balances her Muslim faith with her Valkyrie duties). There’s some crossover with characters from Riordan’s other series, and the ending promises more overlap in future installments. A surefire hit.

Kirkus Reviews (October 15, 2016)
It’s the end of the world as they know it, and Magnus Chase and his godly cohorts are back for another round of sword fighting and wisecracking.With Ragnarok rapidly approaching, Magnus and his friends are charged with retrieving Thor’s magical hammer in time to stop giants from invading the human world. This latest installment in Riordan’s Nordic-themed fantasy series is a fast-paced adventure narrative featuring snappy dialogue and a diverse cast of well-developed characters. The author possesses a singular talent for re-creating contemporary teenspeak. In his capable hands, Magnus’ cocksure attitude and pithy observations further establish him as completely distinct from other Riordan protagonists as he races from Newbury Street in Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts, searching for the elusive hammer, which is still missing after the events of series opener The Sword of Summer (2016). The author effectively interposes racial and sexual complexity into the typically all-white Norse mythological world through the addition of Alex Fierro—Muslim Valkyrie Sam’s shape-shifting gender-fluid half sibling—who may or may not be a double agent for their father, Loki. He also deepens the mythology surrounding the Chase family’s connection to the various gods, neatly connecting this series with the exploits of Percy Jackson’s Greco-Roman heroine Annabeth Chase. An entertaining sequel that will whet fans’ appetites for the next installment. (Fantasy. 10-14)

About the Author

Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.

For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.

While teaching full time, Riordan began writing mystery novels for grownups. His Tres Navarre series went on to win the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. Riordan turned to children’s fiction when he started The Lightning Thief as a bedtime story for his oldest son.

Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.

His website is www.rickriordan.com.

Teacher Resources

Magnus Chase Discussion Guide

Norse mythology Teaching Resources

Around the Web

The Hammer of Thor on Amazon

The Hammer of Thor on JLG

The Hammer of Thor on Goodreads