Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Goddess Girls

Title: Aphrodite the Diva (Goddess Girls #6)
Author: Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication Date: August, 20112
Genre/Format: Fantasy-Mythology/Novel
Goodreads Summary: These classic myths from the Greek pantheon are given a modern twist that contemporary tweens can relate to, from dealing with bullies like Medusa to a first crush on an unlikely boy. Goddess Girls follows four goddesses-in-training – Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis – as they navigate the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most priviledged gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills. In book 6, an exchange student from Egypt, Isis, is encroaching on Aphrodite's match-making turf. Will she also edge Aphrodite out of her group of friends?

What Kellee Thinks: I am definitely going to read more of the Goddess Girls series. They are as fun as the covers are. I am so glad that I finally picked one up and read it. What I loved the most is that the story was very much one that you could understand without being knowledgeable about mythology. Much of it was explained and by the end you would be taught what was essential to the story. It even taught me knew mythology- I didn't know about Pygmalion or Metis, Athena's mother, being turned into a fly. 
     This particular story also had some Egyptian mythology in it, introducing Ra, Isis and 3 other Egyptian goddesses. This series is a great one to add to fans of mythology (yes, it is primarily a girl book though I can definitely see parts of it being used in a classroom and entertaining both boys and girls). 
     The book also had a pretty important moral to the story which I think is not preached, but will definitely make the reader think about their friends, choices and enemies.

Title: Artemis the Loyal (Goddess Girls #7)
Author: Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication Date: December, 2011
Genre/Format: Fantasy-Mythology/Novel
Goodreads Summary: It's time for the annual Olympic Game, and the four goddessgirls are not happy! It's boys only- and the girls at MOA are not pleased. 
     Led by Artemis, Athena, Persephone, and Aphrodite, the ladies of Mount Olympus hatch a plan to get Zeus to open up the games to everyone. Will they succeed- or end up watching from the sidelines again? 
     These classic myths from the Greek pantheon are given a modern twist that contemporary tweens can relate to, from dealing with bullies like Medusa to a crush on an unlikely boy.  Goddess Girls follows four goddess-in-training - Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis- as they navigate the ins and outs of divine social live at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged gods and goddess of the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills. 
What Jen Thinks: This book was so much fun! I am a huge fan of girl power books and this book was all about girl power! Artemis and her friends are not happy about being shut out of the Olympics Games merely because they are girls. I love how they take matters into their own hands instead of simply accepting that they can't compete. They start a petition and talk to Zeus and do their best to change his mind about only allowing boys to be part of the Games. 
     This book is perfect now that the Olypmics are rolling around. I think this book provides teachers and parents with an opportunity to talk to students - girls and boys - about how girls weren't always allowed to compete in sports the way that boys do. The kids in this book actually debate over whether it would make sense for the girls to be able to compete or not. I think this book would fit in nicely with books about sports, about mythology, or for talking about equality and debating girls' in sports. 
     The characters in this book are kids I really think tweens will relate to (like it says in the summary). The authors capture the voice of middle grade students really well. Artemis' inner dialogue and that conversations she has with other characters in the book are great examples of dialogue for young readers and writers.

Read Together: Grades 3 to 7
Read Alone: Grades 4 to 8
Read With: Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus or Kane Chronicles series, Tera Lynn Childs's Oh. My. Gods. series, Carolyn Hennesy's Pandora series, Dussie by Nancy Springer, non-fiction about the Olympics Games and history of women's rights.
Snatch of Text: "His expression was fierce and his meaty hands were balled into fists. Wild storm winds whirled around him, whooshing scrolls out of passing students' hands, tangling their hair, and whipping at their chitons and togas. Thunderbolts crashed toward the ground, tearing up grass and splitting trees. 
     "Whoa," said Persephone. "Someone's grumpy today."
     Aphrodite glanced at Athena. Aside from being King of the Gods, Ruler of the Heavens, and the principal of MOA, Zeus was also Athena's dad." (#6, pg. 15)
Mentor Text for: Characterization, Dialogue, Personal Narrative, Expository, Persuasive
Writing Prompts: Using what you know about the gods and goddesses of mythology, write your own myth. Read more about the history of the Olympic Games and then share what you learned in a form of expository text (brochure, poster) using non-fiction text features.; Write a persuasive essay about why girls should be able to compete in boys sports. Write about a time in your life when you felt strongly about something that needed to be changed and what you did to make the change happen.
Topics Covered: Bullies, Friends, Enemies, Love, Fitting In, School, Competition, Equality, Mythology
Kellee *hearts* Aphrodite the Diva:
Jen *hearts* Artemis the Loyal:
**Thank you to the author, Joan Holub, for sending us copies of these books to reveiw!**

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