A Fifth Grade boy came into the public library with an assignment description. His teacher wanted him to create an original myth based on Ancient Greek mythology. The story was to be historically accurate but also have elements that the students choose to add, such as drama, action, or humor. The boy came in asking for some books and resources that would help him better understand the history of Greek myths and the characters, along with examples of exciting myths. I asked the boy what type of books he usually enjoys reading, stating his interest in comic books, graphic novels, and short stories, not long chapter books.
Below is a collection of books, audio books, and DVDs ranging from the Third-Fifth grade levels. These books range from collections of stories, graphic novels, and new spins on classic tales. The first sets of resources are from the Yonkers Riverfront Library Branch. The last set of resources are from various Westchester Libraries, available through inter library loan with a Yonkers Library card.
The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus, By: Aliki, Juvenile Nonfiction- J 292 A
Aliki’s colorful text gives a summary of famous Greek Gods. The author goes into detail about the holders of the 12 Golden Thrones of Greek mythology. Each page explains a God or Goddess, giving a picture and a brief description of their character. The illustrations give a good look into Greek history and culture.
Explore Greek Myths! : with 25 Great Projects, By: Anita Yasuda, Juvenile Nonfiction- J 292 A
A great connection of Greek storytelling and interactive ideas, this book gives the reader a look into the Greek culture and their famous stories. Readers will learn how myths from ancient times are still connected to the world today! The author recreates the myths so you understand the Greek culture and then provides an activity that you can do, mostly on your own but at times with an adult. Activities include using papier-mâché, baking, and creating levers
Greek Myths: Stories of Sun, Stone, and Sea By Sally Pomme Clayton, J 292C
Beautifully drawn and textured pictures give you an amazing understanding and respect the Greeks have for their Gods. A collection of short, and sometimes long, stories tell the tales of the Gods. A smaller book than others but still a great collection.
Junior Genius Guides: Greek Mythology, By: Ken Jennings, J 292J
Written in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid style, this is a complete kids guide to Greek Mythology. The book gives profiles on each God, tells Greek mythology history, and does it all in a fun and comical way. There is even a recipe related to the Trojan Horse! A fun way to learn about Greek Mythology!!
Oh My Gods!: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Gods of Mythology (Mythlopedia),By Megan Bryant, Juvenile Nonfiction- J 292 B
A collection of everything within the Greek Mythology genre. Oh My Gods! is a humorous example of the genre with a blog/Facebook like format, as if the gods themselves wrote the book. The pictures are colorful and FUNNY, including an Apollo with sunglasses. Yet, along with the playful tone, the book does include myths, a glossary of common Greek words, and a list of additional resources you may be interested to use.
Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, & Monsters, By: Donna Napoli, Juvenile Nonfiction- J 292 N
Part of a series of books from National Geographic on myths of different cultures, this book will give you a look at 25 major characters from Greek myths. Dramatic and beautiful pictures, exciting stories, and sidebars with additional information will make this a great resource for any myths project. Big book but big text! Also available as an audio book from other branches through inter library loan.
Poseidon: Earth Shaker, By: George O’Connor, Juvenile Graphic Novels, J Graphic O’Connor
George O’Connor has a collection of graphic novels based on the Greek Myth genre. Poseidon is the fifth volume of the Olympian series, and gives a detailed look into the character and complex life of Zeus’ brother and ruler of the water. Other books in the collection include graphic retellings of: Zeus, Athena, Hera, Hades, Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo, and Artemis, all also available at this library.
The d’Aulaires’ book of Greek Myths [CD audio book], Juvenile audio.cd books, kits- J CD
Greek Myths brought to life through exciting storytelling. Hearing the clear tales of the mighty Zeus, wise Athena, and playful Hermes will transport you to Mount Olympus, bringing them into their lives. A great way to follow along with the book format of the myths, which is pretty long.
Greek Myths, By Geraldine McCaughrean, Juvenile Nonfiction- J 292 M
Silly, heroic, gruesome, and ordinary, this book gives the reader all areas of Greek mythological characters. The retelling shares the epic stories from all the heroes, monsters, gods and goddesses from the genre. Illustrations are cartoonish, a little odd looking at times, but add to the short stories. Also available in audio book through inter library loan with the Westchester Library System.
Inter Library Loans
Greek Gods, Heroes, and Monsters. By Arts and Entertainment Network (DVD), DVD 398 G
Rated TVPG from a History Channel broadcast, this DVD shares the history behind the ancient Greek myths. Characters like Zeus, the Titans, and Hercules are brought to life as you get to watch them go through their famous tales. A perfect pick if you are interested in the inspiration and story behind each myth. (From the Larchmont Library)
The Journeys of Odysseus (DVD), By Andrew Schlessinger, Juvenile DVD- J DVD 292.1 J
An animated movie which teacher children the basics of Greek mythology. This is a great pairing with the other books. The quick paced stories are exciting, interesting, and provide explanations on themes at the end. There are also discussion questions are the end which will help develop ideas for research projects. (From the White Plains Library)
The Mighty 12: Superheroes of Greek Myth, By Charles Smith, Juvenile Nonfiction, J 292 S
A comic book lover’s Greek Myth collection that introduces all of the Gods and Goddesses. It includes a description of each character from the genre along with select tales. The pictures, making Zeus look Thor-ish, turn the characters into exciting new heroes of today’s comic books and Marvel movies. (From the White Plains Library)
Resources list found with help from:
ALA. (2012). “2012 Notable Children’s Books List.” Association for Library Service to Children. Retrieved from ALA Notable Children’s Book List
Fleishhacker, J. (2011). “Greek myths: OMGs!.” School Library Journal. Retrieved from: http://www.slj.com/2011/11/collection-development/focus-on-collection-development/greek-myths-omgs-focus-on/
PragmaticMom. (2014). “Top 10 Mythology Books and Resources for Kids.” Retrieved from: PragmaticMom.com
A blog by a mom with children who wanted to help them catch up in their reading. She offers book reviews, book clubs for kids, author visits, and book lists on almost every topic.
Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database
Westchester Library System