Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes – A fun teen perspective on the original superheroes

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My kid loved these books in middle school! Haven’t read them myself, I’m sure they’re full of divine rape and infanticide and changing people into trees and the like.

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Did you think the classical Greek myths were a dry read?

Never once! Never for a single nanosecond. Never ever ever. How could such foundational texts and stories be dry . . . even from the perspective of our YA-choked, ahem, literary marketplace?

Sounds like fun… BUT, wouldn’t it be cool if the kid reading this could also learn, not that stuff is stupid, or that butts are involved, but that the 12 labors represent a trip through the zodiac, and that Hercules is a Sun god? Isn’t that mind-blowing, also? When I was young, I read the standards - Edith Hamilton and Bulfinch. These helped me navigate the worlds of comic books, to understand pantheons and a little bit about our old culture. But when I read Robert Graves’ The Greek Myths, that’s when it hit me that Jehovah = Jove, that Esther is Astarte, and that every solar king must harrow hell before being killed on a tree.

My kids liked them and I read many. The affected early teen slang is tedious, and the modernization can be cheesy, though they’re a fun read. There’s not a lot of Leda and the Swan/Ganymede/infant Oedipus being left to die, though. They’re heavier on comic book violence and light on sex. I did like the Procrustes bit, though.

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Probably why I stayed away.

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We had a couple of these “Percy Jackson covers Greek mythology” books in the library, and they were a fun read, but I hope this one is better bound. One of them had the pages fall out by the handful after circulating half a dozen times.

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