Zeus the Mighty -- a fun twist on Greek Mythology for Middle Grades


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you kids know anything about the Greek myths? Have you ever thought it important to study them and why? There are several fun ways to learn about them without actually reading the myths these days. There are books like the series from Rick Riordan, The Treasury of Glorious Goddesses, and even fun versions like Thundercluck. Today I am going to introduce you to another series with a fun take on the myths. This series comes from National Geographic Kids and is the Zeus the Mighty series. Today I get to share the third book from the series, Zeus the Mighty: The Trials of Hairy-Clees by Crispin Boyer. It is suggested for ages 8 to 12. 

From the Publisher:

Our story begins with a challenge: The Trials of Hairy-Clees are only for the bravest and most awesome gods of all. Who among them will become the ultimate champion?

The pets of Mount Olympus Pet Center are a true team: They conquer epic quests as easily as Ares the pug scarfs down Mutt Nuggets and they vanquish enemies who are pricklier than the spines on Poseidon the pufferfish. But when a chicken named Hermes shows up one day, things take a turn, and before the team knows it, the Oracle has spoken and the mysterious Trials of Hairy-Clees begin! Who will become top god? And can Zeus learn to share the limelight to fight alongside Hermes?

Join Zeus the overconfident hamster, Athena the wise cat, Ares the treat-loving pug, Poseidon the proud pufferfish, and Demeter the loyal grasshopper on another laugh-out-loud adventure through Greek mythology.

From Me:

Ok, this is a cute take. The pets at a pet store listen to the myths over a radio with the owner. Then after the store closes they act them out but think they are really the characters of the myths and on real quests. I love that their leader is a hamster. Their first challenge it the five headed Hydra which in reality is a floor fan. Then a newcomer comes onto the scene, a hen named Hermes. The hen is looking for her new flock however the other animals see her as an mortal and not a god like them. And their team member, Athena, goes a little crazy whenever she is around the bird. After all she is a cat and has cat instincts. Zeus told Hermes she couldn't join them until she becomes immortal and then they hear the tale of Hercules, which they hear has Hairy-Clees. The team tries to complete the challenges before Hermes does to stop her from becoming immortal, but along the way they learn to work together and accept one another.

This book is fun. I love how everyday objects become the magical objects in the myths and more. Tennis balls are seen by the animals as mossy boulders. The animals have also figured out how to have the run of the place at night--even the pufferfish. The locations in the pet shop are seen as the locations in Greece in the myths. The animal point of view to the human point of view in the story would make a wonderful discussion topic!

At the end of the book is information about the real myths and also a bit on why they should be studied. It even has a map of Greece with notes about the actual places mentioned in the story and where they are. This book is fun and entertaining and a great way to get kids to learn a bit about Greek mythology in a different way.