Friday, May 5, 2017

Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams, illustrated by Craig Phillips

This is a long-running, one might even say endless, series that is extremely popular in my library. It's the perfect series for readers who really want to read Rick Riordan but can't handle the content or the reading level. I've never actually read one, but when I decided to use it in book club I had to make a hurried reading the night before!

Cronus and the Titans rule the world, Cronus having eaten anyone who could defy them. But one boy remains - ten year old Zeus. He has no idea of his destiny, just wishing that lightning would stop hitting him. When he gets kidnapped by hungry Titans, he decides maybe there are worse things than getting hit by lightning and is almost pleased when he grabs something for defense and it turns out to be a thunderbolt. He's not so pleased when he can't get rid of the thing! Along the way on his adventures he picks up some other ten year olds and together they set out on an adventure.

Black and white drawings add humor to this contemporary retelling of the Greek myths. This story is primarily for set-up of the series, so it introduces the characters, setting, and the general mythos. Adults and those familiar with Greek myths will immediately realize that Zeus is the missing Olympian and know pretty much where the story is going, but even if it's not a surprise it's still a well-written and humorous retelling.

Verdict: While I hate to recommend starting a series that is coming up on 14 volumes and shows no signs of stopping, you really do need this in your library - it's very popular and fits into a niche. Also, they're funny.

ISBN: 9781442457874; Hardcover edition published 2012 by Aladdin; Purchased for the library

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