myth

The Hobbit

A very ordinary hobbit finds himself in an utterly unlooked-for adventure, thanks to the meddling of Gandalf the Wizard. He never wanted to cross distant lands to get dwarven treasure back from a dragon! Or did he? Perhaps the Took side of the family was stronger in him than he knew? Regardless, he finds himself as the 14th member of an expedition to reclaim the gold rightfully belonging to Thorin Oakenshield- once King under the Lonely Mountain. Despite the lack of proper meals and lodgings, Bilbo begins to enjoy his adventure, despite encountering trolls, Beorn the wild bear-man, wood-elves, goblins, Wargs, a wretched Gollum creature, and one very greedy dragon (Smaug). Whatever would their company have done without Gandalf? They surely would have been eaten by trolls or goblins or both!

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The Lost Hero

Jason awakens on a bus in the middle of the Arizona Desert, surrounded by kids his own age and being bossed around by a coach. He has no idea who he is, nor who the people around him are. They are soon attacked by storm spirits, and Jason instinctively knows what they are and how to fight them. He and two other students- Piper, who says she's his girlfriend, and Leo, who says he's his best friend- are rescued by Annabeth & Butch (a new demigod), and are flown to Camp Half-Blood. By order of Zeus, Mt. Olympus has cut off communication with all mortals, including Camp Half-Blood. Something strange is definitely going on. Chiron realizes who Jason is and where he is from, but won't divulge anything. Soon all three friends are claimed by their godly parents, and they are sent off on a quest to save Hera from an unknown super-powerful enemy. All along, Jason is trying to discover who he is, where he's spent the past 12 years, and why each of them has been selected by Hera for this quest. The fulfillment of the second Great Prophecy is being revealed.

I truly savored this book, relishing the slow revealing of the parallel Roman aspects.

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The Burning Bridge

The second book in the series follows hot on the heels of the first book, time-wise. While I still find the dialogue & humor a bit forced, and the movement of the plot to be less-than-smooth, the characters are engaging enough to make me want to read the next book. I am enjoying the relationship of Horace & Will progress from competitors who do not get along to trusted allies and best friends.

Students familiar with Roman history will delight to recognize the historical Horatius Cocles, who, along with two of his officers, defended a bridge against the Etruscans by destroying it behind himself. Horace, Will and Evanlyn, anyone?

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The Battle of the Labyrinth

Entertaining, especially would be great for students learning about the Greek myths. This book has an absolutely hilarious (and insightful!!) chapter in which Percy & his friends are interrogated by a thoroughly modernized Sphynx... yes, it is a wonderful satire on the standardized method of testing.

Cautions? As with this whole series, the parents of the protagonists are immoral; every child (except Athena's children) are conceived outside of wedlock, often as a result of broken promises, and are raised in broken homes. Makes for a nebulous moral backdrop. BUT this is an accurate representation of the old myths.

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The Last Olympian

The Percy Jackson series wraps up without disappointment. The good guys win, and are rewarded, Percy chooses doing the right thing over immortality, and of course gets the right girl. I liked seeing the gods' personalities develop over the series, turning them from cardboard mythological characters to real people.

Cautions? As with this whole series, the parents of the protagonists are immoral; every child (except Athena's children) are conceived outside of wedlock, often as a result of broken promises, and are raised in broken homes. Makes for a nebulous moral backdrop. BUT this is an accurate representation of the old myths.

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