Sunday, July 14, 2013

Goddess Girls: Athena the Brain

Athen has always been above average. She's never quite fit in at Triton Junior High, but who would've guessed that Athena is actually a goddess? Principal Zeus's daughter, to be exact. When she's summoned to Mount Olympus Academy, Athena thinks she might actually fit in for the first time in her life. But in some ways, school on Mount Olympus is not that different from down on Earth, and Athena is going to have to deal with the baddest mean girl in history- Medusa!
Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams put a modern spin on classic myths with the Goddess Girls series. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.
This is a good start to a series that I'm really excited about. It provides a fun way for kids to learn about Greek myths, and puts it on their level. I love that it's pretty much all these gods a goddesses in junior high, and junior high in Ancient Greece was about the same as it is now. There are nice girls and mean girls, popular guys who know all the girls like them (in this case, Poseidon), and embarrassing situations for the main character. How would you feel if the whole school found out that your mother was a fly? I think we can all relate to the circumstances of the story. 

I really liked how the authors chose to write the character of Athena. I think she is a good role model for young girls, and she makes good choices throughout the book. This book might just get some of those girls who aren't interested in the Percy Jackson series into Greek myths as well.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Amelia Bedelia series

Jen and I read these with her two daughters, ages 3 and 7, the other night. They were a bit too long to hold the 3 year old's interest, but they had the rest of us in stitches.

Imagine Amelia Bedelia in your homeroom! Everyone's favorite zany lady finds herself teacher for the day- and what a day it turns out to be!

This was my favorite Amelia Bedelia as a child. There is some outdated terminology in it, so I had to stop reading at some parts so Jen and I could explain some of the words to the kids. I think for beginning readers some of the newer Amelia Bedelia books might be better. This is a classic, though.

When Amelia Bedelia went to the station to meet the conductor, Mrs. Rogers did not expect her to bring back a man who worked for the railroad. The concert could not start until the orchestra leader arrived- which he finally did, no thanks to Amelia Bedelia. 
But neither the conductor nor the school orchestra was prepared for Amelia Bedelia's contribution to the musical event. The master of literal interpretation, Amelia Bedelia is just as happy with a flat bee as with a B flat. And if you want a wind instrument- well, what blows more wind than an electric fan? 
Amelia Bedelia is as funny as she has ever been in this musical extravaganza. Do you wonder what she plays in the orchestra? She plays havoc!

Wow, this one was pretty crazy! By the end of the book, she had really gotten under the conductor's skin. (And I don't mean the train conductor!) Kids will like this one.  Ages 5 and up.

She's back! Amelia Bedelia,  America's favorite housekeeper, has returned. Armed with a driver's license, Amelia Bedelia hits the road! 
Amelia Bedelia listens to what people say. She believes they know what they are talking about. If someone tells her to watch out for a fork in the road- well, she's heard of needles in haystacks, so why not a fork in the road? Readers will find her exploits hilarious.

I think this was the funniest one yet! The part about the fork in the road had us all cracking up. And Mr.  Rogers learned his lesson- never go driving with Amelia Bedelia!