Sunday, May 31, 2015

Athena the Brain by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

I finally finished a book for my Mythology Reading Challenge! It is a middle grades read and is the first book in the Goddess Girls series. The 4th and 5th grade girls at my library love this series and keep recommending it, so I definitely wanted to give it a try.
Athena the Brain (Goddess Girls, #1)

The first book revolves around Athena, who learns she is the daughter of Zeus and that he wants her to attend the Mount Olympus Academy. Athena is sad about leaving her best friend Pallas, but is also excited about attending the school and meeting the famous godboys and goddessgirls. She makes both friends and enemies and takes on a heavy school load, but with her brains and wisdom, she finds a place to fit in with the other students.

I loved the elementary take on the Greek gods and goddesses and some of the more famous mortals of the time. Athena befriends Pandora, Aphrodite, and Artemis, finds an enemy in Medusa, and is annoyed by Poseidon and his trident. I love how the authors use parts of the myths to tell the story, but also give them their own twists, like how when Athena first meets Zeus, he has a headache and she learns the headache is her mother inside Zeus's head as a fly. Some of the more R rated stories are amusingly recreated as G events, like Medusa crushing on Poseidon, and how Athena accidentally gives Medusa her snake hair, instead of Medusa and Poseidon doing naughty things in Athena's temple and Athena cursing her. Even the take on how Athens is named is close to how the actual myth takes place, without the temper of Poseidon and Athena rearing its ugly head. One of the weird things is Zeus is the principal, therefore an adult, but his brothers Poseidon and Hades are just preteen boys. I haven't seen Hera in the series, so I don't know what they will do with that, since we have been introduced to Athena's mother in Zeus's head and this is an elementary audience. Hera may be left out completely.

This is a good series for upper elementary students who are not quite ready for Riordan's novels, but want a bit of Greek mythology. The writing style is modern, so the characters speak in modern slang and a bit juvenile, but this is perfect for the intended audience. It was an interesting read and one that I will probably booktalk. 4 cups of cocoa and I will probably read a couple more of the stories at a later date.


  1. I loved how this book incorporated ancient myths. And the stories are just so much fun! Great review :)

    1. Thanks! I am getting ready to start the second book in the series to see how the story continues.