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MattW
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Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

[ Edited ]
I don't know about you, but when I was younger, I was really into mythology -- I loved reading about the Greek gods who possessed amazing powers. They were superheroes to me! I especially enjoyed D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths.

I've noticed what I think may be a more popular resurgence of mythology for kids coming up. There's a fantastic new series out called Percy Jackson and the Olympians, about a boy who discovers that he's the son of Poseidon; Al Roker just picked the series in his Book Club for Kids this summer. Also, fans of the Ologies series will be happy to hear that Mythology is coming out this fall.

Were/Are you into mythology, or are your children or students? What kind of lessons do you think can be drawn from myths/books about mythological figures, and what modern-day heroes do you see out there for kids to look up to? Are there any heroes in kids' lit that you're particularly fond of? (Fans of Joseph Campbell, who talked about heroes and the Star Wars series, will be happy to know that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Star Wars!)

Message Edited by MattW on 06-04-200705:09 PM

Matt
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becke_davis
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

I was interested in mythology for awhile -- the book I remember reading was just called Mythology, if I remember correctly, and I think the author was Edith Hamilton. I think it was a common reference book, but it was a fascinating read, too.
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Nelsmom
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

I like Mythology and still do read it sometimes. When Hallmark made the monvie of The Odyssey, ny son and I watch it and then got a copy of it when it came out on video. My son loved me reading the Sinbad stories and Jason and the Argonuts. Both have a lot of mythology in them.

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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

[ Edited ]
I Loved D'Aulaire's - I think I checked it out so much from the school library that the librarians probably thought I was nuts. There was also a Norse mythology one, too, that I remember. I'm really going to have to buy those because I keep thinking about it everytime I straighten the kids' section after close :smileyhappy:



MattW wrote:
I don't know about you, but when I was younger, I was really into mythology -- I loved reading about the Greek gods who possessed amazing powers. They were superheroes to me! I especially enjoyed D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths.

I've noticed what I think may be a more popular resurgence of mythology for kids coming up. There's a fantastic new series out called Percy Jackson and the Olympians, about a boy who discovers that he's the son of Poseidon; Al Roker just picked the series in his Book Club for Kids this summer. Also, fans of the Ologies series will be happy to hear that Mythology is coming out this fall.

Were/Are you into mythology, or are your children or students? What kind of lessons do you think can be drawn from myths/books about mythological figures, and what modern-day heroes do you see out there for kids to look up to? Are there any heroes in kids' lit that you're particularly fond of? (Fans of Joseph Campbell, who talked about heroes and the Star Wars series, will be happy to know that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Star Wars!)

Message Edited by MattW on 06-04-200705:09 PM



Message Edited by pedsphleb on 06-04-200709:02 PM

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imthereaderder55
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

I loved to read Mythology when I was younger also. For me it started with the gods of Rome when a teacher read us a bio of Julius Caesar in 6th grade. I was hooked! In college, I was a Lit major (I'm a "wanna be" children's librarian, now a education store buyer and mom of 2 obsessive readers (20 & 26 who has never thrown a book away) and my very favorite class ever was in the History of Mythology. What insights! Love these discussion groups
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MattW
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

I wanted to ask, why do you all think that kids are so into mythology? As I mentioned, for me it was because the characters were superhero-like; now that I'm an adult, I see that those mythological heroes had courage and strength as well as weaknesses and faults - which made them more human and taught me a few lessons.

I mentioned before that 2007 marks the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, which is a classic story about a kid who must master his powers and discover his own history in order to defeat the dark side. Sounds like Harry Potter, no?
Matt
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

Matt

I think one reason kids like superheroes is that they see them being able to do all kinds of special things and people look up to them as role models. They don't hear much about everyday heros ans so this gives them something to look up too. To many families today don't teach values in the home and so children look other places to get those. That is my feelings anyway.

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la4bama
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

I have been wanting to start reading and understanding mythology. I have the book by Edith Wharton ( I'm not really sure on that name). I was wondering if there was any certain web site or book that helped breakdown all the gods and goddesses and how to start studying the subject? :smileyhappy:
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MattW
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit


la4bama wrote:
I have been wanting to start reading and understanding mythology. I have the book by Edith Wharton ( I'm not really sure on that name). I was wondering if there was any certain web site or book that helped breakdown all the gods and goddesses and how to start studying the subject? :smileyhappy:



There are a few children's books that can help get you started, such as D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths or Greek Gods. For adult books, do you mean Edith Hamilton's Mythology? I know of another one, called Gods, Heroes and Men of Ancient Greece. As for websites, I did a quick search - looked like this was a good one: http://www.pantheon.org.
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

For mythology, although I shudder to admit that I read it, let alone own it, actually The Idiot's Guide to Classical Mythology is quite good and very user friendly. I had to spend an hour in a bookstore while my wife was shopping (all together now: awwww, poor you having to spend an hour in a bookstore :smileyhappy: ), and ran across it. I opened it expecting to have a fun time scoffing, but I was actually impressed enough to buy it to add to my collection of mythologies.
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MattW
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

Hi all,

I just wanted to let any Ologies fans out there know that there's a new book coming out in August -- Mythology. I've seen an advance copy, and it looks to be great!
Matt
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wolfchick1692
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

I absolutely love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. While humorous and fast-paced, the series also provides very interesting facts about Greek mythology. I've always loved mythology, even as a young child, asking my parents for books on mythology and such. Another great mythology series is The Cronus Chronicles by Anne Ursu, starting with The Shadow Thieves. The concept is interesting and the characters are believable. A lovable read for young and old. I'm going to pick up the next in the series, The Siren Song.
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

For interesting insights, try reading The War of Mirrors, by E.J. Stewart. The War of Mirrors depicts a kingdom not only of men and talking animals, but also of mythical creatures such as fairies, elves, centaurs, fauns, satyrs and maenads.
In an interview, author E.J. Stewart explains that as stewards of the present, we need to come to grips with our mythological past. "A well-developed mythology is the key to understanding reality. It's a continuum, really. The talking animals are just the beginning. From there, it's an easy leap of imagination to understanding mythical creatures. Then, taking one more step, we find ourselves face to face with supernatural beings, and we believe in them."
For more info, see http://www.warofmirrors.com
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

Yeah I'm with ya on the Percy Jackson series. I got them all so far except for the Titan's Curse. I'm waiting for it to get in paperback.
"I killed him. I killed that boy." Johnny Cade, The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton
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Baker
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

I like mythology books like the Olympian series because it is intresting and fun to read. At first I liked them because of the powers but now I like them for the imagination in the stories of mythology. After all I'm only a kid.
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aks613
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

Has anyone had their kid read the myth-o-mania series by Kate McMullen? It's greek myth, told with humor, from Hades' point of view. It's LOL funny and educational at the same time. Check them out- they're pretty great!
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hprocks2121
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

this is kind of fantasy, but maximum ride is awesome!
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Linda322
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

One of my favorite college classes was entitled "Myths, Dreams and Fantasies." We compared all sorts of myths and folk stories to study their common themes. For instance, theology aside, there are some interesting similarities between the stories Jesus Christ and Superman -- "magical" birth, adoptive parent(s), "superhuman powers", fighting against evil, etc. These themes go as far back as the earliest stories and modern authors (George Lucas for one) consciously borrowed from mythological themes while writing their own "myths." I am particularly intrigued by myths from different cultures on the same themes -- creation myths, for instance. My point is, I think we are fascinated with myths because they represent the deepest parts of our psyche; the essence of "Being" that is common to all humans. Kids don't understand all that gobbledygook, but they do recognize the "sameness" of the human condition, even in such foreign contexts as ancient Greece or outer space.
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ctheller
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Re: Mythology & Heroes in Kids' Lit

I'm sort of into mythology, and I've found another series that's very good also. The Chronus Chronicles is a very good series about mythology, but from a slightly different point of view than Percy Jackson. I believe that the third one in the series is coming out soon.