Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
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Rick Riordan, illus. by John Rocco
ISBN 9781423183648
Disney/Hyperion, 2014.
5 stars
Keywords: adventure greek-myths humor percy-greek-gods rick-riordan

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
by Rick Riordan, illus. by John Rocco

With an irreverent tone and the ability to tackle head-on the questions inherent in Greek mythology, Percy Jackson explains the Olympians who have held such sway in his life.

"I'm biased. But if you're going to have a Greek god for a parent, you couldn't do better than Poseidon," says the star of Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief. Narrator Percy Jackson's conversational tone sets this mythology apart from others, along with John Rocco's (Blackout) sensational illustrations. Rocco shows immense range, from the image of Gaea, gazing up from her earthly terrain at Ouranos, who's looking down at her from the stars, pulsing with the chemistry between them, to the five rivers that flow into the Underworld, painted as a quintet of horizontal panel illustrations that deliver one wallop of an impact. Percy gives voice to the obvious issues for young people, such as the intermarriage of the Titans ("I know," he says, "You're screaming, GROSS! The brothers wanted to marry their own sisters?!") and pens clever chapter headings, such as "Persephone Marries Her Stalker (Or, Demeter, the Sequel)." Percy pulls no punches. Zeus philanders, and Hera gets her revenge ("I can't blame her, really. Zeus could be a total diaper wipe," Percy explains).

Enlarged, pithy pull quotes ("Think Aphrodite swore off mortal men after that? If you guessed no, you're learning," reads one example), plus Rocco's chapter openers and full-page illustrations break up the text. Kids will start out thinking they'll dip in and out of this meaty, elegantly compiled volume and wind up reading it cover to cover.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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