Reviews for Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom

Booklist Reviews 2012 September #2
With its tales of heroism and intrigue, Greek mythology provides the perfect fodder for engaging children in literature. Ten-year-old Zeus knows very little about his infancy and his parents, and he certainly cannot explain why he has been struck by lightning innumerable times. When he is kidnapped by Titan giants who eat humans for sport, his true Olympian powers become even harder to explain and control. After he pulls a lightning bolt from a stone, he can no longer deny his immortality, and the hilariously annoying anthropomorphic bolt becomes his sidekick. The tale is narrated by omniscient and clairvoyant Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, whose blurry vision of the future makes for some fun wordplay. Clearly, there is some profound rewriting of classic Greek tradition in this tale, but in spite of some artistic license, it is a good primer for kids on the major players of mythology and will be equally well received among existing fans of the genre. Frequent black-and-white illustrations offer up general, action-y visual breaks. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Providing a new take on the Greek myth of the rise of the Olympians and fall of the Titans, this lighthearted chapter book focuses on Zeus s journey from unassuming boy to nascent hero on a mystical quest. The book's humorous approach will appeal to younger readers, as will the dynamic cartoonlike black-and-white illustrations.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 May #2
Promising myth-adventures aplenty, this kickoff episode introduces young Zeus, "a very special, yet clueless godboy." After 10-year-old Zeus is plucked from his childhood cave in Crete by armed "Cronies" of the Titan king, Cronus, he is rescued by harpies. He then finds himself in a Grecian temple where he acquires a lightning bolt with the general personality of a puppy and receives hints of his destiny from an Oracle with fogged eyeglasses. Recaptured and about to be eaten by Cronus, Zeus hurls the bolt down the Titan's throat--causing the king to choke and then, thanks to an alert Crony's Heimlich maneuver, to barf up several previously eaten Olympians. Spooning in numerous ingredients from the origin myth's traditional versions, the veteran authors whip up a smooth confection, spiced with both gross bits and contemporary idiom (" ‘Eew!' a voice shrieked. ‘This is disgusting!' ") and well larded with full-page illustrations (not seen). One thorough washing later, off marches the now-cocky lad with new allies Poseidon and Hera, to rescue more Olympians in the next episode. Readers will gobble this down and look for more, make no mythtake. (Fantasy. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

Gr 2-4--This funny chapter book retells the story of Zeus, Cronus, and the Olympians. Many kids will already be familiar with Cronus, King of the Titans, who swallows his children so that they might never steal his throne. Zeus, the youngest of the Olympians, is smuggled out to a mountaintop sanctuary, and it is from this haven that he is kidnapped by some hungry, none-too-bright giants. Along their journey to Cronus, Zeus, who has always heard voices foretelling some great destiny, is helped by a number of mythological creatures. The voices and some strange clues he finds along the way lead him to think that the Olympians trapped inside Cronus are the key to his survival, even though he doesn't know the truth about who they are. This is a fun read, casting Zeus in the role of relatable kid, and there is a nice balance between his primary goal of survival and his sense of destiny and adventure. Drawings throughout illustrate particularly dramatic scenes, but for the most part, Zeus and his world are left to readers' imaginations. The story ends with him freeing the Olympians, who he is surprised to find are kids like himself. He agrees to travel with these new friends to find the rest of the Olympians, setting up the future of the series nicely. Share this title, and likely more to come, with those still too young for Percy Jackson's adventures.--Heather Talty, formerly at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City

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