Saturday, November 21, 2020

Cartoon Saturday- Oh My Gods!

Cooke, Stephanie, Fitzpatrick, Insha, and Moon, Juliana. Oh My Gods!
January 5th 2021 by Etch/HMH Books for Young Readers 
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

When Karen's mother gets an exciting work opportunity, Karen has to go live with her father, Zed, whom she only really sees on holidays. Still, she's excited for her mother, so packs her bags and gets ready to start middle school on Mt. Olympus. Her father has an enormous house and is not only the mayor of the community but also her school principal. The students are friendly enough, but everyone seems heavily into mythological LARPing, which strikes Karen as odd. The curriculum is also different from what she's used to, and she gets help from a classmate in the school library. One day, they hear a scream, and find that a student has been turned to stone. Karen learns that she is, in fact, in the world of Greek mythology, but instead of being something ancient and gone, her classmates have reinvented themselves as teens. When her friend, Pol (Apollo) is turned to stone, Karen and her classmates work to find out who did this to him so that they can reverse the damage. 
Strengths: This had several very good things-- the illustration style is colorful and appealing but also different and somehow older than Jamieson or Telgemeier. This gave the book more of a high school feel, which my students will adore, even though it's stated that the students are in middle school. This is the best version of Zeus that I've seen; sort of like the Santa in Funke's When Santa Fell to Earth. Moving and living with a normally noncustodial parent needs more coverage in the literature. Of course, there is the nice myth based mystery, the band of friends working together, and an exotic setting. 
Weaknesses: Shall we call a moratorium on mythology based books called Oh My Gods!? There are so many other word play that could be used. This was a bit light on mythology, but at least it didn't use any in an annoying way.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. A main character named Karen AND mythology? I would be remiss not to. Remember, I was a Latin teacher in a previous life. 

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