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The Greek News

Title: The Greek News

Bibliography: Powell, A. (2009). The Greek News. New York: Candlewick.

Short Annotation: This story is written as thought there would have been newspapers during ancient civilizations.

Genre: Fiction, Mythology

Grade Level: 3-5

Readers who will like this book: Children who enjoy mythology, children who enjoy reading the newspaper

Personal response and rating: One of the students in my fieldwork classroom was reading this book and I was able to skim along with him. I thought it had a really cool way of getting students interested in learning about mythology through a modern take, although I’m not that huge on mythology, personally. Rating: 3

Question: What is an ancient civilization? Does anyone know what a myth is?

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The Hero and the Minotaur: The Fantastic Adventures of Theseus

Bibliographic Information: Byrd, R. (2005). The hero and the minotaur: The fantastic adventures of Theseus. New York, NY: Dutton Children’s Books.

Brief Annotation: An account of the many adventures of Theseus, from his birth through his defeat of the Minotaur and ascension to the throne in Athens.

Genre: Myth

Grade Level: 1st-8th

Readers who will like this: Readers who enjoy mythology; readers who enjoy adventure stories; readers who enjoy stories that feature monsters

Rating/Response: 3; This book was all over the place. The author attempted to cram the entirety of Theseus’ story, as well as some of the supporting side-myths (such as the story of Daedalus and Icarus) into one picture book. The result is a tale that feels both cumbersome and fractured. Many Greek myths are collections of shorter stories that are loosely linked together by a common character and his or her interaction with the god(s) and goddess(es) of Greece, but in this instance, I feel it would have been better to leave out parts of the larger mythology surrounding Theseus to create a more cohesive whole. That being said, the retelling is accurate and descriptive. The illustrations are lovely in general, but a particularly nice touch is the way in which the gods and goddesses are incorporated into their domains (such as Poseidon being a part of the water throughout the book). This book is more suited for independent reading than for reading aloud, but it is a strong introduction to Theseus.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: “Hero” is a word that we use a lot, but it can mean different things to different people and cultures. What does the word “hero” mean to you? What makes somebody a hero?

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I Can Hear the Sun

Title: I Can Hear the Sun

Bibliographic information: Polacco, P. (1996). I Can Hear the Sun. New York: Philomel Books

Brief annotation: This is a myth about a young boy who is alone but make friends with the geese and their keeper at the park. When he is told he is being sent away, he hides out and flies away with geese. No one knows the real story of what happened to the boy – who would believe it?!

Genre: Myth

Grade: 2nd – 4th

Readers who will like this: Readers who are interested in myths or are learning about myths will enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed this book. I liked that this was a story that she knew and it involved people that she actually knows. I liked the more modern feel to the myth.

Question: What is a myth? What are some common characteristics that myths have?

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The Origin of Life on Earth

Bibliographic Information: Anderson, D. (1993). The Origin of Life on Earth. MT. Airy, MD.: Sights Productions

Short Annotation: Obatala was sent down from the sky to earth one day. Once he was on earth, he began to form life. He created plants, land, and even humans and this was done through seeds, palm kernels and maize.

Genre: Folklore

Grade Level: Second through Third grade.

Audience: Students would like this book.

Personal Rating and Response: I give this book a rating of five. I liked how this book showed a different view of how life was formed.

Question: How do you think earth was created?

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God’s Big Story

Title: God’s Big Story

Bibliographic Information: Reinsma, C. (1999). God’s big story. Colorado: International Bible Study.

Annotation: This book focuses all on God and the life he lived. God’s adventures, creations, and the sacrifices he made are all described in great detail.

Genre: Myth

Grade level: 2nd-5th Grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers who are seeking to learn more in-depth about God and the life he lived.

Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because it is very informative about God’s story. It is very factual, asks questions along the way to help guide the readers, and has very detailed illustrations.

Question I would ask before the reading: Can you name someone who always watches over you?

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The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth

1) The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth

2) Anderson, D. (1991). The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth. Mt. Airy, Maryland: Sights Productions

3) This book tells the story of the Yoruba Tribe who believed there was once only sky and water. They had a God who lived in the sky who had two messengers a male and female. One of the messengers felts they had nothing to use their power on, so the great God decides to create life on Earth.

4) Myth

5) 3-6

6) Readers who like to read about tribes and old myths

7) Rate:5; The book was very interesting I learned about the Yoruba Tribe and their beliefs which I thought was really fascinating

8) Where do you think the Earth came from?

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The Warrior Twins: A Navajo Hero Myth

Yasuda, A. (2013). The warrior twins. Minneapolis, MN: Magic Wagon.

Twin Navajo heroes set out to make the world safe for people to exist on by fighting monsters of bad human reaction

Genre: Myth

Grade: 3rd-6th

Readers who will like this book: Children who enjoy reading mythical stories, children who are interested in Native American culture, children who enjoy hero stories or comics.

Response and rating:4; I really liked that this book has a character list at the beginning as well as some specific information on the Navajo. The illustrations in this book seem to be very comic book in style, and I think that this characteristic will help to bring lower class students into the classroom community. I also think this will help draw boys into the study og mythical tales!

Question: What is a myth? Who are the Navajo and what do you think their myth aims to explain?