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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


***Have a Hot Time, Hades!

by Kate McMullan

Reviewed September 12, 2004.
Scholastic, 2002.  Originally published by Hyperion Books for Children.  144 pages.

My then-fourth-grader son found this book at a Scholastic Book Fair.  He’s a big fan of Greek mythology, so he quickly became hooked on the whole series.  These are easy and quick reading, but are wonderfully entertaining.  You’ll get a background in Greek mythology that’s much less dull than the more traditional telling, too.

The book is narrated by Hades, Lord of the Dead.  Hades saw a Big Book of Greek Myths that called the “brave and mighty Zeus” the greatest god of all time.  Zeus is Hades’ little brother, and Hades says he’s a myth-o-maniac, “old-Greek-speak for ‘liar.’”  This series is Hades’ attempt to set the record straight and tell you what really happened.

It turns out that Hades was the real hero of Greek mythology, but chicken-hearted Zeus lied and took all the credit.  Zeus even cheated at cards to get to be Ruler of the Universe.  Hades ended up deciding he’d rather rule the Underworld just to get away from Zeus.  And that fearsome three-headed dog that guards the road?  He chose to be with Hades because Hades is such a kind master.

I find myself glad that my son has gotten the whole series, as I want to read more.  I also recommended the series to my friend whose fifth-grader needs to practice reading.  The size isn’t daunting, but they don’t talk down to the reader and are most entertaining.

Reader comment:  Esmerentiana gives this book three stars, and says, "I often read upper-grade fiction, but I have had a hard time concentrating on reading (my favorite past-time) in the last year. Having a baby rewired my circuits! I read this book in one sitting last night. I thought it was funny without being nasty or arch. I think I have some insight into the minds of reluctant readers now, and would heartily recommend this series to them."

Reviews of other books by Kate McMullan:
Phone Home, Persephone!  (Myth-O-Mania, Book Two)
Say Cheese, Medusa!  (Myth-O-Mania, Book Three)
Nice Shot, Cupid!  (Myth-O-Mania, Book Four)

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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