A breezy tone and well-placed gags keep things moving in Cooke and Fitzpatrick’s series opener, which twines well-trod school travails with Greek mythology. When middle schooler Karen is uprooted from life with her mom in New Jersey and sent to stay with her dad, Zed, on Mount Olympus, she does not expect it to be the mythical Mount Olympus, nor does she anticipate that her junior high school will be filled with youthful incarnations of ancient Greek deities. In addition to navigating a new social scene, a class load that covers ancient history and archery, and the knowledge that she may be a demigoddess, Karen must also figure out why students are suddenly getting turned to stone—a plot point that covers familiar ground for those who know the tales. Instantly inviting art with strong lines and a colorful palette by Moon quickly situates the reader, while the light plot introduces the pantheon-based cast—which balances expected character traits (bookish Athena, sporty Artemis) with clever updates (Zeus as an enthusiastic father)—while setting up the next installment. Ages 8–12. Agent: Maria Vicente, P.S. Literary Agency.(Jan.)
Correction: A previous version of this review categorized Fitzpatrick as co-illustrator rather than co-author.
Reviewed on : 11/25/2020 Release date: 01/01/2021 Genre: Children's