cover image Zeus: King of the Gods

Zeus: King of the Gods

George O'Connor, . . Roaring Brook/First Second, $9.99 (78pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-625-1

O'Connor (Kapow! ;Journey into Mohawk Country ) embarks on a new project: a series of graphic novels for young readers about Greek mythology (Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess follows in April, with Hera and Hades in the pipeline). While the D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths is the gold standard for illustrated introductions to Greek mythology, O'Connor offers a modern take with a new view of these “original superhero stories” with gritty yet heroic art and spare prose that lets the myths speak for themselves. The story is the one most schoolchildren know—the Titans created Zeus and Hera, as well as the Cyclopes, and adventure ensued—but O'Connor brings the young gods to life with memorable compositions and attention to detail (childlike fear on Hera's face as she navigates the treacherous new world, a bat screeching away as Zeus confronts the Cyclopes). Back matter includes notes, a bibliography, a list of recommended books for further reading, and discussion questions for readers, making it attractive for teachers and librarians for its information and depth of research. But that shouldn't stop tweens from enjoying the story. Ages 9–12. (Jan.)