book review, Something To Do

Greek Mythology for young readers: The Adventures of Achilles by Hugh Lupton

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Greek Mythology

I am not sure if it’s the changing of the seasons or just the busy-ness of my life, but I’ve been in the mood to snuggle up with some of our favorite Greek Mythology books lately! Last month I shared a family favorite; The Adventures of Odysseus. This wonderful story, paired with vibrant illustration still mesmerizes me to this day.

Greek Mythology

Greek Mythology for young readers: The Adventures of Achilles

This month, I’d like to share another gorgeous book from Barefoot Books-The Adventures of Achilles. Barefoot Books are high quality and unique and not typically found on Amazon. I’ve been a Barefoot Book Ambassador in the past but my hectic children’s book writing and publishing schedule forced me to put that venture on hold for now. BUT, I am still a huge fan of the diversity, quality, and uniqueness that Barefoot Books offers.

The Adventures of Achilles tells the mythical story behind this amazing warrior’s history and of the fall of the great walled city of Troy. The story is told beautifully, but I do not recommend this for young children. Some battle parts might be a little hard to read for children under the age of ten. However, this is a great book—your child will be extremely prepared for high school English. Carole Henaff’s illustrations are beautiful and truly represent the Greek culture.

The Adventures of Achilles
One day, the king of all the Gods, Zeus, fell in love with a water nymph named Thetis. However, he heard a prophecy that her son would one day become greater than his father. Of course, that would never do for the King of the skies. So he decided to find a mortal husband for her—Peleus, the great warrior king. Peleus instantly fell in love with her beauty, and Zeus led him to her beach. When she arrived, riding a dolphin like a horse, he proposed, but she only consented to marriage if he could catch her. After many days of trying, he succeeded and, they were married immediately.
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Thetis soon bore a son destined for greatness but also destined for a short life. She took Achilles as a boy and dipped his body in the river Styx so that he would be immortal—all except for his heel, where she held him. Achilles grew into a powerful, feared warrior who commanded greatness and would one day be needed for a great war.
Years later, Paris, a prince of Troy with a face like a god, was walking when Zeus saw him. Many years ago, the goddess Eris had thrown an apple of discord to choose who—Hera, Athena, or Aphrodite—was the most beautiful goddess. They were still arguing about it. Hermes brought the apple to Paris and gave him his mission. Only after much consideration and after the goddess of love offered him the most beautiful woman in the world, did he choose Aphrodite. Soon after Paris was sent to the Greek palace of Menelaus, wherein the night, he and Helen, Menelaus’s wife, snuck away. Infuriated by this betrayal, Agamemnon went to his brother, Agamemnon—high king of the Greeks—and convinced him to rally an army against the Trojans. The young king Odysseus was sent to find Achilles since Agamemnon was told that he would not win the war without him.
For years the Greeks and Trojans fought, and whenever they saw Achilles fought, Trojans were struck with fear. But the Trojans still had Prince Hector, their equivalent to Achilles. Soon both sides grew weary of the war, and the Trojans formulated the plan to stay inside their fortified, strong city walls and just wait until the Greeks gave up. This went on for many years, and Achilles was sent away to destroy allies of Troy. When he returned, he offered Agamemnon spoils, including a daughter of a priest from the temple of Apollo. Achilles kept a slave girl for himself. However, Apollo was not happy with this, so he sent a colony of infested rats into the Greek camp, which infected dogs, horses, and then men. To get rid of the plague, Agamemnon was forced to release the priestess, and in exchange, he took Achilles’ slave girl. This infuriated the warrior, and from that moment on, he vowed not to fight in the war.
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Inspired by Zeus months later, Hector lept from bed and led his army against the Greeks, and at this time, they gained a victory. However, Patroclus, Achilles’ closest friend, took Achilles’ armor to strike fear in Trojan hearts, but he was doomed to die. When he went up against Hector, he was dead in a matter of minutes. Achilles’ swore to avenge Patroclus’s death by killing Hector. He leapt onto his chariot, chased Hector to the walls of Troy, and killed him, with the help of Athena.
After Patroclus’s body was burned on a funeral pyre, late that night, King Prium of Troy and his youngest daughter drove through the Greek camp to retrieve his son’s body. Achilles’ took pity on the old king, who reminded him of his own father who he would never see again. He allowed them to take Hector’s body and promised that he would hold off the Greek army while they grieved. While this was taking place, Achilles was falling in love with Prium’s daughter.
Once Hector’s funeral was over, the fighting resumed. During the day Achilles would fight. At night, he would meet Prium’s daughter. One night, Apollo whispered in Paris’s ear about his sister’s relationship and to follow her with a bow and arrow. When Paris followed them, Achilles revealed that his only vulnerable spot is his heel. At that moment, Paris loosed his arrow and Apollo stabbed it into Achilles heel. He died immediately.
With their best warrior dead, Odysseus decided to build a great wooden horse where Greeks hid and burned the Greek camp. The trojans brought the horse into their city, and after they had all gone to bed, the Greek soldiers climbed out of the camp and burned the city of Troy to the ground.
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The Adventures of Achilles tells the mythical story behind this amazing warrior’s history and of the fall of the great walled city of Troy. The story is told beautifully, but I do not recommend this for young children. Some battle parts might be a little hard to read for children under the age of ten. However, this is a great book—your child will be extremely prepared for high school English. Carole Henaff’s illustrations are beautiful and truly represent the Greek culture.

Something To Do

I’ve seen some pretty ambitious projects involving popsicle sticks when it comes to creating a Trojan Horse, but I also like this 3D Trojan Horse Puzzle kit!

Greek Mythology crafts

Water Nymphs are magical creature similar to mermaids. To create a dainty flower crown fit for a water nymph princess, check out Colorful-Crafts sweet daisy flora crown activity.

 Water nymph

Eris’s Golden Apple of Discord:

“The caramel coating is very gooey, so refrigerate the apples for about 15 minutes, or until the caramel has firmed up. (You will need 6 wooden craft sticks for this recipe.)”

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 Happy Reading!
**some of these links are affiliate links.
A HUGE congrats to JIAB Intern, Hannah Rials! Her debut YA book, Ascension, is a finalist for the Ben Franklin Awards, Best New Voice in: Children’s/YA Fiction!
Ben Franklin Award
The winners will be announced on April 7, 2017 and we can’t wait to hear the results. Hannah’s book was published by my publishing imprint, Aletha Press and this award is one of the highest national honors for independent book publishers. So proud of you Hannah! Grab your copy of this award-winning book on Amazon HERE.

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