We Recommend: Mythology, Boys & Beyond the Lightning Thief

It's We Recommend, in which we attempt to find readers the perfect book. Got a kid who needs a recommendation? Write us atthediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot. And really? All the good suggestions are in the comments.
The first thing I thought of when I got the following email was "This sounds so much like my friend's mythology-addicted son!" Here's what we have to work with: short, but sweet.

My son is 11 years old and loves Greek Mythology.  He has read The Lightening Thief series twice now.  He finished the Fablehaven series this summer and is just now starting The Beyonders.  Can you suggest any other series for him?

First of all, I would tell you to go to this previous post, where in my amazing readers offered up great suggestions in the comments along with empathy, sympathy, understanding and wisdom.

It all speaks to an essential and weirdly fascinating (at least to me) truth: kids love mythology.

Why? I don't know. I mean, I know but I don't know, if that makes any sense. Sure, the stories from almost all cultures's mythology are amazing. The crazy squirrel from Norse mythology, the resurrecting gods in Egyptian mythology, the insane and thrilling beasts in all mythologies. Creature with body of a snake, hind legs of a lion and front legs of a giant bird? Yes, please.

But the enduring power of them is almost as awesome as the myths themselves. Check out the section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art near (part of?) the new Islamic Wing where they have the Sumerian and Babylonian art, and see the aforementioned snake-bodied Mushussu. It's a mosaic. It's from something like 7,000 BC. 

How is it possible we are still entranced by this?

Anyway, perhaps that's enough digression? Let's find this young man a book series. I hereby nominate The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.


Because it is fun. 

But readers, do you have other, better, more mythological ideas? Put them in the comments, please!

8 thoughts on “We Recommend: Mythology, Boys & Beyond the Lightning Thief

  1. My 10 y.o. daughter just finished Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book 1 by Colin Meloy. She also read A Wrinkle in Time recently, and enjoyed L’Engle’s other series, The Austin Family Chronicles. She and my 8 y.o. son (also mythology addicted) read and enjoyed the Nicholas Flamel series, post-H.P., and are both working their way through the Eragon/Inheritance series.


  2. YES, I have an excellent, perfect recommendation–Anne Ursu’s Cronus Chronicles, the first book of which is The Shadow Theives. Greek mythology and modern kids.


  3. Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series (which I think I’ve recommended before) is based on Welsh mythology – the characters of Gwydion and Arawn, at least, are taken straight from that tradition…
    The series starts with “The Book of Three”.


  4. I love Nicholas Flemel! My son and I are on book two: The Magician, and I kind of want to sneak into his room and read ahead. But I won’t. Really. NO.


  5. Sutcliff. I think her first name is Rosemary. She writes great versions of mythology and epics. She did an Illiad and an Odyssey that my son loved. She’s got some great novelizations of old Welsh stories, too, and more.
    If some funny riffs on myths would be good, 11 might be old enough forTom Holt books–they are not specifically young adult, but they are mainly comedies–some dating jokes but not anything lewd, if I recall correctly.
    But definitely check out Ms. Sutcliff. They are compelling retellings and adventuresome reads, to my mind.


  6. How about Megan Whalen Turner’s series:
    The Thief
    The Queen of Attolia
    The King of Attolia
    A Conspiracy of Kings,
    all set in a society that seems vaguely Greek. There’s a tremendous spoiler in the second book, so best to avoid reviews!
    Or Cinda Williams Chima’s two fantasy series:
    The Heir Chronicles
    also, Diana Wynne Jones or Philip Pullman, whose books are certainly informed with mythological ideas.


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