Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, mythology, Uncategorized

Tails and Tales Bundle: Thundercluck and Zeus the Mighty

Since I’ve been talking about Summer Reading and book bundles, I thought I’d start making some fun suggestions. For anyone doing the Tails and Tales theme, Thundercluck: Chicken of Thor by Paul Tillery IV and Meg Wittwer and the Zeus the Mighty series from Crispin Boyer fit the bill and have the shared mythological theme, too!

Thundercluck! Chicken of Thor: Recipe for Revenge, by Paul Tillery IV/Illustrated by Meg Wittwer, (Sept. 2020, Square Fish), $7.99, ISBN: 9781250619785

Ages 8-11

The second Thundercluck adventure is just as much fun as the first. Thundercluck and Brunhilde, the Valkyrie, find themselves on the outs with Odin, and head to Midgard (that’s us, Earth!) to match wits against three foes. Gorman the angry skull is back with two new fiends: Medda, a shape-shifting enchantress, and War-Tog, a warthog warrior that is too easily led into poor decisions. Thundercluck is a story of friendship being tested, and family secrets learned, but at its heart, it’s a story of learning to admit one’s mistakes. Black and white illustrations and a quickly-moving story makes this an excellent Summer Reading choice; you don’t need to have read the first book to jump on board, but the kids will want to.

Summer Reading ideas: Book bundle with the first Thundercluck and printables from the Thundercluck website; book bundle with Zeus the Mighty for a Tails and Tales spin on mythology; display with other mythology chapter books, like Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams’s Thunder Girls seriesDon’t forget to have reference resources, like National Geographic’s Everything Mythology, available!

 

Zeus the Mighty: The Quest for the Golden Fleas (Book 1), by Crispin Boyer, (Oct. 2019, Under the Stars), $12.99, ISBN: 9781426335471

Ages 8-12

The first book in another fun series from National Geographic Kids and their fiction imprint, Under the Stars. Zeus the Mighty is a hamster who lives in Mount Olympus Pet Center with a variety of rescued animals, and heroines. Artie – short for Artemis, naturally – is the human the runs the Center and names her favorite rescues after Greek mythological heroes. The group all listen to a podcast, Greeking Out, that tells the stories of the Greek gods, but the animals take the stories to heart. Zeus believes he rules Mount Olympus, putting him at odds with Poseidon, the puffer fish who won’t give up control of his watery Atlantis and bristles at Zeus’s attempts to boss him around. Their first adventure is a quest for the Golden Fleas: a fun retelling of the tale of Jason, the Argonauts, and the Golden Fleece. The storytelling is light, there are cute black and white illustrations throughout, and a section on “The Truth Behind the Fiction” adds the perfect amount of nonfiction context to the story. Consider adding this to your shelves.

Summer Reading Ideas: Bundle with the second book in the series, The Maze of the Menacing Minotaur (the third book is out in August!) and add some printables from the Zeus the Mighty website. Display with other Greek mythology-flavored fiction, like Joan Holub and Suzanne William’s Goddess Girls and the Heroes in Training series, by Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams, and Tracey West. National Geographic has a great Weird But True book on Greek Mythology, too.

 

Posted in programs, Summer Reading

Summer Reading: Which theme to choose?

Summer Reading’s coming! How many different themes are there, and how does your library choose?

This year, my library system is doing the Reading Takes You Everywhere theme. After a year in relative quarantine, we thought it was time to indulge some armchair wanderlust! Our Summer Reading site has links to our booklists, programs, and our Reading Challenge site, through ReadSquared, for the second year running. I mean, when you think of it, travel can be to so many places – through a book, you can visit outer space as easily as you can visit your neighborhood library.

 

I know so many library systems are part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program, and their theme this year, Tails and Tales, is just adorable! Also, home run – animal stories are always a win with the kiddos! The CSLP site has great resources, downloads, and ideas. If you have an access code, you can download the whole manual, which has booklists, programming ideas, and templates for early childhood, children, and teens.

 

For older tweens and teens who like the spookier side of life, a side theme you can run is Summer Scares, a program created by the Springfield-Greene County Library District, the Horror Writers Association, Book Riot, Booklist, and United for Libraries. I first found out about Summer Scares through the RA for All blog, and love the idea of having some extra offerings for my older readers who may be more interested in thrills and chills. The free programming guide features three suggested books for adults, for teens, and for tweens/middle graders, along with readalikes and programming ideas. A friend of mine who works in a different branch in our system is a horror/spooky books fan, too, and we’re both thinking up some ways to introduce Summer Scares programming and displays, with some QR codes to link our libraries’ (our libraries are in the same system, but about 13 miles apart) programming and Bitmoji collections.

Those are the three Summer Reading programs I know about – tell me about yours!