Mythology for Teens and Beyond
Many middle grade readers dive deep into these fun mythology based series emerging with a love of mythology, but are unsure what to read next. This tends to be right around the time they are aging into Young Adult books and a whole new world of reading to navigate. Hunger Games are a logical next step for many, Suzanne Collins, has often spoke of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur influencing her books. But what next?
Luckily there are still lots of great options for those not ready to leave the mythology based fantasy as they move into YA, for the transitional reader and those ready for more mature content.
"Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today's readers -- a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism."
For the greek mythology fans that are ready for some romance -- Lovely War has a bit of everything, a historical and romantic epic with classic greek god infighting to keep it interesting, set during WWII. Beautifully written with complexly interwoven tales, this one has good crossover appeal for adults as well.
Gareth Hinds has adapted the Odyssey and The Iliad in a really accessible way through these beautifully illustrated graphic novels. Fans of war stories will appreciate these as well as those that are looking for a digestible way to access Homer's epic poem.
Sticking closely to the story of the Minotaur, this debut novel from Emily Roberson intertwines the classic tale with a reality tv show all told from Adriane's perspective. Modern drama and a fresh perspective make this an interesting mash up that manages to stick closely to the classic myth.
"Can humans bridge the gulf that separates them from beasts? Is it love that binds all sentient life--or fear?In this translation of the first entry in international-award-winning Japanese author Uehashi's (Moribito, 2014, etc.) hit series, 10-year-old Elin idolizes her mother, a skilled beast doctor for Toda, fearsome battle serpents. When some Toda die mysteriously, Elin's mother is sentenced to death. Elin escapes and finds a kind beekeeper in the mountains who raises her as his own. As she grows into adulthood, she discovers her love for all living creatures and a unique gift for communicating with the magical Royal Beasts. But the nation's political structure is fragile. Soon Elin is thrust into deadly civil conflict and must decide whether to use her beloved animal friends as tools of war. The author creates complex societies and fantastical creatures with imaginative, immersive detail. In a refreshing change for Western readers, the central issue hinges on neither individual power nor romantic love but kindness balanced against responsibility, and the narrative jumps among the perspectives of numerous characters in a more digressive style than they may be accustomed to. It's lovely to watch Elin blossom from a quiet, curious child into a compassionate, thoughtful young woman with a steadfast moral compass--even if that compass sometimes leads her astray.A richly detailed coming-of-age fantasy epic that rewards the patient and contemplative reader." KIRKUS REVIEW
Seventeen-year-old Zelie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orisha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.Dark-skinned Zelie is a diviner--someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform diviners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zelie's brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king's maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari's brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time--and Inan--to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.Powerful, captivating, and raw--Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional. KIRKUS REVIEWS