Goddess Girls: Athena the Wise

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Goddess Girls: Athena the Wise Book Poster Image
Greek goddesses go to high school in clever classic update.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Will certainly introduce readers to names like Zeus, Athena, Heracles, and more -- as well as some Greek myth. Readers already familiar with some of the habits of the gods will get more out of jokes, like the yambrosia stew the students eat at Mount Olympus Academy.

Positive Messages

Athena thinks a lot about revenge and forgiveness in this book -- including how she should act when only her pride is wounded.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Not only has straight-A goddess girl Athena invented weaving and the olive, she is also a thoughtful girl who really tries to do what's right. Though she doesn't always control her own temper, she is able to convince hotheaded Heracles to take more creative/ less violent measures -- and ultimately finds herself able to forgive him for wounding her pride. 

Violence

Heracles is never without his club. He uses it to knock the heads of a Hydra (causing it to sprout more), may have used to it to kill a few "death-dealing birds of prey" -- and later threatens Hades with it. He also wears the cape of a lion he killed. Athena feels insulted by a mortal weaver and turns her into a spider.

Sex

Heracles tries to kiss Athena (and later she thinks she might ask Aphrodite for some pointers). They also hold hands.

Language

One instance of "butthead."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fifth installment of the Goddess Girls series stars Athena, a teenage goddess at the Mount Olympus Academy. This book will certainly introduce readers to names like Zeus, Athena, Heracles, and more -- as well as some Greek myth. Readers already familiar with some of the habits of the gods will get more out of jokes, like the yambrosia stew the students eat -- or the name of their one-eyed Hero-ology teacher: Mr. Cyclops. There is a bit of low-level fantasy violence; Heracles is never without his club. He uses it to knock the heads of a Hydra (causing it to sprout more), may have used to it to kill a few "death-dealing birds of prey" -- and later threatens Hades with it. And there is a bit of flirting between the gods and goddesses -- Heracles even tries to kiss Athena. But Athena is a good role model who thinks a lot about revenge and forgiveness in this book -- including how she should act when only her pride is wounded. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLawyermom May 4, 2012

Normalizes bad behavior among peers

My daughter is addicted to this series and I thought, it can't be too bad for her to love books and learn about Greek mythology. After finding her in bed... Continue reading
Parent of a 4, 7, and 10 year old Written bymmh_1000 May 21, 2013

Goddess Girls

I like Goddess Girls because my brother says the only reason he doesn't like them is because it makes me better at Greek mythology than him!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kid, 12 years old November 1, 2011
Kid, 11 years old February 11, 2013

I love this series!

I thought that this book was interesting in a fun, learning way. It tells the back story of many Greek legends in a way that is not too scary, but instead posit... Continue reading

What's the story?

When Heracles transfers to Mouth Olympus Academy, Principal Zeus asks his straight-A daughter Athena to befriend the "hotheaded" mortal during a trial period at the school. But then Athena learns Heracles needs to complete 12 tasks in order to get a permanent place at the school -- and Athena soon finds herself helping him fight a many-headed hydra and clean out King Augeas's poop-filled stable. How much will Athena risk for the new heartthrob student -- especially when she has her own problems to deal with, including a rude mortal who challenges her to a weaving contest.

Is it any good?

This fun, lively book will resonate best with readers already somewhat familiar with the Greek gods and some of their myths. Knowing something about Athena, Heracles, and the 12 labors will make the story easier to follow -- and will make it easier to get some of the book's jokes (the students at Mount Olympus Academy eat yambrosia stew and have a one-eyed Hero-ology teacher named Mr. Cyclops, for example). Even so, even readers new to Greek mythology will get quite an education in this clever update -- though they may get a bit bored as Heracles works through his many tasks. Kids will find a spirited, strong heroine in Athena -- and a surprisingly thoughtful message as she struggles with revenge and forgiveness. In the end, this series has a clever premise and provides a good mix of educational and entertaining elements.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Greek myths. How much did you know about Zeus, Athena, or Heracles before you read this book? Parents may want to encourage their kids to check out D'Aulaires' Book Of Greek Myths and compare it to the stories here. Why have these characters and stories endured?

  • This is the fifth installment in a series about the gods and goddesses at Mount Olympus Academy. What's fun about reading a series? Why would authors want to write a series -- or publishers want to publish one?

Book details

For kids who love myths and fairy tales

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