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Odd Gods

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Odd Gods Book Poster Image
Funny tale of misfit non-gods in Mt. Olympus middle school.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Along with history and mythology, there are also a lot of social-emotional lessons that will resonate with readers who have ever felt like the underdog.

Positive Messages

Courage is big for the Odds, and the characters learn to accept and love themselves for all their quirks.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Oddonis is surrounded by adults who encourage and care about him, and while the pompous Zeus is intentionally over the top, the reigning god does show some redeeming traits in the end.

Violence & Scariness

The bullying between the gods and odds is childish but could be hard for kids who have experienced it themselves.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that David Slavin and Daniel Weitzman's Odd Gods is an irreverent, raucous ride through the first days of Mt. Olympus middle school for a group of misfits -- and it's filled with lots of great illustrations by Adam J.B. Lane. The Odds suffer pranks and bullying from the gods, who have a huge sense of entitlement about their place at the top of the school’s social hierarchy. The feeling of inadequacy will likely strike a chord with anyone who's felt targeted or left out, but there’s a nice message about navigating social groups: Make friends with people you connect with, the people who let you be yourself and like you for it. The flow of the book feels forced and clunky, but getting past that, this will likely be a favorite among reluctant readers.

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What's the story?

In ODD GODS, younger twin Oddonis and his brother, Adonis, are new to Mount Olympus Middle School but have two very different experiences. Adonis is a god, strong and smart and powerful and seemingly perfect. Oddonis is the opposite, and feels like a disappointment every day. Their dad, Zeus, treats them differently, expecting that Adonis will achieve greatness and Oddonis will just try. At school, Oddonis finds his group of misfit friends trying to survive next to the obnoxious, bullying gods, and soon find there’s one way Oddonis can take a stand, and his brother isn’t happy about it.

Is it any good?

The premise of this fractured mythology romp is fabulous, the names and character descriptions are inspired, and the idea just right for the target age range, but it somehow falls flat. Odd Gods has all the right ingredients and some readers will enjoy the banter between the Odds and the near nonstop fart jokes; other readers will find the story a bit slow and forced. There’s a lot to enjoy here for the right audience. Adam J.B. Lane's abundant cartoon-like illustrations help make this a good choice for reluctant readers. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Odd Gods addresses the feelings of being left out. What was it like when you have felt like you didn’t belong? Have you ever ignored someone else being picked on because it made you feel safer?

  • How does Zeus make things worse for his sons with his expectations?

  • What other books about misfits have you read?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love funny stories and mythology

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