There were gods and goddesses who lived in a world above Mt. Olympus and everything was beautiful, food was plentiful, and everyone was happy. Zeus ruled the sky, Poseidon ruled the seas and oceans, and Hades ruled the underworld. Queen Demeter had a lovely daughter Persephone, who gave her much happiness. Hades kidnaps Persephone and takes her on a journey through the underworld that shows both pain and pleasure, and the two of them fall in love. When Demeter learns of this, she becomes so sad that the world falls into permanent winter. Does Persephone really want to be rescued? How can Demeter learn to live with her daughter's decision? This book is written in graphic format that makes it perfect for students who are reluctant readers and never seem to finish a book on their own. Young adults who want to read anything they can get their hands on will also enjoy the full-color graphics and fast paced text. At the end of the book are a glossary and a mini biography about the author and artist. Also included is a list of other books and websites that might be of interest to the reader. I do recommend this book.
- Laura Lehner
For anyone not familiar with the story of Persephone, this series provides a fine rendering of the Greek myth that tells how the seasons came to be. A number of experienced comic book writers and illustrators have been commissioned to create graphic novelizations of myths and legends from around the world. The sixteen titles are written for a target audience of fourth to eighth graders, and include King Arthur (British), Thor and Loki (Norse), Beowulf (British), and Odysseus (Greek). In Amaterasu, a goddess of the sun seals herself inside a cave for fear of being harmed by her jealous and destructive brother, Susano, lord of storms and restless seas. The result of her absence is a dark and infertile earth, and the other gods must trick her out of her exile to restore daylight to the world. Demeter and Persephone has a similar theme. When Persephone—the only daughter of Demeter, the greek goddess of the harvest—is kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld, her mother goes into mourning and the whole world becomes icy and barren. Persephone is rescued by her mother, but only after she has fallen in love with Hades and committed herself to him. She strikes a deal to return to the underworld to be with Hades for one third of the year-thus the season of cold and darkness, when her mother is missing her. Every series volume is created by a different team of authors and illustrators, giving each book a unique look and vernacular. Reluctant readers have much to appreciate in the dynamic and colorful format of these comic books, while being exposed to complex themes such as sibling rivalry and family obligations. Because they include end material such as glossaries,pronunciation guides, and further reading, these books are ideal resources for a younger reader interested in an introduction to world myths.