We’re inching closer to back to school and many of you may even be there already! We’re bringing you two more reading guide installments: mythology/folklore and the classics. Our hope is that these guides are revisited throughout the school year as inspiration for a book report project, or just general browsing to find a new, great read. Because, as you know, we absolutely encourage a lifelong love of reading.
Below you’ll find our recommendations for mythology and folklore books for children and adults alike. And hopefully you’ve ordered Honest History Issue 17: An Age of Legends, where we go an adventure to learn about Greek gods and the amazing people of ancient Greece, many of whom inspired much of our modern world.
We do hope you enjoyed our initial book guides, fantasy and science fiction. There was certainly plenty to choose from—and be sure to let us know what you read and loved. Share with us on Instagram and we love hearing from you! There’s a handy Book Log Guide below so you can always keep track of all your reading.
As you know, we always support using your local library, but if you do purchase a book, we love doing so from Bookshop. They source books from independent bookstores around the country, so you can feel good about supporting a locally-owned small business.
Mythology and Folklore Books for Kids:
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (middle grade) — The age-old stories of Greek gods are endlessly strong, resonant, and surprising, while the telling here is fresh, irreverent, and amusing.
Beasts of Olympus series by Lucy Coats — Kids will laugh their way through these adventures about Olympus’s new stable boy, Demon, whose ability to talk to animals helps him survive both the dangerous creatures he cares for and the unpredictable demands of the gods.
When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller — Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.
Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo (middle grade) — This fantasy story is inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.
Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly — Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly's debut fantasy novel is a gorgeous, literary adventure about bravery, friendship, self-reliance, and the choice between accepting fate or forging your own path.
The McElderry Book of Greek Myths by Eric A. Kimmel — Walk among the gods and goddesses, men and monsters, in this enchanting volume of classic Greek myths! Here are twelve of the most beloved legends of Greek mythology, perfect for young readers.
Stickman Odyssey series by Christopher Ford — This series makes for one quirky, original, giggle-provoking graphic novel sure to appeal to any kid interested in Greek mythology, or merely looking for an entertaining read.
The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao (middle-grade) — A debut novel inspired by Chinese mythology, this middle-grade fantasy follows an outcast as she embarks on a quest to save the world from demons.
D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire — For any child fortunate enough to have this generous book...the kings and heroes of ancient legend will remain forever matter-of-fact; the pictures interpret the text literally and are full of detail and witty observation.
Circe by Madeline Miller — A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story, this #1 New York Times bestseller is both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller — A captivating retelling of The Iliad and events leading up to it through the point of view of Patroclus: it's a hard book to put down, and any classicist will be enthralled by her characterization of the goddess Thetis, which carries the true savagery and chill of antiquity.
The Bear and the Nightengale by Katherine Arden — Katherine Arden's bestselling debut novel spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice. A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia — The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore. This spellbinding fairy tale is a magical fairy tale about identity, freedom, and love, and it's like nothing you've read before.
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker — Here is the story of the Iliad as we've never heard it before: in the words of Briseis, Trojan queen and captive of Achilles. Given only a few words in Homer's epic and largely erased by history, she is nonetheless a pivotal figure in the Trojan War, but in these pages she comes fully to life.
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes — From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women whose lives, loves, and rivalries were forever altered by this long and tragic war.
Here’s how to log your reads:
(Note: Print the below and write to record, or copy and paste into your own document to type out your answers.)
Number of pages:
List of main characters:
Describe your favorite character:
What is this book about?
What was your favorite part of the story?