November 22, 2017

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Apollo: The Brilliant One by George O’Connor | SLJ Review

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O’Connor, George. Apollo: The Brilliant One. illus. by George O’Connor. 78p. (Olympians: Bk. 8). bibliog. charts. further reading. notes. First Second. Jan. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781626720152; Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626720169.Apollo- The Brilliant One by George O'Connor

Gr 4 Up –Narrated by the nine Mousai, or muses, who were worshipped alongside the brilliant son of Zeus, the eighth entry in O’Connor’s masterful graphic novel series continues in the tradition of his previous “Olympians” tales. Starting off with Hera’s pursuit of Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis, and Zeus’s lover, the muses relate different myths, each fleshing out a different aspect of the god of light’s personality and legend. From his many charms and character flaws to his often failed romances, Apollo is presented as the most human of the Greek gods. Telling his story through the muses’ perspectives is a successful device that O’Connor employs—each of them share a story that is in tune with their area of expertise. For example, Erato, the muse of mimicry and love poetry, recites a poem about Hyacinth, the prince of Sparta, who was caught in a love triangle with Apollo and Zephyros. Within this tale, some of the panels feature her miming some of the particulars. It is details like these, plus the creator’s in-depth research, matter-of-fact and humorous tone, and expressive and dynamic art that continue to make each entry in this series a must-have. The variation of panels and the alternating dark and light-infused color palette add to the work’s overall pacing and appeal. VERDICT A shining example of a graphic novel that educates and entertains.–Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz ( is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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