January 18, 2018

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Hermes: Tales of the Trickster by George O’Connor | SLJ Review

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redstarO’CONNOR, George. Hermes: Tales of the Trickster. illus. by George O’Connor. 80p. (Olympians: Bk. 10). bibliog. notes. First Second. Jan. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781626725249; pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781626725256. POP

Gr 4-8 –Hermes, Greek god of thieves and liars (and much more), gets his due in the latest installment of the “Olympians” series. A wandering traveler, accompanied by a dog, relates tales of the roguish yet charismatic deity to entertain the watchman Argus, a giant covered in eyes. As a newborn, Hermes steals a herd of his half brother Apollo’s cows, then cleverly covers his tracks. Though the impish youngster provokes his older sibling’s rage, he charms his way into his father Zeus’s good graces and a throne on Mount Olympus. Readers, and Argus, learn of Hermes’s other talents and his offspring, including the mischievous half-goat, half-human Pan. The playful tone soon turns ominous as Hermes plays a pivotal role in the epic showdown between the Olympians and the monstrous Typhon. O’Connor retells well-known legends with panache, crafting an affectionate portrait of a complex figure and presenting the Olympians as a surprisingly tight-knit and loving family. The book ends with an appropriately witty twist that’s bound to have readers seeking out more information on the tale of Argus and Io. Vibrant, energetic illustrations portray athletic gods and goddesses, grotesque beasts, and frenzied battles, veering between cartoonish humor and intense drama. As always, O’Connor’s copious research is evident and his love of all things Greek is contagious. VERDICT Another stellar addition to graphic novel shelves, especially where previous titles in the series are popular.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2018 issue.

Mahnaz Dar About Mahnaz Dar

Mahnaz Dar (mdar@mediasourceinc.com) is Assistant Managing Editor for Library Journal and School Library Journal and can be found on Twitter @DibblyFresh.

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