Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes

illus. by John Rocco. 416p. index. Disney-Hyperion. 2015. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781423183655.
Gr 4–8—Having dished out the goods on the gods in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods (Disney-Hyperion, 2014), Percy now turns his attention to his fellow demigods. With typical snark, he describes the exploits and pitfalls of 12 of ancient Greece's best (or, at least, most notorious) heroes. Familiar characters including Daedalus and Theseus are joined by lesser-known names such as Cyrene and Bellerophon, and readers are sure to chuckle at chapter headings such as "Phaethon Fails Driver's Ed" and "Hercules Does Twelve Stupid Things." The chapters vary greatly in length, with Orpheus taking up just 17 pages, while Hercules's labors span nearly 100. Though the majority of the heroes featured are male, four fearless females also have a chance to shine. There are frequent pop culture references spanning everything from Frozen to Call of Duty, as well as occasional shout-outs to Percy's companions from his own adventures. This hefty tome is sure to be popular with Riordan's many fans, though readers looking for a more scholarly take on ancient lore may want to search elsewhere. Rocco's painterly illustrations lend an air of gravitas to Percy's banter, and while the tone of the book is light, the accompanying maps and index are suitably detailed.
VERDICT Though it will no doubt eventually feel dated, this companion to Riordan's most popular works is a definite purchase for most libraries.

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