Roman Myths

, retel. illus. by Eric Freeberg. 153p. (Classic Starts Series). chart. Sterling. 2014. Tr $6.95. ISBN 9781454906117. LC 2013026661.
Gr 2–4—This take on Roman mythology will make a nice addition most libraries. An introduction provides information on the Roman people and how their mythology changed over time from a focus on nameless entities to figures with specific personalities and areas of interests, closely modeled after the Greek gods and goddesses. Several of the more famous stories are then presented in the clear, simple language for which the series is well known. A pleasing mix of stories can be found here, moving from gods to heroes to legends. Despite the introduction, however, little information is offered about the source of each particular tale and how it fits into the overall mythology, so stories from epic poetry appear alongside more folksy stories of the gods. Sketched illustrations accompany each tale. The style allows the book to serve as a jumping-off point for school reports or as a fun pleasure reading choice.—Heather Talty, formerly at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City
This is an inexpensive compilation of abridged ancient Roman myths, some lesser known. The prose is readable without falling into the pitfall of using modern jargon, but the stories lack excitement and have been blandly sanitized for confident independent readers. An introduction provides minimal context on Roman life and religion. Discussion questions and a "Note to Parents and Educators" are appended.

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