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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Treasury of Glorious Goddesses: Isis, Athena, and Ixchel -- Book Reviews

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Goosebottom Books. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Last month (and January) I was able to share with you Goosebottom Books' The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Life Princesses Series (you can see them here and here). Today I am going to share the Treasury of Glorious Goddesses with you. These books are chapter books and are written in the goddesses' voice (first person). What is amazing to me is how captivated Hazel was with these stories. She did not know any mythology or at least not much and she asked each night for more chapters of whichever of the three books we were reading. Personally I only knew about Athena and did not remember everything from studying Greek mythology back in school. The other great thing about these books is at the end there is information about the culture the goddess oversees and the time period when she was popular. Things like what people wore, ate and did are given there. It adds a whole other dimension to the history behind the stories.



Call Me Isis


Call Me Isis: Egyptian Goddess of Magic by Gretchen Maurer is based on the ancient myths. 
http://goosebottombooks.com/home/pages/OurBooksDetail/s4b1-call-me-isisegyptian-goddess-of-magic

Isis was expected to have a charmed life. Everyone knew she would marry her twin brother and they would rule as God King and Goddess Queen of Egypt. However their brother Seth wants to reign instead and plots evil against Osiris (her twin). With Osiris dead, Isis needs to go into hiding because she is pregnant. She has to protect the heir of throne from Seth. She has to fight to prove Seth's wrongdoing against Osiris so that their son, Horus, can take the throne. This tale weaves its way through Egyptian mythology and even takes the reader to the underworld where Osiris is now King (after all he is dead so he should rule over the dead). Isis is a strong female role model who fights for what is right for her family and for Egypt. The story ends with a chapter of where Isis is now and she tells how she was replaced by the Virgin Mary by many but still has a few believers. 

We enjoyed this book quite a bit. There were some parts that scared Hazel. Most of them occurred in the underworld where there were some monsters to fight and such. It is the perfect book for any class that is studying Ancient Egypt.

Call Me Athena


Call Me Athena: Greek Goddess of Wisdom by Shirin Yim Bridges is also based on the ancient myths. The story of Athena and her family I had read back in school myself. This story however personalizes it and draws the reader in much more than I remember any of the tales I read previously. 
http://goosebottombooks.com/home/pages/OurBooksDetail/s4b2-call-me-athenagreek-goddess-of-wisdom

Athena's tale begins with her creation. She was axed from her father's head. Her father was Zeus the king of Greek gods. The story goes on to tell about her family or the O's as she and her half-brother Ares call them. Since she is created as an adult she has to learn quickly the rules and makings of the families. She has a very hard time and is not accepted very quickly by many of the other gods and goddesses. There are tales of the scandals, fights and wars. Everything from Athens becoming her city instead of her Uncle Poseidon's (or U.P. as she and Ares call him). With the social difficulties she felt at home Athena spent a lot of time with humans and she paid the price for becoming too friendly with one. 

Personally I loved reading the story from the point of view of Athena. With everything from the Trojan Horse to Athens in there it really put the story in a new light for me. Hazel also loved the story and asked for more chapters. It also helped that it had some of the characters that are also in The Mystic Princesses. It helped her understand a bit more of the background to that story as well. Athena is a strong female role model who learns from her mistakes. She shows even a goddess can make a mistake and live with the consequences.

Call Me Ixchel


Call Me Ixchel: Mayan Goddess of the Moon by Janie Havemeyer is also inspired by ancient myths. This story takes us to the time of the Mayans and introduces us to the beliefs of these ancient people. 
http://goosebottombooks.com/home/pages/OurBooksDetail/s4b3-call-me-ixchelmayan-goddess-of-the-moon

Ixchel lies with her grandfather who is very protective. Ixchel's job is to light the moon each night. Her life changes when she falls in love with the K'inich Ajaw, the god of the sun. The two have a romantic affair and decide to get married so they will not have to sneak around her grandfather. However there are some problems tempers and Ixchel ends up in the underworld as well as visiting the vulture king. Ixchel is a strong role model who leaves her abusive marriage. She finds the strength to move past her mistakes from being young and naive and to listen to the people who care for her. It is really an amazing tale.

Of course with my love for Native American stories, this is my favorite. I also love all the information given about the Mayan people at the end of the book. It was a tale I did not know and I really enjoyed learning a bit more about it and their myths.

All of these books introduce ancient myths and cultures to the reader. They are perfect for homeschoolers as well as classrooms or even just for reading and learning a bit of history on one's own. We highly recommend them!!