I confess to a deep and abiding love for mythology. It started when I was a kid; I fell in love with Greek Mythology even without Percy Jackson books! I used to read Edith Hamilton’s great mythology books over and over again.
I pinned books every mythology book from around the world including the reading list from The National Mythology Exam in my Mythology for Kids Pinterest board and I’ve used this to select 10 really great books from it.
What great mythology books for kids am I missing? Did you write a post on a mythology book for kids? Let me know via email and I’ll include in my board. Thank you!
10 Mythology Books to Get Kids to Love Mythology
10. Young Zeus by Brian Karas
In the guise of a charming picture book about Zeus as a young child is actually a well researched scholarly account of Greek Mythology. Even though I read a lot of Edith Hamilton mythology as a child, I learned facts about Zeus and how he came to power that I never knew. And my son just thinks this is a great picture book. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
9. The Pharoah’s Secret by Marissa Moss
You might know Marissa Moss from her notebook Amelia series. I thought her ancient Egypt action adventure story is similar to The Kane Chronicles but even better because it focuses on a shorter time period and is, therefore, less confusing. There are the same elements of two siblings who have ancient powers to be discovered as well as a time travel adventure with the future of the world at stake! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
8. Encyclopedia Mythologica by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda
The neighbor boys next door are fortunate to have Bob Sabuda as their godfather. They said that THEY told him to do this book on mythology because Percy Jackson is so popular. He was wise to listen to them! Sabuda’s pop-up books are legendary for imaginative, mind-blowing 3-D creations as well as information packed factoids. It’s a book for endless discovery! [pop up non-fiction, ages 6 and up]
7. Heroes In Training series by Joan Holub
If your child isn’t quite ready for thick chapter books like Percy Jackson, this series is perfect for those starting to read independently. The heroes in training are the Olympians at a younger age and while the mythology isn’t always accurate as to satisfy Classicists, it’s still a fun adventure. It also sets up the reader to slide right into Percy Jackson. [easy chapter book, ages 6 and up]
6. Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub
Holub has a version of easy chapter books on Greek Mythology aimed at girls. Again purists like Grasshopper and Sensei will be frustrated by the inaccuracies in the mythology stories and the plots often turn around mean girl bullying. Still, it’s a great series for girls who have an interest in mythology. [easy chapter book, ages 6 and up]
5. Olympians series by George O’Connor
Think Marvel Comics but with Greek Mythology! Graphic novels and mythology are a marriage made in heaven for getting boys reading, especially reluctant boy readers in middle school. Try this for 6th graders who are studying Greek mythology in school but perhaps prefer a well drawn and dramatic graphic novel! O’Connor sneaks in many of the ancient great works like Homer’s Odyssey story in an engaging way. [graphic novel, ages 9 and up]
4. Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunder by Michael Townsend
If you need a “Todd Parr” light-hearted graphic novel approach to Greek Mythology, this one is perfect for those who want cartoon humor with their mythology. I would try this with readers who like Holub’s series. [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]
3. Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs by Marcia Williams
I am very partial to Ancient Egypt and graphic novels so this was a no-brainer pick for me! Marcia Williams uses a comic strip approach to tell nine stories of Ancient Egypt including mythology and history. After all, the gods and pharaohs are related! [graphic novel, ages 9 and up]
2. D’Aulaires Greek Mythology by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
If you wanted one Greek mythology book for a wide age range — perhaps you have more than one child or you want this book to grow with your child — then I would pick D’Aulaires. They have an excellent series of mythology books covering Norse, Greek, and Trolls but I’d start with this one. [non-fiction short stories, ages 6 and up]
We also like D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths.
1. Percy Jackson series and anything by Rick Riordan
What better way to get kids reading and learning about Greek, Roman and Ancient Egyptian mythology than to crack open a book by Rick Riordan? Why not read them all? Or, if you are like my son. Read them in order and then, re-read them in backward order. Acing the 6th grade mythology unit has never been easier if you do it with Percy Jackson! [chapter book, ages 6*and up]
*Many of my son’s friends have been reading Percy Jackson since first grade. A few even read it in Kindergarten either as a read aloud or because they were highly motivated advanced readers. I would say that it’s action-packed and with action-packed battles including the death of a few characters that the reader might be attached to. My son’s friends are not bothered by this at all but fair warning that they also play Halo and Call of Duty so they are somewhat immune to violence.
Mythology for Kids Honorable Mentions
I Am Hermes! Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods by Mordicai Gerstein
This is fun because the story of Hermes is told in a comic book graphic novel format with short chapters telling individual stories of Hermes’ escapades, many details that are not widely known such as precisely how he invented the lyre. The drawings are loose and “sketchbook-like” with an attractive color scheme. Kids who like Percy Jackson will connect with this. Pair it also with George O’Connor’s graphic novel series (above). [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]
“If you are looking for a good, all-around introductory book about the world’s most popular gods and heroes for a middle grader, look no further than this comprehensive book.
Altogether, there are 75 entries representing 23 cultures, and not only are gods, goddesses, and heroes included, but so mythological creatures and underworlds. Each entry gives the traditional name of the character, their home and other names they may be known by. Readers will also learn some fun facts and other interesting tidbits from the world of mythology. Author Briggs is a cartoonist and so each entry has whimsical, colorful illustrations that never manage to lose important characteristics.” [nonfiction chapter book, ages 9 and up]
The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard by Tracy Barrett
I really enjoyed reading about these lesser known Greek myths by author and scholar Tracy Barrett. It’s the perfect book for Percy Jackson fans who have read every Greek mythology book they can get their hands on but still want more (like my son). Barrett’s book is told from the point of view of Orpheus — the guy who tried to bring his wife back from Hades but wasn’t allowed to check if she was following him — who must tell seventeen stories before sundown in order to get a second chance to see his wife. The stories will either be new to most readers or have additional twists and details; all are fascinating stories! I wish the margins around the pages were larger because that is the only off-putting aspect of this book. [mythology short story chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Número Uno by Alex Dorros and Arthur Dorres, illustrated by Susan Guevara
Here’s a clever Latino take on Hercules versus Socrates. Who is the most important person in their village? A young boy has an idea and devises a test. Sending them both away, the villages work on the bridge that they are building and see who they miss more. With Spanish words sprinkled into the story, this is a fun spin on Greek mythology! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton
I confess that I am partial to this book of short stories that I loved as a child. Edith Hamilton was a pioneer in her time both as The Classicists’ Classicist and as a female scholar in this field. Since each story is short, it makes a great bedtime book! [non-ficiton stories, ages 9 and up]
Stickman Odyssey, Book 1: An Epic Doodle by Christopher Ford
I would try this with reluctant boy readers who only like Diary of the Wimpy Kid. It has that same goofy protagonist feel but it’s also a graphic novel with stickman drawn doodles. I think there is definitely a book on this list that can entice any kid to give mythology a chance. If all the other books failed, try this one! [graphic novel, ages 9 and up]
The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales told by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon
Enslavement suppressed the African cultures that were forcibly brought to America but, like the wily Br’er Rabbit, stories that preserved memories of the old country surfaced as a body of folk tales meant to entertain and instruct. In these stories, the less powerful often prevailed. This collection of stories shows the richness of American Black Folktales and that the harsh reality of enslavement could not extinguish the imaginations, hopes, or dreams of those oppressed. [nonfiction folk tale anthology, ages 8 and up]
Great Mythology Resources for Kids
The National Mythology Exam (yes, kids take this for fun!)
The Golden Lyre original interactive 1 man actor performance for grades K-2 and Chariots of the Sun for middle school.
It was a dragon-like monster called the Gorgon who stole the lyre (pronounced liar) and turned the King’s daughter to stone. The only way she can be changed back is by hearing the music of the lyre, but no one knows where the Gorgon’s cave is located. It’s only when a young man named Alex shows up at the palace that things take a dramatic turn. Like CHARIOT OF THE SUN, the show uses a combination of poetry, masks, and mime, as well as call-and-response, where students make a host of fantastic sounds to move the story along.
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I have a lot more great book for kids on World Mythology on my Pinterest board if you need more ideas.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was bright white & highly polished