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Athena the Brain (Goddess Girls) Paperback – April 6, 2010

95 customer reviews
Book 1 of 18 in the Goddess Girls Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—Holub and Williams take readers into the world of the preteen goddesses at Mount Olympus Academy, which is staffed by the likes of Mr. Cyclops and the principal, Zeus. In the first book, 12-year-old Athena's life changes when a papyrus scroll blows into her window informing her that she's Zeus's daughter and must attend Mount Olympus Academy with the other "godboys" and "goddessgirls." At first she's doubtful she can balance school, a social life, and extracurricular activities; however, Athena proves her intellect by ending the Trojan War in Hero-ology, winning the invention fair, and thwarting mean-girl Medusa. In the second title, Persephone is a self-proclaimed phony. She's overly agreeable and conforms to the opinions and pressures of others. While escaping to Earth to get some peace, she wanders into a graveyard and begins a relationship with Hades, the misunderstood outcast. In the end, she learns that true friends will like you even if you express differing opinions. On top of Mount Olympus, the authors intertwine an enchanting mythological world with middle-school woes compounded by life as a deity or blessed mortal. The books should be popular with fans of girly, light fantasy. Be ready to refer readers to solid books on Greek mythology for further reading.—Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Everything changes for 12-year-old Athena the day she is summoned from Earth to Mount Olympus by none other than her (surprise!) dad, Zeus. She enrolls at Mount Olympus Academy, a place of godboys and goddessgirls, where classes like Hero-ology, Spell-ology, and Beauty-ology complete a proper goddess education. Jealous Medusa tries to sabotage Athena, but quick thinking and good friends help her prevail over the bitter girl with the weird hairdo. This is a clever take on Greek deities and the Trojan War, but younger readers may not appreciate just how adroitly the authors tell the tale and older readers may want a richer mixture of character and dialogue than exists in this candy-coated story. Still, aside from questions of audience, this is a quick, agreeable read particularly well suited for those who enjoy a good Disney princess movie now and then. The next book in the Goddess Girls series, Persephone the Phony, is already available. Grades 4-6. --Cindy Welch

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: Goddess Girls (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; 1 edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141698271X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416982715
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alison on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Athena The Brain is an adorable light take on Greek mythology. Athena has grown up as an orphan on Earth, living with her friend's family. She's always been different - smarter, better. Now she knows why - she's the daughter of Zeus! She is summoned to attend Mount Olympus Academy with all the other goddessgirls, godboys, and a few errant mortals.

Athena's story is relatable to any girl who has started a new school. She's scared and excited. Even though she's brilliant, Hero-ology, Beast-ology and other classes are new to her. Plus, there's all these new people. Nice girls like Aphrodite, handsome boys like Poseidon, strange girls like Pandora, and mean girls like Medusa. Plus Zeus, her dad, can be just as difficult as he can be charming.

This was such a fun book. It takes all the elements of Greek mythology that we all learn in school and turns it into a cute, fluffy story. I haven't studied Greek mythology since 6th grade and never really liked it that much, but I had no trouble keeping up with the characters and the stories. I especially loved Pandora, whose incessant curiosity made her a nosy yet loveable character.

I don't have any major problems with this book. It's meant for fun (and enjoyable education), so it's not exactly literary quality. But that doesn't make the book any less worthy. The only thing I wish had been done differently was a better depiction of Athena's life prior to going to Mount Olympus Academy. The beginning threw her into the plot too quickly. But such a preface probably would have just added unnecessary pages and plot set-up, so I'm not too troubled.

The story very loosely follows Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, two epic poems that I really liked in high school.
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Format: Kindle Edition
One morning when Athena was in her bedroom, a strange breeze wafted through the window bringing along with it "a rolled-up piece of papyrus." The messenger, who was a little too formal for words, told her she had a message from Mount Olympus of all places. What she was about to read would rock her world big time. Her Dad was none other than Zeus and he was commanding her, as a goddess, to get ready to head to Mount Olympus Academy where he was the principal. This didn't happen to twelve-year-old girls and she had to check in the mirror to see if anything had changed. She'd lived in the same family with Pallas, her "sister," ever since she was a baby, but Hermes was going to show up in the morning to pick her up. A goddess?? Going to MOA? You've got to be kidding!

Ms. Hydra, the nine-headed receptionist soon got her settled in with a roster of classes and Athena was soon checking out the godboys and goddessgirls. Some were heartthrobs like Poseidon, who attracted girls like flies, while others were kind of weird like the one that was half horse. Speaking of flies, she found out her mother, Metis was one. Literally. There was Aphrodite, Pandora (who was a mere mortal), the green-haired triplets, Dionysus, and gals like Medusa who just spelled trouble. In Triton everyone "knew Athena was a brain," but just one glance at the Goddess Girl Guide with its 2,001 rules made her feel dumb. By the second day in Mr. Cyclops gave her the "stink-eye" for showing up late. AND she just found out that Pheme, whom she'd confided in about her mother, was the goddess of gossip. Medusa began to chant with her sisters, "Give me an F!" Oh, no! Was Athena EVER going to fit in at MOA? "Give me an L!" Oooooooh!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Young Mensan BookParade on May 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is so far the best way to learn about Greek Mythology and their Gods and Goddesses for me. Meet Athena and her friends, Aphrodite, Artemis, Persephone, Poseidon, Pandora, and the mean girl, Medusa at MOA, Mount Olympus Academy. These God Boys and Girls and few selected mortals at the age 9 will bring laughter and tears to you while they are learning to be heroes and heroines in Mythology or to be wise Gods and Goddesses. After all, life at Mount Olympus Academy is not that much different from down on Earth; The Drama, Jealousy, Academics, Cheating, The Mean Girls, Flirt, and Comradery.

There are so many Greek Gods and Goddesses and it was always confusing to me to remember who's who. But, not anymore! Under the wise leadership of principal Zeus, I met many young Greek Gods and Goddesses at MOA as if they are my best friends. (By the way, I am 8.) Just like in my school, there are good kids and mean kids at MOA. The classes that they offer at MOA such as "Hero-ology", "Beast-ology", "Spell-ology",and "Beauty-ology" are all so fascinating and out of this world.

Read along as if you are one of the students at MOA. You will get to meet Yambrosia, Mr. Cyclop, Helen of Sparta, Odysseus, and The Trojan Horse through the story.

Fun and giggly reading for the girls from age 8 to 12! But, there is plenty for the boys, who are interested in Classics, also. This book earned my Five Star rating!

Review by Young Mensan Isabella S., age 8, San Francisco Regional Mensa
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