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Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology Hardcover – October 25, 2011

16 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology + D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths + Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters
Price for all three: $45.60

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A treat for myth lovers and language lovers alike, this smart and well-executed compilation should provide readers with a deeper understanding of the ways in which language evolves and of the surprising symbolism behind certain words."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The colorful artwork and brief chapters make this volume ideal for classroom sharing. Use this unique offering to launch a discussion about the elemental power of story and its influence on modern-day language."--School Library Journal

"Sure to attract language arts teachers who want students to master word origins, this work will also hold strong appeal for teens who will be attracted by the combination of clever text and exceptional illustrations."--VOYA

About the Author

Folklorist, linguist, and professional storyteller, Lise Lunge Larsen draws upon her rich background in legends and myths to make these tales come alive.  A children's book author, she has received many starred reviews and awards for her books. 


Gareth Hinds has created illustrated versions of such classics as BEOWULF, KING LEAR, MERCHANT OF VENICE and most recently, THE ODYSSEY, forthcoming from Candlewick in fall 2010.   As a recent interview with him (SLJ Teen 1/20/2010) said, "He stays faithful to the original text but uses art to illuminate the story and make it more accessible to the reader."  A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, he lives in New York City with his wife, former children's bookseller, Alison Morris. 

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547152299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547152295
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Em on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a treat! The stories are a mix of familiar and unfamiliar Greek mythology, and it's really neat how each one is about a word that we commonly use in the English language. Kids will suddenly find themselves entranced by linguistics without even realizing they're learning! The illustrations are action packed, comic book-like, and bring the stories vibrantly to life. Some of them feel practically like the characters are popping right out at you (no 3-D glasses necessary!). It's one of the rare children's books out there that will hold real appeal for young boys, but will be loved by girls too. A winner in my book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Sandford on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This wonderfully told and intriguingly illustrated book combines word history with Greek and Roman mythology. Fifteen chapters in alphabetical order begin with a familiar expression used in common language (`Achille's heel', `hypnotize', `Pandora's box'). The expression is defined, and an example from literature is given, followed by a story about the god it pertains to (Achilles, Hypnos, Pandora). Concluding each chapter is a sidebar that relates more word derivatives which are associated with the story. Completely fascinating, this book brings not only words alive, but mythology as well. An Endnote outlines the Greek name, the Roman name, and the definition of thirty four gods.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Sweredoski on August 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must read if you love the history of words, and Greek and Roman mythology. Tantalizing read. Do you know where we get the word tantalize from? How about janitor? These are just two examples of words from this book, complete with the stories - myths to explain their existence. It is a must for any unit on mythology.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Margaret D. Wildenthal on January 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was good for what it included, but it did not cover much of this very interesting topic, and the selections made seemed very arbitrary and not necessarily the most important words from the Greek and Roman myths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emily Kissner on January 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
One of the new fourth grade Common Core standards includes helping students to understand how some words allude to significant characters in Greek mythology. This book makes this task much easier! Short, easy to read stories introduce characters from myths and explain how the stories are related to common words used today. The stories don't assume much background knowledge about mythology, which is good for my students. I look forward to using it in the classroom...I just wish it were available in paperback so it would be easier to get multiple copies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on January 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Gifts from the Gods is a great introduction to Greek and Roman mythology. The book teaches you about all the famous Greek and Roman gods like Pandora and Zeus, and some more obscure ones like Janus and Tantalus. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in mythology. This book is like a glossary and anthology rolled into one. It helps kids to make the connection of where we may have gotten common words that we use daily.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fun book. It shares how certain words and phrases that we use in our everyday language came from different Greek myths. It states the word/phrase, shares the story it is derived from, and then follows up with how we use it today. My boys and I are really enjoying it.
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By Lee on October 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This may become a habit. Another wonderful book. I read a myth out of it to my 8 year old and 4 year old grandsons this past week end. The 8 year old likes myths (his 3rd grade teacher did an enrichment segment on myths this quarter) so naturally he was interested. The four year old was silent and sat still while I read. Not normal for him. The Furies is a marvelous story. Everyone should read it.
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