Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: Hit the Road, Helen! by Kate McMullan


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

When Paris and Helen decide to hit the road together, it means more trouble than they can imagine for both themselves and the people of Troy. But who says Helen is entirely at fault? Sure she had a face that launched a thousand ships . . . but she also had a little interference from the meddling god of love and his mother, Aphrodite. Think you know the truth behind the Greek myths? Think again. Hades is here to set you straight once more on the true story of the Trojan War.
For ages 9-13. From the Myth-o-Mania series.
*The long-awaited follow-up to her best-selling Myth-o-Mania series – first new title in series in 10 years!
*Fractured myth: explains the Trojan War from Hade’s perspective
*Best-selling series for Capstone in bookstores
About the Author:
Kate McMullan is the author of the chapter book series Dragon Slayers’ Academy as well as easy-readers featuring Fluffy, the Classroom Guinea Pig. She and her illustrator husband, Jim McMullan, have created several award-winning picture books, including I Stink!, I’m Dirty!, and I’m Big! Her latest work is School! Adventures At Harvey N. Trouble Elementary in collaboration with the famed New Yorker cartoonist, George Booth. Kate and Jim live in Sag Harbor, NY, with two bulldogs and a mews named George.

MY TAKE:
There aren't a lot of YA books wherein Hades is the narrator, much less the good guy.

In Hit the Road, Helen!, Hades tells the real version of the story of Helen of Troy. This includes the events that lead up to how exactly Helen became the woman who launched a thousand ships.

I really enjoyed this book. In most books, Hades is the villain. In this book, he's the funny, nice and friendly narrator who tries to keep the mortals from doing stupid things and the gods from interfering in the lives of the mortals.

I'm vaguely familiar with the story of Helen and the Trojan horse but I had to reacquaint myself with the story after reading this one to see how close it is to the traditional version. Of course, since this is a retelling by Hades, we can't expect this one to be super close to the original.

In Hades' version, Zeus and Aphrodite don't come off looking too nice. Paris was also extremely irritating and idiotic. Helen was okay, if a little annoying when she was with Paris. Overall, though, this book is a very entertaining read for both adults and kids.

Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone Young Readers for the e-ARC. Publication date of Hit the Road, Helen! is on September 2, 2013.

THE GOOD:

  1. Hades is funny.
  2. You get to learn about the different characters in the story.
  3. You get the basic gist of the story.

THE BAD:

  1. It's not super close to the original story.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Paris feasted on roasted meats, breads, cheeses, and figs at Menelaus's table.
READ IT IF:

  1. You want to read a book wherein you get to see a different side of Hades.
  2. Your child likes funny books.
  3. You want your child to learn about the Greek gods and myths.

RATING:
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