Greek mythology meets The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Modern-day girl Athena, 8, is swept up in a sudden thunderstorm on the way home from school and lands “in Magical Mount Olympus” along the Hello Brick Road. The digital dog from her video game joins her, in the flesh, as the canine companion for her adventure. The first beings they encounter are friendly—talking owls who suggest she ask Zeus how to get home and the Glinda-like goddess Hestia. But when flying sandals zoom onto Athena’s feet, she has a run-in with nasty Medusa—who looks just like Athena’s mean-girl classmate of the same name back home—who pursues her in an effort to take the sandals. While following the Hello Brick Road to find Zeus and get home, Athena encounters and helps unlucky Persephone, who tags along hoping to ask Zeus for some luck. The climactic showdown with Medusa involves facing a band of animals she’s turned into stone and quick-thinking trickery on Athena’s part. The plot feels recycled, the resolution might strike some readers as a bit too easy, and the worldbuilding rules are a bit inconsistent for the targeted age. It ends before the girls reach Zeus, so the adventures can continue. Athena and Medusa present white; Hestia presents black.
Maybe it will inspire readers’ interest in its sources. (cast of characters, glossary, discussion questions, author’s note) (Fantasy. 5-8)