The ninth in a series of rollicking Greek–god-and-goddess tales for those not quite ready for Rick Riordan.
Hades, Ruler of the Underworld, narrates, taking it upon himself to clarify the, er, myths in The Big Fat Book of Greek Myths that his little brother Zeus has propagated. He takes on the entire Trojan War, emphasizing how hard he tried to prevent it. The tone is set right from the cover, on which the beauteous Helen has been tagged by a rebellious Cupid’s arrow right in her shapely derrière. That Smoochie Woochie arrow is what made Helen go to Troy with Paris, leaving her husband Menelaus and causing the whole Greece-and-Troy megillah. Hades prefers hanging around with “Cerbie,” his three-headed dog, and watching wrestling from his La-Z-God recliner, but he tries mightily to head off all the battles that Zeus and the other gods keep inflaming for their own amusement. Since Hades is also god of the afterlife, the ghosts of Hector, Achilles and Penthesilea get to tell their own stories when they arrive at his Motel Styx.
Young readers will get the whole of the Helen of Troy story in an amazingly lighthearted way, plus discussion questions, a glossary and “King Hades’s Quick-and-Easy Guide to the Myths” thrown in for good measure. (Fractured mythology. 9-12)