Children's Folk Tale & Myth Anthologies
A series of short stories in Children's Folk Tale & Myth anthologies can be an excellent choice for young readers. You can start with books such as The Revenge of Ishtar, which features a girl god, or Kiranmala, which stars a boy god. Once you've mastered these short stories, you can graduate to longer mythology novels.
Tristan Strong, a twelve-year-old boy, is still recovering from the loss of his best friend Eddie. While grieving, Tristan brings his journal back to his grandparents' Alabama farm. Unbeknownst to him, this journal will make him the target of a monster. As a result, Tristan finds himself caught in a dangerous adventure that will take him into the world of legends, African-American folk heroes, and West African gods.
The book's title, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, encapsulates the plot perfectly. Tristan Strong fights a mysterious creature in order to save his journal, and he accidentally tears a hole in the sky. In the process, he discovers that he's a hero of a different world.
While he was not the cause of Alke's death, his anger becomes stronger as the danger grows. As Tristan realizes, anger is a powerful emotion that is hard to control and is a poison to the person who wields it. As a result, the ending of this story reveals the power of storytelling, which helps Tristan face the consequences of his actions.
Eddie's diary is the only tangible reminder of his best friend. It is a leather-bound book of stories, written by Eddie's grandmother. As Tristan travels to Alabama to visit his grandparents, he encounters the sticky doll, the bottle tree, and the Gum Baby. Throughout his journey, he must face many obstacles and fight to find his way home.
The Revenge of Ishtar
The story of Gilgamesh is one of the world's oldest myths and legends, having been carved onto clay tablets in ancient Mesopotamia. The story tells of a young king who becomes a god and a tyrant, only to discover compassion and forgiveness in human form. Though this tale originates more than 5000 years ago, Ludmila Zeman retells this ancient myth for young children in her book, The Revenge of Ishtar.
In this children's folk tale, Ishtar, the goddess of love and sex, descends seven gates in the underworld, instructing her handmaiden Ninshubur to strip off her clothing at each one. After she finishes her journey, she is killed by the tyrant Ereshkigal, who learned that Ishtar had dressed in flashy clothes. Ereshkigal learns that Ishtar had been dressed in elegant clothes, and devises a scheme to literally strip Ishtar of her power.
Although Ishtar was an influential goddess in ancient Mesopotamia, she has faded into almost complete obscurity in modern times. Although she is largely forgotten today, her legacy is still evident in her influence on later cultural archetypes, including Aphrodite. She also appears in science fiction. Neil Gaiman's Sandman: Brief Lives depicts Ishtar as a self-destructive stripper, perhaps referring to a centuries-old narrative tradition.
The Last Quest of Gilgamesh
The Last Quest of Gilgamesh is an ancient story from the Sumerian civilization. It begins when Gilgamesh is a boy living on an island. He is a good student of history, but cannot understand the concepts of time and place. Gilgamesh's greatest challenge is to stay awake for seven days. In the process, he falls asleep and is forced to wait for his father's return. He must fight monsters and obstacles as he attempts to survive his quest.
The Last Quest of Gilgamesh is a classic story that has been adapted into an animated film. It is the story of a king who realizes that he is alone in the world, despite his superhuman abilities and the dominion he holds over thousands of men and women. His quest for wealth, power, and sex has pushed him to the brink of death. But his quest is not in vain. After many adventures, Gilgamesh is finally rewarded with his ultimate goal - a beautiful woman with a child.
Gilgamesh's story also involves a magical creature, Enkidu. He is a half man and a half god. He rules over his kingdom of Uruk without a rival, using his young men and women to enlarge his army and sex. In response to his people's cries, the gods create an animal called Enkidu, who leads a peaceful life with animals and people. Trappers subsequently call a temple prostitute named Shamhat to tame Enkidu.
In The Serpent's Secret: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, author Amit DasGupta weaves a fantasy story based on Bengali mythology. The story is reminiscent of Rick Riordan, but it has a modern-day kid as its central character. Kiranmala is a twelve-year-old Indian girl who comes from another dimension, and her parents don't know she is a princess. When her adoptive parents are abducted, the rakkhosh demon comes to try to eat her, but Kiranmala saves the day, and saves New Jersey.
Often included in children's folk tales and myth anthologies, Kiranmala is a child of two worlds. She must learn to accept herself in all of her parts. While she must tolerate both the light and the dark sides of herself, she also learns to appreciate both. Her guilt over the actions of her parents is a familiar theme for children of immigrants.
As the princess of the underworld, Kiranmala must battle many demons to save her adopted parents. Her quest is filled with danger, including a giant snake that is split in two by her sword. She must also avoid the Rakkhoshi Queen and her serpent-like companion. In the end, Kiranmala saves New Jersey, and ultimately, the world.
The Storm Runner
The Storm Runner is the first book in a new series inspired by Latinx culture, part of the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. This preteen series will feature Latinx protagonists, and this title is no exception. I spoke with author J.C. Cervantes about writing this new story and working with the Rick Riordan Presents team.
The Storm Runner continues the adventures of the first book, featuring a Latino boy with an underdeveloped leg. Although he is being taunted in school by his disability, he finds it to be a source of strength. When he discovers his destiny, Zane must use his newfound powers to save his dog and the gods. Children will love this book, and adults will too!
The Storm Runner follows the story of a boy who must save a demigod from execution. But to save Hurakan, Zane must perform the rescue without being detected. As he races against time, he must overcome his fears and uncover the secrets that he has been hiding from himself. The Storm Runner is a compelling middle-grade fantasy novel for children and will surely capture their imaginations.
While many middle-grade stories revolve around a child's curiosity, the Storm Runner is a novel that explores Mayan mythology. This story will keep young readers' attention and make them laugh, as well. The plot is fast-paced and full of twists and revelations, and will be sure to keep their attention for a long time. When a child finishes reading, they will feel empowered, with a newfound sense of power.
Deborah Nourse Lattimore
In this volume, Ms. Lattimore offers a selection of classic and modern stories that span the centuries. The story of Rama, for example, was retold from the perspective of an Indian sage. It is accompanied by powerful oil paintings by Mary Oliver. Readers will find it a delight to read and a valuable resource for storytellers.
In a different story, a young Egyptian servant girl must journey to the Netherworld to obtain a magical object from the Pharaoh. Her journey is complicated by the fact that she must be judged against the scales of Truth. The Pharaoh, meanwhile, is untrustworthy. Lattimore takes inspiration from Minoan ruins on the island of Crete.
In Lattimore's Children's Folktale & Myth Anthologies, authors tell traditional stories about the origin of man. There is a story of the frog who becomes an emperor in China. A classic tale of the Blackfoot Indian is also included, as are stories about the three Billy goats - the wise ones and the fools.
Lattimore's selection of classic stories retold three special tales from different cultures. In a dazzling, modernized version, she brings magic and adventure to these tales in language faithful to oral tradition. Lattimore also enlists the help of contemporary Inuit artists to illustrate the stories. Nevertheless, her collection of folk tales is not complete without some flaws.