Renee 's Reviews > Athena the Brain

Athena the Brain by Joan Holub
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's review
Dec 06, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: kids-books
Read in December, 2012

My daughter (9) and I read and reviewed this book and this is what we have to say. Visit us at


What I liked and disliked about it:

I liked the story. I liked that the pages were short and it was a fast and easy read for me. The girls in the book reminded me of me and my friends. Some of us get along and sometimes one girl can be mean (but only sometimes).

I liked the part of where they were doing the project and Athena kept hurting the person that she was doing experiments with. That was a really cool class project! There were lots of funny parts like that one. I liked that Poseidon wanted to name his trident after gum – that was funny.

I would have liked it if there were pictures of Medusa before she got her snake hair and I wish there was more information about what happens after Medusa got turned into stone.

My bottom line:

I loved loved loved this book and I want to read the other books in the series. I would recommend it to girls 7 years and older.


What I liked and disliked about it:

You’ve all heard me ramble on about my love of mythology (especially Greek mythology) – - most recently in our review of the first book in the Heroes in Training series (Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom), also by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams. The Goddess Girls is written for tween girls and the dialogue and relationships among the characters is depicted in an almost eerily accurate way (this coming from the Mom of a tween – or near-tween depending on when you start labeling a person a “tween”). Tween girls will be able to relate to likable Athena who feels different and awkward from everyone else while juggling homework, making new friends, meeting her father for the first time, and contending with the school bullies.

I really enjoyed Holub and William’s vision of Mount Olympus Academy where all the young Gods and Goddesses attend classes such as Hero-ology, Spell-ology, Revenge-ology, and Beauty-ology. It is in the Hero-ology class that the young Gods and Goddesses hone their skills in manipulating some famous mortals on Earth such as Paris and Helen of Troy, King Menelaus of Sparta, and the Greek hero Odysseus whom Athena humorously mishandles and nearly drowns by accident. The authors’ description of the in-fighting amongst the Gods and Goddesses over their class assignment as puppeteers to the mortals on Earth was very amusing.

The book cover is very eye-catching. In fact, my daughter and I originally came across this series in Chapters/Indigo bookstore many months ago while perusing the bookshelves. The images of Medusa in books and movies are generally very frightening, but in this series, she is depicted as normally described, (i.e., green skin, snakes for hair) but is more cartoon-like than scary. Unlike the Heroes in Training books, this book does not have any illustrations inside the book. That worked out ok because the main characters are well-depicted on the cover and the word density in the book is low so there is no need for images to break up the text.

I was curious to see, having read Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom first, how the Goddess Girls would overlap with the Heroes in Training series. Interestingly, they do not overlap. I would have expected that they might, but it does not take away from the enjoyment of either series.

My bottom line:

Many of the same things I loved about the Heroes in Training series (i.e., likable characters, comedic timing, quirkiness and originality, an interesting plot, and a unique and playful writing style) all apply here as well. I would highly recommend the Goddess Girl books to tween girls – they’ll love it!

* Goddess Girls: Athena the Brain was provided to us free-of-charge by the author in exchange for our honest opinion.*
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Reading Progress

04/02 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Isabelle (new)

Isabelle I think your daughter would realy like the Myth-o-Mania series.Especially the "Say cheese Medusa" one.I thought it was realy good.And you don't have to read them in order.

Renee Isabelle wrote: "I think your daughter would realy like the Myth-o-Mania series.Especially the "Say cheese Medusa" one.I thought it was realy good.And you don't have to read them in order."

Thanks for the recommendation - my daughter just loves anything having to do with mythology! :)

message 3: by Isabelle (new)

Isabelle You're welcome!

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