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Young Zeus

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  159 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
From acclaimed illustrator and author G. Brian Karas comes a witty tale about navigating family and finding one's voice-based on Greek mythology!

This is the story of how young Zeus, with a little help from six monsters, five Greek gods, an enchanted she-goat, and his mother, became god of gods, master of lightning and thunder, and ruler over all. in doing so, he learned a
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press (first published 2010)
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Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
"This is the story of how young Zeus, with a little help from six monsters, five gods (his brothers and sisters), his mother, and an enchanted she-goat (that's me!), became god of gods, master of lightning and thunder, and ruler over all."

So begins the adventure of young Zeus as he defeats his father, frees his uncles/aunts from the underworld, and manages to boss his bickering older siblings around long enough to become ruler of Mount Olympus.

I was amused by the story; I think Karas had fun wr
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
So I saw this in the library and had to find out how in the world someone managed to turn the story of young Zeus into a picture book appropriate for young children. The author omitted the most gruesome bits, but managed to keep quite a few others in with some sugar coating. For example Cronus uses a sickle to banish his father Uranus to the bottom of the sea, but Karas doesn't specify for the reader exactly how he did that. No one actually dies in this book, they just get "banished to the botto ...more
Apr 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Young Zeus introduces the concepts of mythology with an adapted tale about Zeus. It is a great story for young elementary school aged kids. The storyline is quite readable and the illustrations are fabulous. They definitely add to the look and feel of the concept.

With only a few lines of text on most of the pages, it is possible to read this book to younger children. However, the story is fairly long so it may or may not keep their attention for the entire time. Little ones did like the illustra
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
my 3-3/4 year old son and i can now tell you all about zeus's immediate family and the tale that led up to his becoming god of all greek gods. as he told his friend: "wanna hear a strange story? but it's really interesting." move over cliffs notes.
Nov 06, 2016 added it
Title: Young Zeus
Author: G. Brian Karas
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Genre: Myth, Juvenile Literature
Theme(s): childhood, doing the right thing, independence, cannibalistic father, resilient
Opening line/sentence:
On a night long, long ago, Rhea gave her baby Zeus to Amaltheia, the enchanted she-goat, who lived in a cave on the peaceful island of Crete.
Brief Book Summary:
After Zeus was born, his mother gave him to a she-goat in order to hide and protect him from his father. When Zeus was older he fo
Samantha Graffeo
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: Young Zeus
Author: G. Brian Karas
Genre: Myth
Theme(s): Greek Mythology
Opening Line: "On a night long, long ago, Rhea gave her baby Zeus to Amalthea, the enchanted she-goat, who lived in a cave on the peaceful island of Crete."
Brief Book Summary: This book is about Zeus's life. It shows the journey of his life and all of the events that lead up to him becoming the God in charge of Mount Olympus. It starts with Zeus on a island being raised by a she-goat. He is very lonely, but soon learns
Elaine Hoach
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't really find this book to be too inventive it lacked originality to me
Sarah Thalmann
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it

Told by Amaltheia, the enchanted goat who raised Zeus on Crete, Young Zeus relates the tale of how Zeus rescues his brothers and sisters from his father, Cronus, who had swallowed them whole, and then confronts his father and the Titans with some help from various relatives. Focused on Zeus as a young boy and containing sibling rivalry, frequent outsmarting of adults, other instances of trickery, and moments of humor, the story will appeal to a young audience. The drawings are on the whole p
Jessica Murphy
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Title: Young Zeus
Author/Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Genre: Myths
Theme(s): Family Life, Dragons and Mythical Creatures, Ancient Greece

Opening line/sentence: On a night long, long ago, Rhea gave her baby Zeus to Amaltheia, the enchanted she-goat, who lived in a cave on the peaceful island of Crete.

Brief Book Summary: Young Zeus learns that his father swallowed all of his siblings so he attempts to retrieve them when he wants friends to play with. Zeus is successful in his feat to free his broth
Madalyn Bradburn
Myth: Karas, Brian. Young Zeus (2010).
“Mythology evolved as indigenous peoples searched their imagination and related events to forces as they sought explanations of the earth, sky, and human behaviors” (Huck 118). This book is an excellent way to introduce myths to the younger grades before they learn about the subject in fifth grade and middle school. Like its’ title mentions, this story takes place when Zeus was a young boy who has help from monsters, Greek gods, a goat, and his mother. Zeus
Alissa Parker
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: Young Zeus
Author: G. Brian Karas
Genre: Mythology
Theme(s): Greek gods and goddesses, Perseverance
Opening line/sentence: On a night long, long ago, Rhea gave her baby Zeus to Amaltheia, the enchanted she-goat, who lived in a cave on the peaceful island of Crete.
Brief Book Summary: Zeus’ mother sent him to the island of Crete to protect him from his father who had eaten all of his siblings. Tired of not having anyone to play with, Zeus set out to find his father and rescue his siblings. Zeus
Amanda Kolb
Title: Young Zeus
Author: G. Brian Karas
Genre: Myth
Theme(s): Myth, strength, believing in yourself
Opening line/sentence: On a night long, long ago, Rhea gave her baby Zeus to Amaltheia, the enchanted she-goat, who lived in a cave on the peaceful island of Crete.
Brief Book Summary: This book tells the story of Zeus overcoming some of his challenging relatives. He has to overpower his father, and rescue his siblings at the same time. Zeus gets help from others to become who he’s meant t
PictureBooks Review
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Do not judge a book by its cover, so they say. But I still do it - knowingly and often. The cover of this one looks eminently saccharine, does it not? The young, precocious child, holding aloft the lightning bolt, looking real proud of himself. I was pleasantly surprised. The text is rather thick with mythological nuance and detail.

"Throughout my research, I kept looking for the earliest accounts, and so largely drew from Hesiod's Theogony and The Library of Apollodorus," writes the author in a
Amy Forrester
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Much has been written about grown up Zeus, the lightening bolt throwing ruler of Mount Olympus from Greek mythology, but what was his childhood like and how did he become top dog? In a compelling and humorous storytelling voice, Karas tells the story of young Zeus whose mother, Rhea, hides him on the island of Crete so that he may grow up in safety away from his cruel father, Cronus. Although he is well cared for by the enchanted she-goat, Amaltheia, Zeus is lonely and longs for playmates. As so ...more
Nonfiction/Twin Text #5

Young Zeus is a good book for introducing kids to Greek mythology. Zeus is probably the most important character in Greek mythology and this book does a good job of explaining how he came into power. Since it is a kid Zeus, the kids could relate more to the story and I think it is a good way to show that kids can be in positions of power, too.

I paired this book with Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. The first book is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. I really liked
Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a great book for fans of mythology. I can see little kids seeing their older siblings reading The Lightning Thief series and wanting to read something similar, but the Riordian series being to hard. Point them in the direction of this book.

It reads like a picture book, but is lengthy enough to keep lower elementary kids interested. It tells the story of how Zeus became leader of the Gods. It's told in a simple enough manner that it is understandable and entertaining.

I'm pleased with how
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Although I was glad to see some mythology written for younger readers, this was disappointing because it is not true mythology, yet it is presented as such. If it were placed in the fiction (picture book) section of the library, it would be clear that it is a work of imagination, like Percy Jackson (Rick Riordan's series) or Jane Yolen's Young Heroes books. Still the book tells a good story and should be made available, especially to those who have seen Lightning Thief, but are too young for the ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Okay, this made me laugh "Then out came Zeus's brothers and sisters - looking surprisingly good - five god and goddesses of radiant beauty". The funny part they had been swallowed and lived in the stomach of their father Cronus. In context that is interesting and humorous version of Zeus's early life written for younger elementary age students. Illustrations did a nice job highlighting the text.
Emily Blahak
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it
This story is very interesting. It tells the story of how Zeus became the all powerful God in a way that I have not heard before. I have heard stories in my history classes about Zeus and the other Gods that are his brothers and sisters because the names are familiar to me. This book would be good to read to students maybe in the third-fifth grade level to introduce them to the that part in history.
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love to find books for young readers and listeners about Greek Mythology. The stories are always so complicated and strange that the sooner children are exposed to them the less confusion will be created later when they get to learn about them in school. Hopefully this introduction will also foster a love of mythological stories since so many of them are paralleled in other great works of literature and art.
First and foremost, Young Zeus is a really graphic book that is more appropriate for fourth grade and beyond. Now, this story, based on Greek legends and mythology, truly made me smile because like Young Zeus, I am the youngest of my family, and I see the youngest child being ignored or put last all the time. Sometimes, they are the most knowledgeable and aware of their surroundings because they have to learn to be patient and observe, and they have siblings to look up to and compete with.
Young Zeus is a fun way to introduce Greek Mythology to younger students in second or third grade. This story tells the story of Zeus and his life. I enjoyed reading this story in a kid format after reading heavier texts about the same subject. The only issue is that the students may get confused with the different names. The names are unique and slightly hard to keep up with. It would be helpful to keep a chart of the characters to refer to while reading.
Amanda St
Sep 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was very interesting. I am sure we have all heard the story about how Zeus became the ruler of the heavens but this is told in a much different way. I would not say different like how it is told just the word choice and the fact that he defeated the titans so that he could play with his brothers. The illustrations were very cute and the story was told in a very easy to understand way. Young kids would really enjoy this story.
Kate Hastings
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: language-arts
Grades 3-7. Great read-aloud for our 4th grade introduction to Greek and Roman Mythology. Tells the story of the Battle of the Titans and where Zeus got his thunderbolts, etc.

Great for intro to allusions (CC ELA, Grade 4), too. On the page where he goes to trick Cronus, the fog is shapes like a whale. An allusion to Jonas or Moby Dick?

Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Although it's in picture book form and could be enjoyed by younger readers if read aloud, the story does a great job explaining the whole premise of Greek mythology in a fun and new way. It's like a refresher course in easy-to-understand terms and is very entertaining. A unique book that would be fun to use in a high school classroom during a mythology unit.
Oct 29, 2012 marked it as to-read
Young Zeus follows the mythical tale of Zeus from a young age. He receives much guidance from those around him, and eventually grows into the all powerful, might Zeus in his old age. This is a great story to introduce the idea of mythical beings. It also discusses the value of family, friends, and guidance from both.
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a longer, and rather complex, picture book, so I wasn't sure how my six-year-old son would respond to it. I needn't have worried -- he loved it. It might have helped that we read this book during a storm. Either way, it was a great introduction of Greek Mythology to young readers and listeners.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
my 4 year old wanted it read again at bed time. the 1st time took some explaining every step of the way, so she could follow, cuz boy was there a lot of characters to follow. good thing there was a visual aid "cast of characters" page in the very beginning to flip back to. from grandma Gaia to brother and sisters in daddy's belly and then some in the underworld was a lot to take in.
Kelli Bratten
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: families, myths, ece-3601
I loooove this book!! It is an adorable book telling the origins of a famous mythical god. My students will be able to relate to him more because he is young! It tells a story about a pretty crazy family; a good opportunity for my kids to write about something crazy their family does. It also can be used when introducing Greek myths.
Adam Clavey
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eng-261
This fantasy book retell the myth of how Zeus became the ruler of the gods. It tells the story (one that can be graphic) in a way that is readable and interesting to students. This would be a great book to introduce mythology to students between first grade and fourth grade.
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Myth 1 1 Nov 13, 2014 12:32PM  
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G. Brian Karas has illustrated close to ninety children’s books. He has also written and illustrated several titles, including HOME ON THE BAYOU, a BOSTON-GLOBE-HORN Book Honor winner. He lives in Rhinebeck, New York.
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