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Greek mythology presented with new and unexpected twists can be entertaining

Updated on August 3, 2016
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Ancient robots, giant foxes, and the first monkeys

Most fans of Greek mythology know the familiar names of the gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Athena, and Cyclops. Tracy Barrett opens a new adventure in reading Greek myths with her new book "The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard". Her collection of myths that are little known will have readers laughing, puzzled by the unexpected twists, and spellbound. Barrett writes in her introduction that the myths in her collection may seem familiar in the beginning, but each has been hidden for a while and deserve to be known.

"The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You never Heard" begins with the prologue in which a talking rock spins his tale of why he is telling these myths that have never been heard. The rock must tell seventeen stories before the sun goes down in order to return to being a man and to be reunited with his dead wife. Each chapter contains a myth with stories about superheroes, gods and goddesses of love, birth, and death, gods and their relationships with humans, and creatures that have never been heard of before. Each chapter also features an interesting fact about original myths with gods and goddesses that are well-known. Appendix A and B are of interest in that Barrett includes the Greek alphabet to explain the spelling and pronunciation of the names of the Greek gods and goddesses. She also includes an informative glossary of gods, goddesses, other mythological Greek characters, and places of interest.

Tracy Barrett developed her interest in Greek mythology while in college and also has an interest in Greek art and architecture. She has written several books about the classical world of Greek and ancient culture. She writes both fiction and non-fiction along with novels for middle school and the young adult readers. "The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard" has an ISBN of 9781535144506. You may visit to learn more about Tracy Barrett.

Greek myths with new twists

Greek mythology with new twists and turns
Greek mythology with new twists and turns | Source

Author Tracy Barrett

Author Tracy Barrett has written several books about the classics.
Author Tracy Barrett has written several books about the classics. | Source

Do you know the history of Greek mythology?

The earliest Greek myths were part of an oral tradition that began in the Bronze Age. The oral versions of these myths gradually became part of written literature. The poet Hesiod's Theogory became the first written story of mythology around 700 BC.

The 12 deities that were said to live on Mount Olympus are the focus of Greek mythology. Zeus is a familiar god of the weather, law, and fate. Hera may be a lesser known goddess of women and marriage. Venus, also known as Aphrodite, is familiar to most as the goddess of love. Ares, the war god, and Artemis, the goddess of animals and childbirth, are less familiar. Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, Bacchus, the god of wine, Vulcan, the god of fire, Hermes, the god of travel, and Neptune, the god of the sea, round out the 12 major Greek gods and goddesses of mythology. Mythology also contains monster-like or "hybrid" characters that take the form of human-animal. All of these shaped art and history, and recent books such as Tracy Barrett's "The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard".

Fun facts about Greek gods and goddesses

*Many consumer products that are popular now get their names from Greek mythology. The Nike company takes its name from the goddess of victory. Nike sneakers are frequently worn by winners.

*Stories about gods and goddesses from Greek myths explained how people should live. The myths explained how the world came to be and documented ideas about community that Greek citizens lived by.

*Pandora was the first mortal woman according to Greek mythology. She was made by the god Zeus.

*The monsters in mythology included Argus, Cyclops, and the Gorgons.

Both Thor from Norse mythology and Poseidon from Greek mythology had a golden cart

Both Thor from Norse mythology and Poseidon from Greek mythology had a golden cart
Both Thor from Norse mythology and Poseidon from Greek mythology had a golden cart | Source

Fun facts for kids

Children are also fascinated by mythological creatures and characters. Here are some fun facts for kids that will spark interest in exploring Greek myths.

*Athena came from the head of Zeus as a fully grown woman. She taught people about arts and crafts.

*Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, had a golden cart that was pulled by strange creatures that were half-horse and and half- snake.

*Hermes invented a musical instrument called a panpipe, a kind of flute.

*Zeus controlled the weather and was considered the most powerful Greek god.

*Hera was the goddess of the calendar year.

Do you know your mythical creatures, gods, and goddesses?

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