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Tales from the Odyssey--Mary Pope Osborne

Of all the phases my nine year old son has gone through--and there have been many (Yu-Gi-Oh, Scooby Doo, Dragonball Z, Star Wars)--Greek Mythology is by far my favorite.  He was introduced to Greek Mythology in 4th grade when he stumbled upon a series of books satirizing Greek Myths (in which Hades is the hero, Zeus the evil brother, etc.) and I realized that the cart was before the horse--he had no idea what was being parodied, and was believing Hades' version.  I mentioned this to his teachers who immediately got their hands on the Mary Pope Osborne 'Tales from the Odyssey' six-book series, and then we all sat back and watched him devour them.  Full disclosure:  He was never into the Magic Tree House series; while he might have been into the adventures themselves he couldn't get past the Jack and Annie characters which to him seemed a bit condescending.  The Greek Myths on the other hand...nothing childish about them at all.  One terrible thing happens after another, and he just can't get enough.  But the best part of this particular obsession is what's happened after he put the books down.  Things in the world start to make sense to him, now that he has this Greek Mythology in his head--it's easy to forget how many references there are in our day to day lives (Nike, the Olympics, Honda Odyssey).  His passion for mythology got him properly hooked into the excellent Rick Riordan Lightning Thief series (click here for the story about meeting him), and he can hold his own in conversations with grandparents and other visitors who are eager to engage on the subject.  And what mom doesn't love it when her nine year old son has an involved and energetic dialogue with grownups, about anything?