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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Legends: Battles and Quests - Anthony Horowitz (Juvenile)

Released May 2010

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Legends: Battles and Quests is a companion book to Beasts and Monsters. Anthony Horowitz, author of the popular Alex Rider series, returns to some of his earlier writings. This collection of short stories retells a number of stories taken from mythology and folklore.

Favorites in this collection included the battle between Theseus and the Minotaur. Readers learn how the minotaur came about and how Theseus ended a cruel king's reign over a kingdom. Geriguiaguiatugo was new to me. The story comes from Bororo Indian folklore and tells the story of a young man who kills his mother. His father suspects his son and sends him on dangerous quests as punishment, but that plan backfires.

Other stories in this collection include the story of Romulus and Remus, an Incan tale regarding why the Incas worshiped the sun and a Celtic story involving Gawain, one of the Knights of the Round Table and a tragic tale of a Chinese bell maker.

Advancing readers will enjoy this anthology. Illustrations are scattered throughout the text making it a great choice for kids who still like picture books but need longer stories. I enjoyed Battles and Quests and think parents need to add it to their collection. I can see many younger readers becoming hooked on folklore and mythology after reading a few of these tales.

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