Saturday, June 22, 2019

Review: Athen and the Magic Land by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

by Joan Holub and
Suzanne Williams
Illustrated by Yuyi Chen
May 14th, 2019
Children's Chapter Book
96 pages

Little Athena finds herself on a Wizard of Oz inspired adventure in this first Little Goddess Girls story—part of the Aladdin QUIX line!

After a strange and sparkly storm carries her away from home, Athena finds herself in a land filled with magic, talking animals, and incredible objects with magical powers—the land of Mount Olympus! When Athena arrives, she’s greeted by the talking Owlies and is paired with very special magical sandals—sandals with powers that Medusa, a green, snake-haired girl, wants for herself!

A glowing goddess (of hearth and home) named Hestia appears and warns Athena that if Medusa gets her snakes on those sandals, she’ll surely use its powers to make trouble for Mount Olympus! But Athena has more important things on her mind—like going back home! Determined to find her way back, Athena heads off on an adventure through the magical landscape of Mount Olympus to try and elude Medusa—and find her way back to the mortal world once and for all with the help of the great and powerful Zeus!


This is a lovely book for those readers who are ready to dive into their first chapter books.

Athena finds herself carried away by a storm into a strange land where objects and animals can speak. As she follows the Hello Brick Road, she runs across an evil Medusa, who desperately wants Athena's sandals. But a fairy insists Medusa is up to no good. Wanting only to return home, Athena heads down the road to find Zeus. But the journey isn't easy.

Greek mythology collides with The Wizard of Oz in a cute story, which holds just the right amount of adventure for more sure readers. While I expected a little bit more on the Greek mythology side, this tale still is fun and offers readers a tale with a bit of tension, lots of humor and a golden message of friendship along the way. 

The writing is just right for the intended audience. More difficult or perhaps unknown words are placed in a glossary at the end of the book. There's also a list of questions which teachers and adults can use to discuss the tale.  It's a wonderful beginning to a series, one which readers are sure to enjoy. There is a cliff-hanger type of ending, which ensures that this is a series to be read from start to finish.

And here they are...

Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated over 140 children's books, including the Goddess Girls series, the Heroes in Training series, the New York Times bestselling picture book Mighty Dads (illustrated by James Dean), and Little Red Writing (illustrated by Melissa Sweet). She lives in North Carolina and is online at

Suzanne Williams is a former elementary school librarian and the author of over seventy books for children, including the award-winning picture books Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg), and My Dog Never Says Please (illustrated by Tedd Arnold), and several chapter books and middle grade series. She also coauthors the goddess Girls and Thunder Girls series with the fantastic Joan Holub. Visit her at

No comments: