Today on the blog I am shaking things up for you all. Or as my good friend Michele says, "Y'all." I am sure you are tired of reading my reviews so today I have a guest post and guest reviewer to entertain you! I have an enthusiastic thirteen old to review Athena The Brain by Joan Holub. Followed by a guest post from Joan as well as a giveaway!
My guest reviewer is Katertot. The daughter of Southern Belle, Michele over at A Belle's Tales. If you haven't met these ladies, you are missing out. The are absolutely wonderful and I adore both of them! Michele runs a wonderful blog that is so upbeat and positive, like the lady herself. I can't help but smiling when I visit her little corner. Occasionally, Michele posts reviews from her precocious and ambitious, now teenage daughter, Mckenzie. Her reviews are so well written. She is certainly going to make a splash in the blogosphere soon. Anyway, Michele graciously loaned me Katertot for a review here today.
First her is a bio about Mckenzie in her own words!
Hi, I’m Mckenzie Kate, aka Katerot! My mom is Cheles Bells from A Belle’s Tales, and I credit my love of reading to her. I can’t wait until I’m a little older and can have my own blog. I adore reading, not just because it’s fun, but because it inspires me to be creative and look at life in different ways. I love YA books, and some of my favorites include: Entwined, Divergent, Delirium, the Hunger Games, and, most recently, Lost Girls. I’ve been obsessed with Greek mythology ever since I read my first Percy Jackson book - I.Was.Hooked. Some of my other favorite mythological books are the Heroes of Olympus series and Starcrossed. My favorite series of all time are The Iron Fey and Harry Potter. When I’m not reading, I enjoy writing, singing, photography, bird watching, sketching, dancing badly, and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (girl power - take that, Bella Swan).
Isn't she so much fun? I love to see an avid, young reader! Here's her review:
First of all, I’d like to thank Ms. Heidi for letting me know about the Goddessgirls series and for allowing me to review Athena the Brain for her blog! I love it here! <3
Athena the Brain (Goddess Girls #1) by Joan Holub
In Athena the Brain, Athena always knew she was smart and special, but she didn’t realize that she was a goddess! When she’s whisked away to Mount Olympus Academy, she worries about fitting in and dealing with her dad (Zeus). Luckily, she meets the Goddess Girls and finds the best friends she’s ever had.
Paperback 160 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Aladdin.
Athena the Brain is the story of the goddess Athena as a young girl. I found this book very interesting because I’m a HUGE fan of Greek mythology! The author detailed each character’s story and part in Greek mythology. I love how she wrote about Athena befriending the other “goddessgirls,” as they were called, Aphrodite and Artemis, who are two of my favorites in Greek mythology!
I thought Athena was a great lead character and I enjoyed reading about her inventions and ideas. I felt very sorry for Athena because she had to leave her best friend, Pallas. I’ve been in that situation myself, unfortunately, and found it very easy to relate to Athena in that way.
This book was a sweet, fast read. Though it was a very cute story, it was a fraction too young for me. But that’s just me! I recommend this book for fifth and sixth graders… or anyone
who is young at heart!
Thank you again, Ms. Heidi, for asking me to guest post on Rainy Day Ramblings! I’ve had so much fun!
Thank you Katertot! I loved having you here today! Now I am thrilled to introduce you to Joan, the author of the Goddess Girls Series with a few words on her series and writing.
The tween/middle school years. They’re the years of first crushes. The years of bad fashion choices, little heartbreaks, and fabulous sleepovers. And for me, they were the years I met my best friend forever, and drew a my-side/your-side line down the middle of the room I shared with my older sister. They were also the years I studied Greek mythology in school.
So when I asked Suzanne Williams if she might like to co-write a middle grade series, we wound up settling on the idea of a modern twist on Greek mythology. Everyone knows that Mount Olympus is where the ancient gods hung out, so we set our series at a fictional Mount Olympus Academy, where Zeus is the Principal and Mr. Cyclops teaches a class called Hero-ology. From day one, we planned that the series would be for ages 8-12 and it would be called Goddess Girls.
At the core of each GG book, there’s one (or two) ancient myth. We tweak and build on that myth to suit the main character of a particular book. There’s humor and an external problem or goal. There’s tween angst that’s straight out of the remembered emotions and experiences from own tween and middle grade years. Did I mention that my bff and I were given lunchroom duty as a punishment when we cut so we could stand together in the lunch line? And did I mention that when I told a friend at recess that I liked David Adams, she told him before recess was even over? And then he actually tried to talk to me? Just two middle school traumas on my long, long list.
Once we had our series title and basic idea, Suzanne and I wrote a proposal. To suggest a children’s book series to a publisher—anything from easy readers to middle-grade—you typically write a series proposal and synopses for three or four books, since that’s the number most publishers choose to publish initially. Each of the synopses is about one page long or less. You also write anywhere from three to all of the chapters in the first book. We wrote the first five chapters of Athena the Brain.
We lucked out in some ways. For instance, our proposal hit the desk of an editor at Aladdin paperbacks (Simon and Schuster), who was a mythology geek. And Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series would soon make mythology wildly popular.
Still, Goddess Girls could have gone down in flames. We didn’t really have a master plan to get it done. The whole time we were writing the proposal, we kept asking each other: How will we write this series if it sells to a publisher? How do other co-authors write together? Will we each write one book, tossing it back and forth via email? Will we sit at one desk and compose the stories together real-time? We couldn’t decide and it scared us. So we decided we’d worry about that aspect later. What if no publisher makes an offer for the series? we told ourselves. Then we’d have worried about how we’d write it for nothing.
But once we had an offer for the series, it was crunch time. We had deadlines. How were
we going to meet them? We decided to divide and conquer. We each wrote one of the first two books. I wrote the first draft of book one, Athena the Brain. And Suzanne wrote Persephone the Phony. Then we traded. And we mega-revised each other’s first draft. By the time we’d traded them back and forth for revisions a bunch of times, they sounded like they’d been written by the same author. We’d hit upon the perfect solution for us.
Goddess Girls started with a four-book contract and it’s now up to twelve, with editions in six foreign countries. We’re also writing a slightly younger series with a first title due out in August: Heroes in Training, Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom. And Suzanne and I haven’t had to draw any lines down the middle of our “room” as I did with my sister way back when!
Joan has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of her latest book in The Goddess Girls series: The Girl Games. To enter please fill out the Rafflecopter. See Contest Policies for all details. Thanks everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway