By Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 3, 2010
To celebrate the release of Aphrodite the Beauty (Goddess Girls #3), authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams answer questions below about the book and the series. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the drawing for a set of the first three books in the series!
Reading Level: Ages 8-12
About the new book:
Aphrodite the Beauty (August 3, 2010)
Sure Aphrodite is beautiful, but being the goddessgirl of love is not always easy. Though others think she’s an expert on boy-girl relationships, they’re often just as confusing to her as to anyone else. And she certainly never thought she’d find herself jealous of one of her best friends!
Previous books in the series:
Goddess Girls #1: Athena the Brain
Finding out she’s a goddess and being sent to Mount Olympus brings Athena new friends, a weird dad, and the meanest girl in mythology—Medusa!
Goddess Girls #2: Persephone the Phony
Hiding her feelings works fine for Persephone until she meets a guy she can be herself with—Hades, the bad-boy of the Underworld.
“The authors intertwine an enchanting mythological world with middle-school woes compounded by life as a deity or blessed mortal. The books should be popular with fans of girly, light fantasy.”
~ School Library Journal 4/1/2010
Goddess Girls #4: Artemis the Brave
Releases December 7, 2010, and Books 5 and 6 are in the works!
Q: Aphrodite, the main character in Goddess Girls Book #3, is one of four goddessgirl best friends who take turns starring in the books in your series. How did you decide which Greek goddesses to feature?
Suzanne: That decision was made pretty early as I recall. I don’t even remember a lot of discussion about it. Since we were initially proposing a series of four books, we chose the four goddesses that fascinated us– the first ones that came to mind when we though of Greco-Roman myths. Aphrodite, Athena, Persephone, and Artemis (Book #4, Artemis the Brave pubs in December) were all goddesses we thought readers could relate too and might already know something about, since they loom large in the Greek pantheon.
Joan: I think young readers identify with these four particular goddesses in the way women of my age identified with the four ladies of Sex and the City. Each of our goddessgirls has identifiable, standout qualities, as indicated by the book titles. Athena is indeed a brain and Aphrodite is indeed a beauty. Sex and the City was anchored in NYC. Goddess Girls is anchored on Mt. Olympus at a school for goddessgirls and godboys called MOA (Mt. Olympus Academy.) Both focus on friendship among girls/women.
Aphrodite the Beauty was particularly fun for us because Aphrodite is so sweet, and yet so blithely unaware of the fact that she’s vain. She is beautiful and admired by every godboy in school, and has been all of her life. She takes this admiration for granted, so when Athena suddenly becomes a rival, she doesn’t know how to handle it.
Q: Do the books in the series need to be read in number order?
Suzanne: Each story is independent of the others, so the books don’t need to be read in order to be understood, but we do reference events that happened in previous books as the series goes along.
Joan: GoddessGirls is a good springboard for getting kids interested in mythology, so be ready to suggest some other books to readers of the series. Booksellers are telling us that they’re placing it in displays near Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. There’s plenty of action in GG to engage readers, since everything these girls do affects mortals on earth. When you’re a goddessgirl, it’s not just about getting an “A” in class—it’s also about not causing any disasters on earth!
Q: What sources would you suggest to readers who’d like to know more about Greek mythology?
Suzanne: D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths is a classic for kids. As a former children’s librarian I’d advise browsing the 292 section of any library. I’ll let Joan tell about some of the adult sources we used as reference material when doing research for the series. She’s got a whole shelf of mythology books in her office!
Joan: And Suzanne has a keen insight into school behavior, honed from her years as a public school librarian. This has been a helpful reference for the emotional component. As for books, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology is our go-to reference. Scholastic’s Mythlopedia NF series is another good reference for kids, as well as Mary Pope Osborne’s Favorite Greek Myths.
Q: How has the series been doing since the launch of the first two books in April?
Suzanne: Well enough that our publisher has asked us to write two more books to be published in 2011! We’re now at work on rough drafts of Goddess Girls 5 & 6.
Joan: And Scholastic Book Club recently bought sub-rights to include Books 1 & 2 (Athena the Brain and Persephone the Phony) in school flyers this fall. We’re very excited about that.
Q: Can you tell us what Books 5 & 6 will be about?
Suzanne: Athena stars again in Book 5; Aphrodite in Book 6. Our tentative titles are Athena the Wise and Aphrodite the Matchmaker. Heracles (his more common Roman name is Hercules) will appear as a new character in Book 5, and the Egyptian goddess Isis will appear in Book 6.
Joan: As for storylines—we’ll weave together and put a modern spin on myths as we did in previous books. Athena will help Heracles in his Twelve Labors, assigned to him by the somewhat weird and occasionally terrifying Principal Zeus. And Aphrodite will find out there’s more than one goddessgirl of love!
Suzanne: Thank you, Bianca, for kicking off our Aphrodite the Beauty blog tour. We really appreciate you having us on your blog today!
Joan: And we’re looking forward to giving away a set of the first three GoddessGirls books to a lucky winner!
How to Enter Giveaway:
- Leave a meaningful comment in the comments field below for a chance to win.
- An extra entry will be given for each time you twitter about the giveaway and/or blog about it. You will need to paste the link in a separate comment to make this entry valid. Click here to follow us on Twitter. And, of course, follow Joan Holub, too. (Maximum entries: 3)
- Shipping Guidelines: This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the United States who can accept their prizes by mail.)
- Giveaway begins August 3, 2010, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends August 20, 2010, at 11:59 P.M. PST, when all entries must be received. No purchase necessary. See official rules for details.
Good luck to all you Goddess Girls!
Sponsored by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams.
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