HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12Calling All Goddess Girls: Author Interview & Giveaway

Calling All Goddess Girls: Author Interview & Giveaway

By Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 3, 2010

Aphrodite the Beauty (Goddess Girls)

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:

Athena the Brain (Goddess Girls) 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!

Persephone the Phony (Goddess Girls)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

Artemis the Brave (Goddess Girls)Goddess Girls #4: Artemis the Brave

Releases December 7, 2010, and Books 5 and 6 are in the works!

Interview

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)

Giveaway Rules:

  • 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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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

Comments
  • We just listened to the Odyssey as a book on tape when we were on vacation – I think my little “Goddess Girl” will love these stories

    August 3, 2010
  • Bianca, thank you so much for having us here this month! You are truly an interview and review goddess. The post looks fabulous, and Suzanne and I are excited about the giveaway.

    Cindy, how awesome that you and your Goddess Girl listened to the Odyssey on vacation. I love that Greco-Roman mythology is popular with young readers now. I think–at least in part–we have Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series to thank for that. Our Goddess Girls books are riding that wave and are fortunately selling well. As Athena would say, “Yegods!” We love it!

    August 3, 2010
  • This set of books would be perfect for my very good friend who just found out that she will be teaching fourth grade this year at a new school. As we usually have to buy our own books and supplies out of our own pockets, I know that she would really appreciate having these new books in her classroom.

    Thank you!

    August 3, 2010
    • Christine: You might let your teacher friend know that the first two Goddess Girl books will be in the Scholastic Book Club flyers sometime this fall (Joan and I haven’t yet been told which month).

      Bianca: I echo Joan’s thanks. The post is terrific, and we’re very excited to be here!

      August 3, 2010
      • Suzanne: Thanks for your kind words! And, congratulations on having the Goddess Girl books in the Scholastic Book Club flyer—bravo.

        August 3, 2010
  • Being part of a giveaway for children books is always exciting. Please count our library in for this cute looking book.

    Thank you,

    August 3, 2010
    • Thanks for dropping by today, Sheyla! We love librarians. Suzanne was a school librarian for many years. Her insights into kids in a school setting were helpful in writing these books.

      August 3, 2010
  • I follow you and Joan Holub on Twitter and tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/20240962128

    Thank you,

    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    August 3, 2010
    • Thank you, Christine! Very sweet of you to tweet the Goddess Girls.

      August 4, 2010
  • This looks like such a wonderful series, where girls can learn about themselves & others. It’s nice to have the inspiration of goddesses, and see that human qualities transcend the ages and that we all have human feelings & emotions!

    August 3, 2010
    • Well said, Annmarie! Suzanne and I enjoyed focusing on the friendships and fun between these goddesses. They’re girls like other girls, yet they have supernatural powers–and supernatural problems!

      August 4, 2010
  • This looks like such a cool way to learn about the Greek gods & mythology! Would love to share it with my daughter.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    August 4, 2010
    • Glad you think so, Jane. I love the idea of you sharing Aphrodite with with your daughter. Mother-daughter reading is very cool.

      Thank you for stopping by. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. For anyone who hasn’t visited–take a look. It’s http://moziesme.blogspot.com/

      August 4, 2010
    • Thanks! Love the glass-blowing pics on your site, btw I love the Oregon coast. I grew up in Oregon, too! Was born in Eugene and lived there until I moved to Washington State in my early twenties.

      August 5, 2010
  • My great-niece is a very wise and brainy Athena. Her grandfather – my brother – suggested the name to his daughter who thought it was perfect for this bright-eyed first grandchild. He has tried somewhat unsuccessfully to interest her in Greek and Roman myths. These look like books that Athena and her grandpa can share and enjoy.

    August 4, 2010
    • I love that you read with your great-niece, Grutmorg. With the wave of popularity of mythology, your Goddess Girl Athena has a very in-vogue name. Tell her she’s one of my favorite goddesses. Brainy girls rock!

      August 4, 2010
    • Athena is a lovely name. I hope your great-niece and brother enjoy the books. Thanks for coming by!

      August 5, 2010
  • I love that all these wonderful books are out there!

    August 5, 2010
    • Thanks, Kelsie. We’re glad to see the books out, too. Sometimes it can be a long process!

      August 5, 2010
  • perfect to have in my classroom-thanks for the opportunity

    August 6, 2010
    • Wonderful to see you here, Karla. Suzanne and i love getting these books into the hands of readers via the classroom. Thanks for coming by CBR!

      August 6, 2010
  • These books sound great! I personally love mythology, but it is sometimes hard to get kids interested…and good middle school girls books that girls can relate to often seem scarce. My daughter is going to love these!
    I could see these in a classroom very easily.

    August 7, 2010
    • Thanks, Lee Ann. I hope your daughter likes the series!

      August 8, 2010
    • Yay! I’m happy to hear you say that, Lee Ann. Thanks for dropping by and as Aphrodite would say: Have a beautiful day!

      August 9, 2010
  • Enter me please!

    August 11, 2010
  • What a great series of books these are!!! I’m buying them for Christmas gifts. I hope the series keeps on going. Love’em!! Kristen

    August 11, 2010
    • Kristen, hi!
      Thank you so much for dropping by to enter. And thanks for the kind words about the Goddess Girls series! xox

      August 11, 2010
  • Thanks for introducing me to these books, please count me in!

    August 12, 2010
    • You’re welcome! Thanks for popping by CBR.

      August 16, 2010
  • I love how you mix in mythology in the books, after seeing percy jackson my daughter is really into it and I think she would enjoy your take and the characters
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    August 13, 2010
    • Percy Jackson has stirred an interest in mythology among young readers, which has been a nice boost to our Goddess Girls series. It’s wonderful that your daughter is into it. Yay!

      August 16, 2010
  • twitter follower & tweeted
    http://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/21127543613
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    August 13, 2010
    • Thank you so much for the tweet, Tabathia! Much appreciated.

      August 16, 2010
  • I would love to have this book to add to my classroom library. I teach 4th grade and think the girls would love to read this book.

    August 16, 2010
    • I hope so, Karen. I would have loved to read friendship stories based on the goddesses when I was a girl, which is why we wrote them. Let us know what your library readers think! Thanks for dropping in at CBR!

      August 16, 2010
  • I have two girls who I think would enjoy reading these books. Please count me in to win.
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

    August 18, 2010
  • These are the kind of books i loved as a child

    August 18, 2010
  • This looks like a great series of books for girls~I would love to win for my granddaughter.

    August 18, 2010
  • Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway. Special thanks to Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams for creating such a great series and sharing it with us here at TCBR!

    Deb K is the very lucky winner! You can read more here: https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2010/08/giveaway-winner-calling-all-goddess-girls.html

    August 22, 2010
  • MY GRANDDAUGHTER HOPES I WILL WIN FOR HER.
    I HAVE MY FINGERS CROSSED.

    May 3, 2011
  • I really love these books. They are the best series i have ever read. I can’t wait to read the 4th, 5th and 6th. I love reading and it takes up most of my time. I’ve told my friends to read these books they are so awesome! I’ve already got two friends to read them. Thanks you for writing them. I love all the detail. I always make pictures in my mind. You are great writers!

    June 7, 2011
  • OOOOH!!!!!! Can you make a book called Pandora the Curious? Or can you start a god boys series and start with poseidon? oooooohhhhhhhh

    October 5, 2011
  • Jenna, we do plan to write a Pandora book. It will probably be the 10th book and that will likely be the title. We think alike!

    Maeve, thank you so much! That’s wonderful to hear. I loved reading series books when I was in school, too. Thank you again for enjoying the GG books!

    Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. We will definitely keep doing Goddess Girls giveaways here at The Children’s Book Review, so we hope you’ll come back to visit!

    Next up are GG#7: Artemis the Loyal (December 2011); then GG#8 Medusa the Mean (April 2012)

    xox
    Joan

    October 5, 2011

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