\ Young readers book *Legends (Beasts and Monsters / Battles and Quests)* by Anthony Horowitz - Curled Up With A Good Kid's Book
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*Legends (Beasts and Monsters / Battles and Quests)* by Anthony Horowitz- young readers fantasy book review
Also by Anthony Horowitz:

Lawn Boy

Woods Runner


Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers

The Amazing Life of Birds: The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech
Legends: Beasts and Monsters
by Anthony Horowitz
Ages 9-12 118 pages Kingfisher May 2010 Hardcover    
Legends: Battles and Quests
by Anthony Horowitz
Ages 9-12 134 pages Kingfisher May 2010 Hardcover    

Long before Anthony Horowitz wrote his popular series for young adults - Alex Rider and The Gatekeepers, he rewrote several legends and myths, published as The Kingfisher Book of Legends and Myths. In a brilliant repackaging which will eventually include six books, these stories have been reorganized by general subject and tweaked a bit by the now more experienced author.

Although each book is written at a relatively high reading level (6.2), the large font size and black-and-white illustrations reminiscent of The Great Illustrated Classics will attract intermediate grade elementary students as well middle-school students.

Countering the inherent violence in most of the stories, Horowitz infuses humor throughout, talking off-handedly directly to the reader about each story. Each book ends with a quiz (of sorts) describing 10 rather obscure monsters/weapons from myths and legend, one of which Horowitz has fabricated to fool the reader.

The first book – Beasts and Monsters, with a scary dragon on the cover - features two Greek myths (“The Riddle of the Sphinx” and “The Gorgon’s Head”), one Cheyenne Indian myth (“The Incredible Spotted Egg”), an English legend (“The Dragon and Saint George”) and a Celtic legend (“The Washer at the Ford”).

The second – Battles and Quests, with an evil-looking Minotaur on the cover - tells more awesome tales involving violent conflicts: a Greek legend (“The Minotaur”), a Chinese myth (“The Great Bell of Peking”), a Roman myth (“Romulus and Remus”), a rather unfamiliar Bororo Indian story (“Geriguiaguiatugo”), an Incan legend (“Given to the Sun”) and a Celtic legend (“The Ugly Wife”). Each account is told in a straightforward manner, with all the different beasts and characters well-explained and integrated into a short-story format, perfect for a quick read-aloud.

For the past several years, popular children’s literature has welcomed an infusion of stories referencing classic myths and legends: Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Michael Scott’s The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, etc. As a result, readers have a new enthusiasm for some of the world’s most ancient stories, so this reprinting/reorganization of Horowitz’s legends has been released at a perfect time in the marketplace.

The chapter book formats are sure to please even the most reluctant readers, and, despite the relatively high reading level, each story is are well explained, organized and easy to follow. Teachers can make great connections to ancient civilizations as well as use these versions to compare and contrast with more traditional renditions.

Any children’s library serving boys – home, school or public – cannot miss with this new series to update their legends and myths collection.

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  Kristine Wildner/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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