Heavens above! 6 super books about gods and deities

Published on: 01 February 2019 Author: Alexandra Sheppard

People have been telling stories about the gods forever - and the fascination with deities shows no sign of stopping. In fact, children can enjoy some really rather brilliant tales about heavenly beings these days...

Alexandra Sheppard and her book Oh My Gods

Alexandra Sheppard's new book Oh My Gods introduces us to Helen Thomas. Life is tricky for all teenagers, but Helen's dad and siblings just happen to be ancient Greek gods living incognito in London... which makes things even more awkward!

We asked Alexandra to choose six other super stories about gods for you to enjoy:

1. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor

The cover of Zahrah the Windseeker

Image: Sheila Smallwood and Carol Chu

Set in the fictional West African kingdom of Ooni, Okorafor's mythical setting fuses technology with botany to create a wholly original world. When 13-year-old Zahrah and her best friend explore the Forbidden Greeny Jungle, it sets her on a quest that requires immense courage and stamina. A truly magical, heartwarming tale full of intelligent animals and imaginative plant technology.

2. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The cover of Aru Shah and the End of Time

Illustration: Abigail Dela Cruz

Aru Shah is in a whole heap of trouble. After lighting the cursed Lamp of Bharata on a dare, she frees an ancient demon set on awakening the God of Destruction - and unwittingly freezes her classmates and mum in time. With the help of a hilarious pigeon sidekick, 12-year-old Aru must save them and stop the demon. A captivating adventure that brings Hindu myths into the Instagram era.

3. The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo Book One) by Rick Riordan

The cover of The Hidden Oracle

Illustration: John Rocco

How do you punish a god? By making him human! After angering Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down to earth - New York City, to be exact - and becomes a teen boy. He has to survive in the mortal world without his powers, and with a host of enemies on his tail. Set in the same universe as Rick Riordan's best selling Percy Jackson series, this action-packed story is made even funnier by the snarky and self-obsessed Apollo.

Read our review of The Hidden Oracle

4. The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The cover of The House with Chicken Legs

Illustration: Melissa Castrillon

12-year-old Marinka dreams of a normal life, like living in a house that doesn't uproot itself in the middle of the night! Her grandmother is a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife, and she's training Marinka for the same role. But when Marinka tries to break free from her destiny, her beloved Yaga disappears - and it's up to Marinka to find her. Inspired by the figure of Baba Yaga from Russian folklore, this is a beautifully written story.

Read our review of The House with Chicken Legs

5. Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans

The cover of Who Let The Gods Out?

Illustration: Aleksei Bitskoff

Elliot already has a lot on his plate - he's a carer to his mum and they are close to having their house repossessed - when a shooting star crashes in their shed. The star is a goddess called Virgo, and together they must defeat the wicked daemon Thanatos. But they can't do it without the help of Olympian gods, forcing them out of their cushy retirement. Maz Evans combines hilarious one-liners with a cast of kooky Greek gods in the first book of a series for middle-grade readers.

Read our review of Who Let the Gods Out?

6. Myth Atlas by Thiago de Moraes

The cover of Myth Atlas

From Egypt to Japan via Greece and West Africa, this illustrated book shows how 12 cultures saw the world by sharing their myths. The stunning illustrations deserve your time and attention, while the intricate maps will enrapture children and adults alike. A fantastic choice for introducing younger readers to magical myths from around the globe.

Read our review of Oh My Gods

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