Take Zeus. O’Connor thinks quite a lot of the exalted depictions of the “King of Gods” are simply incorrect.
“He isn’t a dignified outdated gray-beard like Sir Laurence Olivier or Liam Neeson,” O’Connor scoffed. “He’d be this 21 12 months outdated surfer dude from California with sick abs.”
He identified that in many of the Zeus myths, the god is chasing these he is drawn to. “He can appear to be something he desires. He would not ever be the outdated dignified man. That is not Zeus.”
O’Connor’s favourite goddess is Zeus’ spouse Hera, whom he says is “filled with quiet grace and dignity.”
“In lots of retellings, she will get solid very merely as a nasty man, because the jealous shrew of a spouse,” he mentioned, “not making an allowance for that Zeus is the worst husband conceivable.”
Hera’s marriage is betrayed. Artemis is obvious that she is going to by no means be touched by males. Dionysos is born feminine after which turns into male. That the books do not flip their gaze from all of that is refreshing, mentioned Brent Elementary college fourth grade trainer Caitlin Arbuckle.
“He does not shrink back from the gender facet, does not shrink back from the actual fact the Dionysos enjoys quite a lot of wine, just like the extra grownup issues. However these children, by the point they’re in fourth grade, quite a lot of them, they do have that maturity and so they know in regards to the world,” she mentioned.
That is a part of the purpose of his books, O’Connor mentioned. He does not speak all the way down to children — and that is what attracts children to them. “Greek mythology is full of stuff that folks would clutch their pearls at and be like, ‘However the kids,'” he mentioned. “I strive to not clear up any of that. The world is full of issues that possibly upset your specific worldview, however they exist and so they’re issues that kids are going to come across. So why not encounter them in story?”
Dionysos is the final Olympian for O’Connor, ending his collection. Subsequent up: graphic novels on Norse mythology.
Jennifer Vanasco edited this story for air and internet.