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The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Cover art for Rick Riordan's The House of Hades

The House of Hades – Heroes of Olympus, Book Four, by Rick Riordan from Disney-Hyperion, 2013.

Rick Riordan’s seven heroes of Olympus are at it again, fighting monsters and trying to save the world with a little help (and hinderance) from the gods, says MaryAnne Locher, today’s reviewer.

At the end of Rick Riordan’s The Mark of Athena, Percy and Annabeth have fallen into the depths of Tartarus and must find the Doors of Death in order to leave. In Riordan’s latest, The House of Hades – Heroes of Olympus, Book Four (Disney-Hyperion/Disney Publishing Worldwide, $19.99, ages 9-12), the other five heroes have been instructed by Percy to not only return the Athena-Parthenos statue to abate a war between Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, but to also find and seal the earthly side of the Doors of Death, preventing the rise of the evil Earth Mother, Gaea, and her league of underworld followers.

The reader will be reacquainted with monsters from previous books, as Percy and Annabeth have to face those they’ve slain in the past as they walk through their own personal Hell. But this is far from a rehash of books past, as some of the darkest and deadliest monsters and gods are introduced for the first time. Riordan doesn’t stop with imaginary monsters, he also makes the young heroes, as well as readers, question themselves and face their own personal demons in this very diverse book of love, friendship, and the fight between good and evil. Hazel is at a crossroads, and her decision affects the outcome of the quest. Nico faces being different than his friends. Frank, Leo, and the others all have to stretch their attitudes and abilities to save the world.

Will the seven accomplish their goals? Will Percy and Annabeth be trapped at the Doors of Death for all eternity if the doors are sealed? Well, you’ll have to read the book and find out for yourselves. To tell you would be just plain evil.

Watch The House of Hades book trailer, read excerpts and download activities by clicking here.

 

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Don’t Push The Button! by Bill Cotter

9781402287466Don’t Push The Button! written and illustrated by Bill Cotter (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, $16.99, Ages 3 and up) is reviewed by Rita Zobayan.

Halloween is over but there’s still monstrous fun to be had in Don’t Push The Button! written and illustrated by Bill Cotter. Larry, a friendly purple monster, has a red button in his book. The instructions for it are very clear: DON’T push the button. Seriously. Don’t even THINK about it.  But Larry does think about it, and what happens as a result is interactive, silly, and just plain good fun. The simple but colorful illustrations are absolutely fitting for the idea of the book and the age of the readers.

My four-year-old daughter loves this book—loves it! The allure of doing something forbidden, pushing the mysterious red button, delights her, and the results make her laugh. She especially enjoys being part of the action and being part of the reason that Larry … well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens to Larry. Just be careful to not push the button!

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