BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Hopeless Heroes Series: Here Comes Hercules (available here)
Author: Stella Tarakson
Illustrator: Nick Roberts
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Publication Date: February 2018
Most Suitable for: Lower KS2+
Reviewed By: Daisy Rizo, Year 6 Teacher & Key Stage 2 Phase Leader
Myths, mishaps and mischief – Here Comes Hercules has them all!
The series tells the story of schoolboy Tim Baker whose life turns upside down when he accidentally breaks an ancient Greek vase, unknowingly releasing the mighty god Hercules into the twenty-first century. There is, however, just one problem: only Tim can see and hear Hercules.
As chaos ensues, Tim has to juggle babysitting clumsy but proud Hercules, completing his homework, standing up to bullies and working out a way to send Hercules back home to his wife and daughter.
The quest, however, is not as simple as it may seem: the wicked goddess Hera – wife to almighty Zeus – trapped Hercules in the case for an eternity, and will do whatever it takes to keep a lid – quite literally – on Hercules and his power.
Leaping immediately into action, the story features both likeable and relatable characters, as well as being littered with historical facts to improve understanding of Ancient Greek history and mythology. The information and vocabulary is weaved into the story discreetly, and readers will be able to make suitable connections and predictions as the story unfolds.
In addition to the writing, illustrator Nick Roberts has created beautiful artworks which depict the juxtaposition of classic and modern, bringing the story to life.
An easy read, the Hopeless Heroes series is not one for flowery description or a text for higher level vocabulary; instead it delivers a fast-paced, mischief and mayhem packed story that will keep even the most reluctant reader busy picturing what disasters a Greek god can achieve when left alone to clean, weed the garden or even make pancakes!
Though the text does have some higher level language, its overall storytelling and humour makes Hopeless Heroes the perfect companion text for lower Key Stage 2 readers, particularly when delivering a topic based around Ancient Greece.
Curriculum Links: History – Ancient Greece
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Daisy Rizo for reviewing the book.
This also features on our Ancient Greeks booklist.