Okay, I have a confession to make. My family has been hooked on the “Hercules” TV series featuring Kevin Sorbo since it first aired about 10 years ago or so. We loved the heroics, the mythology, the wacky battle scenes, but above all we really got a kick out of the campy wit. So, yeah, we now Netflix the series, interspersed with DVD’s of high-brow quality entertainment, of course… Even if you don’t secretly watch old “Hercules” episodes at night, if you enjoy mythology, heroics, and especially campy humor, then you will certainly like reading the middle-reader novel Pandora Gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, paperback, Jan. 2008, $12.95, ages 9-12, 256 pages).
In Pandora Gets Jealous, ancient-Greece middle-schooler Pandy, tired of being treated like some loser, decides to impress everyone by bringing in the box she’s found under her parents’ bed. A box filled with all the miseries of mankind and sealed by Zeus himself. Needless to say, Pandora’s box gets opened (by some snooty girls who’ve been tormenting Pandy), and mankind is plagued. Now Pandy is given six moons to collect the plagues, or, no duh!, doom to all. Blending teen language and humor with plenty of action, mythology and shtick, Pandora Gets Jealous is an entertaining book ’tweens (and those closet “Hercules” fans) will surely enjoy.