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“My friends stuck with me till the very end. And really, isn’t that what all of us are looking for? Someone who gets us. . . who understands. . . who forgives us when we mess up. . .who will be there no matter what. . . someone who listens. . . someone who cares,” Oddonis. –Odd Gods
Odd Gods #1
by David Slavin
AR Test, Good for Reluctant Readers
Oddonis may be the son of Zeus, but he’s a little bit odd for a God. He’s so odd, in fact, that he’s not sure if he has any powers at all. And if that isn’t enough, his twin brother Adonis is the most popular, most athletic, and most otherworldly handsome God of them all.
Oddonis’s future at Mount Olympus Middle isn’t looking bright, especially when he makes the last-minute decision to run against Adonis to be class president. With the help of his friends Mathena (Goddess of math and poultry), Germes (God of all things sniffling and snotty), Puneous (the smallest God of them all), and Gaseous (enough said?), Oddonis is determined to win the race, prove that his friends are as good as any Greek God, and maybe, just maybe, find out what his true powers really are.
Anyone who has ever felt like an outsider will relate to Oddonis, who is not handsome, strong, or amazing like his brother, Adonis. Oddonis’s tale features other misfits, including Gaseous, who farts his way through the story. Unfortunately, Gaseous’s farts smell like “feta cheese, a wet ferret, and feet.” Later at an assembly “Gaseous lets out one of those loud, long, air-going-out-of-a-balloon farts, and the auditorium goes crazy.” In the end, Gaseous uses his fart-power to help Oddonis.
Odd Gods has easy vocabulary, short paragraphs, and humorous black-and-white illustrations on every page. Despite the juvenile humor, Odd Gods has several positive messages about the importance of liking yourself (flaws and all). Even though Oddonis was bullied and called names, he realizes that it’s okay not to be perfect. In the end, Oddonis looks at his reflection and thinks, “I maybe even like what I see. . . And that makes me smile.”
Throughout the story, Oddonis finds a unique group of friends, who were often criticized by others. When Oddonis decides to run against his brother, his friends use their unique talents to help Oddonis. Through their experiences, the reader will learn the importance of friendship, forgiveness, and working together. The message is clear: people who are different should be proud of their differences. Even though Odd Gods has gross humor, readers will enjoy the ridiculously humorous story as well as learn some valuable lessons.
- Adonis is the “God of beauty and desire.”
- On the school chariot, Poseidon “opens his mouth, a tidal wave comes out” and drenches Oddonis and his friend. The illustration shows Oddonis and his friend swimming with fish and crabs, while other gods laugh at them.
- On the first day of school, Oddonis, Gaseous, and Puneous are in the hall when “Ares and Apollo pick the three of us up, stuff us in an open locker, and slam the door shut.”
- When Oddonis sticks up for another kid, “Hercules slams his mighty fists down on our table, and before I can say, ‘Where are we going’ –I’m FLYING UP IN THE AIR!” And it’s not just me—Gaseous, Puneous, Mathena, and Clucky and Ducky are flying, too!” The group ends up in the dumpster.
- While in the dumpster, Gaseous farts and “Boom!!! WHAM!!! Back we land, right at our table, right where we were sitting before.”
- Adonis, Poseidon, and Hercules are racing towards Oddonis in a chariot. When the chariot gets close, one of Oddonis’s friends “grabs a level next to the steering wheel and pulls hard. One side of the dumpster drops down and empties its putrid payload. . . right on Adonis’s chariot!” The three gods are “coated with stinky slimy slop! (The cafeteria’s ‘Tuna Surprise’ never looked better!)”
- Oddonis looks in his brother’s backpack and sees a picture of himself being hung on a noose.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Someone calls Gaseous “Fire Butt.”
- “Oh My Gods” is used as an exclamation twice and also OMG is used twice.
- The story contains a lot of name calling, including apes, birdbrain, fish face, jerk, weirdos, idiot, dummy, doofus, bonehead, stupid, halfwit, dimwhit, blockhead, and nincompoop.
- “What the—” is used twice.
- Heck is used three times.
- When Oddonis tells Echo, “But now what do I do, do, do?” Echo giggles and says, “You said doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo.”
- When Puneous comes back from a spying mission, Oddonis says, “Thank Gods you’re okay!”