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For Readers Age 10 - 14
Grades 6th - 10th

Myths of Dymos: Power of Vedion
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Publisher's Description:

Glenn, David. (2010). The Myths of Dymos: Power of Vedion. Tate Publishing. ISBN-10: 1616632577. Litland recommends age 10-14 but content appropriate for all ages.

Time is always moving. Eras rise and fall. Creatures appear and vanish. Civilizations are born, then crumble. But what never dies off is hope for life... For young Josun, life in Thrystinove is peaceful and happy--despite frequent visits from his abrasive aunt and his abusive cousins. However, when a Great Lizard appears close to the village, Josun's way of life is threatened. In this first installment of The Myths of Dymos, an ancient order of knights--mortal enemies of Josun's people--has found its way into Josun's world and will stop at nothing to destroy the land of Bylouth. To save his home and all that he cares about, Josun must find an artifact that could be the key to the safety of his people. Along the way, he adds many interesting people and creatures to his band of traveling companions. Throughout the quest, Josun must learn about courage, honor, friendship, love, and hope in order to master the Power of Vedion.

   

Respect for self and others: This includes integrity (adherence to a code of conduct or value system), honesty vs. manipulation or lying, compassion, caring for others (characters not focused on getting their way no matter what) self respect--main character does not let others denigrate him or her; use of self control and self-discipline ; taking charge of own behaviour; fairness to others (such as taking turns and avoiding the blame game). Reader should ask themselves “How does the protagonist depict their peers?” “Would you want others to treat you this way? Should everyone act this way?” This includes true friendships that do not involve regular lying, deceit or manipulation; considering consequences of actions prior to acting; owning up to responsibility once an action has been taken.

Once formed, the team works smoothly to conquer evil forces that threatened to destroy their land. Until then, however, they had to form those bonds, and we see that process evolve. Characters show concern for one another. Ehist is sad that the fairies had armor and swords (p. 111). And their reaction to the deceit of their comrade is appropriate. Characters also show emotions realistically yet appropriately, such as when Josun says in anger “we must stop those heinous worms”. They use their strengths to help one another, such as Ehist healing Josun’s leg, Bleizth protecting them, etc. The members of this merry troupe show concern for the welfare of each other. Their abilities complement one another, and they show respect for each other’s strengths.

Characters also apologize to one another when in error, as well as demand apologies on behalf of friends so that honor is restored. Behaviours such as cheering up a sad member and showing politeness to each other demonstrates how the characters grow in their inner strength as well.



Portrayal of Authority figures: The positive portrayal of parents, teachers, police officers and other “good” authority figures common in a child’s life is a positive influence upon the child’s own moral development. This includes actively-parenting mother and father figures. Minimization of parental involvement in the character’s activities or the portrayal of authority figures as inferior present poor role models. Also to be avoided are main characters that deceive parents and teachers to accomplish goals, and overuse sarcasm towards authority figures. Ask yourself “Are parents seen as positive or negative influence in the character's life?”

True to its medieval ties, the story encapsulates the hierarchy expected in a kingdom. The hierarchy is not only respected but defended with their very lives. Within the band of defenders, then, leadership also develops as it must, and this is respected in spite of any “differences” that such creatures might have held with one another in the past. We also see authority respected within the family, such as Josun obeying his mother.



Citizenship and Patriotism: Loyalty to family, team or group, school, community and world; caring for and being considerate of these groups. Pride to be part of that group or nationality.

We, of course, expect patriotism and loyalty as the purpose of the adventure is to save their kingdom. Old-fashioned chivalry is in the aire. However, this story also gives us a great example of how a few strangers come together, slowly adding more and more, and ending up with a large, diverse group of loyal friends. They predictably are suspicious of one another in the beginning, as needed for safety’s sake. However, as they travel along their journey, characters begin to look out for one another, cheer each other, and care for one another. They are a team, who initially bond through their shared pride in their kingdom, and eventually break down any clannish barriers between them.

Before the team forms, however, we saw the strong family bond with Josun and his mother. For example, she does the dishes so that he can have a break from the work. They host his deceased father’s relatives even though those people are cruel and take advantage of their family. So the story begins with a solid family unit, and then expands taking this sense of family and extending it to the troop of defenders.


Justice and Balance: A just distribution between good and evil (with good outweighing evil in the presence of the storyline); demonstration of right and wrong; making decisions to enact the above values rather than simply choosing from two bad possibilities; Ask yourself “Is the emphasis on the positive elements or negative?”


The story is based upon the classic battle of good vs. evil. As with any good classic, each is portrayed clearly. The division between right and wrong is clear. Adding some to the suspense, we even have a deceitful character who is unveiled in the end and loses tragically. There is no doubt as to what the “good guys” should do, and never a doubt in their mind to act upon it...the characters exhibit traditional values of honour and dignity, making decisions because it is the right thing to do, not the easiest or least risky. Placing themselves at risk pays off with winning the battle and saving the kingdom.



Aesthetic aspects Of life ExperienceLook for a storyline portrayal of beauty, health, and selfless love vs. hedonistic behaviours (sexuality, selfishness, obsessiveness, materialism), profanity, gore and violence. Are nature and environment respected or exploited? Look for dark elements; watch out for humor that is negative, denigrates others excessively, uses metaphors to denigrate the sacred.

Some of the dialogue is funny, such as calling the trolls vermin faces (smile). The description of places, events, emotions and physical reactions is well done. The reader can project themselves into the story easily and consistently as it is evenly paced from beginning to end. Similar to classic tales, we understand fully what is happening without dummying down the story by using unnecessary gore or profanity (as we often see in children’s literature today). The budding attraction between hero and princess is expected but it is not at the forefront and so not interfering with the story; each character is allowed to portrayed based upon their own strength and personality.



Other things to Consider:Other aspects of this book of interest or importance. For example, does it portray Wiccan practices and accurate use of tools of which some parents might object, does it contain hidden meanings in metaphors that may prove offensive to some families; does it address personal issues such as puberty or pregnancy.

True to the traditional fantasy tale, the use of magic (not witchcraft) is merely a tool to the storyline. Unlike recent popular children’s books that focus on magic as a means of being powerful and controlling, Glenn has portrayed it appropriately and its existence is subdued. No concerns with this story...a great book all the way around! While content is appropriate for both boys and girls of all ages, the reading level is more akin to 5th-6th grade. It is a great book for younger gifted readers, reluctant readers, and classroom use.

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