One of my favorite things to read when I was younger was Greek mythology. I loved reading about fantastical creatures and vengeful gods, clever tricksters and innocent bystanders whose stories would help explain the natural phenomenon of our world. My favorite gods were Athena, Artemis and Hermes.
Almost every culture has its own set of myths from the Egyptians to the Japanese to the Norse to the Irish to the Native Americans. I have to say Egyptian mythology is my second favorite. For some reason I am just obsessed with pyramids, mummies and the whole concept of the afterlife and the underworld. Creepy but awesome stuff!
Now no one is really writing original myths anymore, but you can see how influential they are in modern-day literature like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Abandon by Meg Cabot and Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B. Cooney. The same kinds of themes and characters are so powerful that writers just can’t help but steal from them:)
If you do want to come up with your own myths, there’s a great little writing activity over at Scholastic.com that helps young writers brainstorm myths. It’s part of a section all about Myths, Fairytales and Folktales, where you can read stories from around the world and get lots of helpful advice from published authors like Jane Yolen and Jon Sciezka.
Feel free to share your favorite myths or send me your unique ones.