Heroes in Training
by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
chapter book series, ages 6-11, about 100 pages

Illustrations by Craig Phillips
Aladdin / Simon and Schuster

“Readers will gobble this down and look for more, make no myth take.” ~ Kirkus Reviews


Heroes in Training #1:
Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-4424-4933-6

After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series! The terrible Titans--merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans--have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe.



Heroes in Training #2:
Poseidon and the Sea of Fury, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1442452657

The merciless Cronus and his Titan buddies are in hot pursuit of Zeus, Hera, and Poseidon, who plan to travel across the treacherous boiling sea in order to save a fellow Olympian. They have a boat, but they also have a problem: Poseidon can’t swim and is terrified of the water (well, really of the creatures that lurk in its depths). The group faces danger after danger as they battle singing sirens, a fishy and ferocious Titan named Oceanus, and people-eating monsters sent by Cronus himself. Can Poseidon overcome his fears and help his fellow heroes escape Cronus and his cronies?



Heroes in Training #3:
Hades and the Helm of Darkness, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1442452671(pap); 978-1442457256 (hrd)

The Heroes in Training are entering the Underworld—if Hades can conquer his canine fears, that is.

The Underworld usually isn’t really meant to be a fun place—but tell that to Hades! He loves the dark and the stinky smell of sulfur. However, there is one thing that Hades is not a fan of: dogs. And when Zeus and his fellow Olympians encounter Cerberus—a snarling, three-headed dog—Hades must conquer his fears and tame the hound so everyone can continue into the Underworld and deposit their Titan prisoner, Oceanus, back where he belongs!

But with magical water that causes forgetfulness, hot beds of lava, and another epic battle with two more Titans standing in their way, will Zeus and his heroes make it out of the Underworld with everyone intact?



Heroes in Training #4:
Hyperion and the Great Balls of Fire, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1442452695 (pap); 978-1442458031 (hrd)

The action heats up for Zeus and his fellow Olympians in this blazing Heroes in Training tale.
Phew, it’s hot! Under the titan Hyperion’s rule, the sun is burning even brighter than normal and scorching everything in northern Greece—including the villagers! The Olympians are forced to play a sizzling “game” of Dodge the Sunbursts as Hyperion hurls giant fireballs that could fry them to pieces!

Armed with some clues, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades set out to figure out why in the world Hyperion has been making things so hot. They also need to rescue Hera, who is still missing. Battling the extreme heat—and some fantastical and scary creatures, courtesy of their old foe Cronus—the boys are off on another epic adventure…and Zeus is one step closer to discovering his destiny.



Heroes In Training #5:
Typhon And The Winds Of Destruction, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1442488427 (pap); 978-1442488441 (hrd)

Twice the quests means twice the adventure for Zeus and his fellow Olympians. After battling fireball-throwing Titans, the young Olympians find themselves on a double quest: Not only must they find more Olympians that Cronus has swallowed, but they’re also in search of magic seeds that will help rejuvenate the earth after the terrible drought that plagued the lands, thanks to Hyperion. But a wind-throwing giant named Typhon has other ideas. Can the Heroes in Training withstand the storms that are coming their way?



Heroes in Training #6:
Apollo and the Battle of the Birds, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1442488458 (pap); ISBN: 978-1442488465 (hrd)

When a flock of angry birds threaten Zeus and his fellow Olympians, they need the help of a new friend—assuming the stranger is actually a friend! After a horrible drought, Zeus and his fellow Olympians are determined to help restore the land as they try to figure out their current mission, to find a special shield called an aegis. Thanks to some grateful villagers, who benefit from the rain and crops that the young Olympians magically create, they find the armor they need.

But they are suddenly swarmed by birds—thousands of killer, scary birds. And when a mysterious boy appears in the chaos, it looks like he might be more connected to the Olympians than they think. Is he friend...or foe?



Heroes in Training #7:



Ares and the Spear of Fear, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1442488489 (pap); ISBN 978-1442488496 (hrd)

Ares, Zeus, and the other Olympians encounter a huge snake and a sharp challenge in this Heroes in Training adventure. After overcoming many challenges, Zeus and his fellow Olympians arrive at the temple at Delphi—only to find a giant snake guarding the entrance! Beyond the python, Pythia appears. Trapped in the temple by the python’s magic and mere presence, Pythia urges the Olympians not to worry about her, for they are urgently needed on another quest.

The Olympians are now out to find the Spear of Fear. A group of Amazonian women currently have it, but it really belongs to Ares, the God of War. Ares is thrilled to know the next quest is about him—but soon realizes that when it comes to the powerful spear, he has a LOT to learn...



Heroes in Training #8:



Cronus and the Threads of Dread, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1442488519(pap); ISBN: 978-1442488526(hrd)

Zeus and the Olympians must deal with monstrous spiders and dangerous webs in this Heroes in Training adventure.

A giant spiderweb in the sky with the words “Surrender Olympians” shows Zeus and his friends that they are in for another battle. Dodging the silky and sticky webs, the Olympians find themselves scattering in all directions to avoid getting caught.

But those dangerous webs actually contain a hidden gem—Athena’s magical object.  And the Olympians soon discover that the Threads of Dread might not be as dreadful as they appear… 



Heroes in Training #9:



Crius and the Night of Fright, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1481435062(pap); ISBN: 978-1481435079 (hrd)

Zeus and the Olympians head to the Peloponnese to save Apollo’s twin sister, who’s under a sleep spell, in this Heroes in Training adventure.

Zeus and the Olympians are off to find Apollo’s twin sister, Artemis, who was captured by the Cronies and separated from her brother. But Titan Crius, who rules the area, has Artemis under a special spell that is making her sleep, which doesn’t make a rescue easy! Can the Olympians manage to sneak away from Crius and his pesky Pandi—warriors with ears that can hear for miles—and save a sleepy Artemis, or are they in for a tough awakening? 



Heroes in Training #10: 



Hephaestus and the Island of Terror, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1481435093(pap); ISBN: 978-1481435109(hrd)

Zeus and the Olympians might find a new leader among metal-working warriors in this Heroes in Training adventure.

Fresh off their adventure with Crius’s Cronies, the Olympians set out for the island of Lemnos, and there’s a reason they receive warnings as they travel: Warriors holding intricate weapons greet them as soon as they come ashore! Then they meet Hephaestus, the leader of the island who they quickly realize is actually one of them—the Olympian they were meant to find.

But Hephaestus isn’t so sure he wants to leave with the Olympians. After all, life is pretty good on Lemnos, and he loves being in charge of the Sintians, who inhabit the island. The Sintians made him their leader because of his metal-working prowess, and he’s been doing his best to keep them safe from Cronus’s armies ever since. Hephaestus suggests that if he does choose to go with the Olympians, he could be their leader. But what about Zeus? Not everyone is convinced he is still up for the job… 



Heroes in Training #11:



Uranus and the Bubbles of Trouble, Aladdin

ISBN: 978-1481435123(pap); ISBN: 978-1481435130(hrd), December 2015

A clash between the Titans and The Olympians at sea leaves Zeus and his friends shipwrecked—and in a tidal wave of trouble—in this Heroes in Training adventure.

After an encounter with Uranus, God of the Sky (and father of the Titans), the Olympians find themselves in the middle of a battle between two big-time Titans. On Cronus’s orders, Titan Oceanus dives into the sea and causes it to turn even stormier. He’s heading straight for the Olympians’ boat, planning to capsize it, no doubt. Just when it looks like the Olympians are done for, Zeus throws his thunderbolt high and causes a huge battle in the sky between the Titans.

As broken stars and hunks of clouds crash to earth and into the sea around the Olympians and their ship, they manage to escape—thanks to some help from Zeus’s medallion and guide, Chip—but find themselves shipwrecked. And as Uranus’s stars begin to fall in the ocean, the huge splash makes a wave of bubbles that heads for the shore of the island where the Olympians and their ship are trapped. And Zeus has a feeling those bubbles mean trouble.



Heroes in Training #12:



Perseus and the Monstrous Medusa, 2016





Boxed set: Books 1-4

ISBN 9781481422000

Come along for legendary action with the first four books in the Heroes in Training series, now available in a collectible boxed set!

The terrible Titans are merciless giants who rule the earth and are led by Cronus, the biggest, baddest Titan of them all. Cronus and his cronies have put the world  into chaos—but the Titans’ rule is about to be challenged by a group of young Olympians, led by ten-year-old Zeus, as they discover their powers and try to claim their rightful place as rulers in various realms of the universe.

This boxed set includes Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom, Poseidon and the Sea of Fury, Hades and the Helm of Darkness, and Hyperion and the Great Balls of Fire. 


(more Heroes in Training books to come!)


Bed, Bats, and Beyond

Lerner, paperback, grades 1-4

Even after counting mosquitoes and spiders, young Fink, a bat, is unable to fall asleep, so his family members take turns telling him stories. His brother Fang starts out with a scary story about Swamp Owl, who likes to eat bats and chants, "Bats with sprinkles./Bats on toast./Bats are what/I love the most!" Older brother Batrick contributes an adventure tale about a screwball pirate captain who calls his crew "scurvy navels" and gives zany commands such as "Hoist the decks!" and "Swab the sails!" Finally sister Batsy relates a love story about a bat princess who becomes disenchanted with her prince. Not surprisingly, none of these does the trick for Fink. Luckily Mom arrives home and knows just the right story to tell-a bedtime story. … ideal for students who have just graduated to chapter books. Charming and full of humor, this is sure to be a favorite.

— School Library Journal, Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, OR

In print in Japan only:
Doll Hospital series (fiction, originally published by Scholastic)
Ages 7-11, approx 100 pages

Contact Joan regarding reprint rights
for these out of print titles
Space Dogs on Planet K-9
Ivy Green, Cootie Queen
Young Princesses Around the World series (Aladdin, historical fiction, based on true events)