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The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy
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The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  634 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Travel back to a mythical time when Achilles, aided by the gods, waged war against the Trojans. And join Odysseus on his journey through murky waters, facing obstacles like the terrifying Scylla and whirring Charybdis, the beautiful enchantress Circe, and the land of the raging Cyclôpes. Using narrative threads from The Iliad and The Odyssey, Padraic Colum weaves a stunnin ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 1982 by Simon Pulse (first published 1918)
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I read this child's revision of The Iliad and The Odyssey to my three children ages 7-10. We all liked this introduction to Greek literature.
I was encouraged to purchase lectures on both stories from The Teaching Company. The lectures have opened my mind to help prepare me for when I do read the full English translation of both stories.
You are introduced to all these names you might have heard growing up. Like Achilles, Paris, Hector, the Greek gods,Helen, Agamemnon,and on and on.
This is a good
This is the perfect ORAL reading for young children. The language is beautiful and very similar to the word pictures Homer displayed for his audience. I recommend that adults that missed out on The Iliad and The Odyssey as students begin their TRUE education by reading this version. The list of characters is HUGE so this easy to read version puts everyone is place on the stage of Ancient Greece. If you have never read Greek Mythology have your smartphone off for Googling because even though the ...more
Really good book! I read this to my kids, ages 5, 9, and 10. We all really enjoyed reading this as we were studying ancient times.

We avoided the confusion that other reviewers have mentioned by making a little chart to put on the wall. Whenever we came across someone like Paris in the story, we could refer to the chart to remind us of who that was.

I never read (nor in all honesty do I intend to read) the unabridged versions of Homer's tales. This book was all the story with a little less labor
I downloaded the a free audio version and listened to it with my children at bedtime. I had never read the original Homer but I knew of the tale. It was nice to hear the adventures and tales in accessible language.
Homer adapted for young readers by noted Irish poet perfect for reading aloud.
What a FANTASTIC version of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. I recommend this even to adults who don't want to put the time into the full versions of both classics. It gives you a great summary that moves a little quicker, obviously. My kids, well... one of them (6) actually loved every minute of it. The other kid (5) tolerated it well and actually followed the events better than I anticipated. She liked hearing the specific tales (Horse, Cyclops, ... the bloody battle) rather than sticking around for ...more
This was an amazing edition. The one thing that might irritate some people is that its a "childrens" book. But its a childrens book from like 1918, so no more than LoTR is a childrens book. Anyway I'm pretty sure all that means in this context is that the pacing is faster than in the original, some of the blood + guts + weird ancient times sex is taken out. Pacing in ancient epics is always snail-like so this might not be a negative depending on whos reading.

The ancient greek-esque illustrations
Colum's text and Pogany's illustrations do justice to the epic, ancient feel of the Odyssey and the Iliad while adapting them for child readers. A child who read this at the age of 9 or 10 might want to seek out the epic poems themselves at an older age. If not, they would familiarize themselves with the people and stories that form part of our cultural heritage. Either way, it's worth the effort.
Teri Anderson
I read this with my 9-year old son for homeschool and we both really enjoyed it. Colum did an excellent job of bringing the tale of Troy alive. This is a great way to introduce kids (or even adults) to the Iliad and Odyssey in an easy-to-understand format. When they're older, they can tackle the real thing, with familiarity with the stories thanks to this book.
Padraic Colum's retelling of the Illiad and Odyssey (which he restructures ever so slightly to make it all one tale) is oddly less ambitious in scope than the pre-cursor book THE GOLDEN FLEECE AND THE HEROES WHO LIVED BEFORE ACHILLES. His usual blend of simple poetry and faux-achaic language is in full form, however, and he frequently manages to capture the best parts of the Illiad and Odyssey while glossing over the problematic or less interesting areas- particularly in regards to the lengthy b ...more
AWESOME! Finally the tale of Odysseus in a language I can actually understand! The plot is surprisingly interesting...
its pretty exiting but they talk kinda wierd. but theres lots of fights and its cool
Wonderful way to introduce Homer to kids and learn the Odyssey
A good retelling of The Odyssey in prose. Great line drawings throughout. I wonder about the differences in various retellings, which is more accurate to original. Wish he didn't write the dialogue in older English with thees and thous. When someone tells a story, however, they speak normally. Didn't enjoy it as much as I did in high school, maybe because this time I was aware of the the great number of people who die in this story--quite appalling when you think about it. This version is approp ...more
My kids and husband would give this 2 stars--but I give it 4, because I think they need to be exposed to Homer and this was a great way to do it. :) We've all heard the story of the Trojan Horse, but how many of us know who wrote it? Of the two-part story, the Tale of Troy was the least enjoyable because it was so much about the war between the Trojans and the Greeks, but my kids even really enjoyed the Adventures of Odysseus. My five-year-old is still talking about the "wooers". :)

Whew. If I did this again, I think I would get an audio version. The translator/author of this version clearly did not like commas. With complex syntax at times, and sentences that can wrap several lines of text, a few commas here and there would have really really helped this mom and her kids keep the flow of thought together during this read-aloud.

That said, it was a good version for my 3rd and 6th graders who were new to Homer other than very simplified/picture book versions. This was our "mi
This children's version was used to introduce my fifth grade class to Homer, a.k.a., the greatest author ever to have lived. Now, naturally, being a stickler purist, I had countless issues with leaving out this that or the other thing. In the desire to protect the children! won't somebody think of the children! from the more shocking elements of The Illiad and the Odyssey, Padraic Colum removed the teeth from certain scenes. I am more of the Grimm's fairy tale school of thought, but the fact of ...more
Jun 06, 2012 Vj rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Listened to the audio version, and I didn't care much for it. Narrator's voice changed often, and not just because he was using a different voice for a different character. Pacing was off, and didn't seem to fit the narrative. Sometimes the narrator sounded as if he were telling a bedtime story to a child, but then at other times, his voice was even. I think those who are coming to the story for the first time will enjoy reading the printed version, but I wonder why standard English wasn't used. ...more
It was very interesting seeing how we interpreted the stories from Homer and use them in modern books, such as Percy Jackson. The stories were very dry and plain.
It's no substitute for the real thing, but it's very well done. He manages to blend the two epics without the joins showing, and keeps the essentials of the story while omitting the blood and guts and many of the Olympian shenanigans. He makes the characters of the heroes very clear, though he does rather improve Odysseus by glossing over some of the 'craftiness' of the original - and Achilles gets off lightly, too. I can't think, though, who would read this nowadays - far too archaic for most c ...more
Read this to the kids, they loved it. Really well done.
I was kind of skeptical that my memory of enjoying this as a child was accurate, but it ended up being extremely engaging, for any age I think. Love the non-linear storytelling. Those Greeks sure know how to spin a tale. Or 2. Or 500 in one.


Err, the books I'm reading and have lined up are solid non-fiction, and this was the only exception? Maybe someday I'll read the adult's homer, but first I'm going to revisit the copy I read when I was eight. It was originally published in 1918 by an Iris
I thought that the book was OK in some parts because the names of the people who went with Odysseus kept mixing around in my head, so it really confused me. I still have no idea what happened to Hercules at the end and how he died, with all the people who went with Odysseus, I only know what happened to him, his son, and his wife. The pictures were sort of hard to understand because almost all the boys and all the girls looked the same. The whole thing, I would say is OK.
I do not like Greek and Roman mythology, but I had to read this because it is part of the sixth grade curriculum that I had to teach. I never read the Iliad or the Odyssey in high school, so it was a great way to get the basics of the story in an easier format. I really find that my kids get into the adventure of the story, and as their teacher, I get swept along with their energy. It really is a great abridged version.
everyone loved reading this at meal times, except Nathan, he's just too young (4). the kids called it a "King James English" book, and K used thee and thou in conversation (properly) after hearing it read aloud. :) the story doesn't move as fast as you want it too, it's exciting! not hard to follow when read aloud with inflection. don't be intimidated by the old language!
Haley Duford
I think that this was a good book. It did get very boring at some parts but for the most part it was very interesting.
The vocabulary is not necessarily very easy for children to understand. Reading to an almost 8-year old, I had to habitually fix quite a bit of it as I went along. That said, it's the best chapter-book-like Homer I've found for kids.
Alexis Collins
This version is an easier read than the original one that I studied in my school years. Although it was not a book that I enjoyed as much as I did a few other ones, it was nice to revisit this timeless classic.
We only read half of this and had to return it to the library. We liked the version by Usborne so much better. This was still a good read especially if it's all your library has. My kids love ancient Greek stories.
I'm embarrassed at the difficulty I'm having reading this book, and how children 100 years ago must have been better schooled. The timeless tales told in an abridged format, but without losing the literary interest.
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Padraic Colum was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer and collector of folklore. He was one of the leading figures of the Celtic Revival. (Source)
More about Padraic Colum...
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