The Wanderings of Odysseus
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The Wanderings of Odysseus

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  475 ratings  ·  87 reviews
A master storyteller and an award-winning illustrator evoke the golden age of mythical Greece in this spirited retelling of The Odyssey.


From the Hardcover edition.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published December 13th 2005 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1996)
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Riku Sayuj

I had picked this one up as a quick refresher (after making the mistake of not reading Iliad along with the original Odyssey reading). It serves that purpose. Some of the translations are even remarkably well rendered. However, it was not too useful as an easy companion to Ulysses sinceSutcliffrearranged the structure of the epic completely to make it a linear narrative, which is a huge disservice, both to the epic and to the reader.

All in all, it is a sort of Cliff’s notes with stunning illustr...more
Nikki
Rosemary Sutcliff's retelling of the Odyssey is, like her retelling of the Iliad, illustrated by Alan Lee. It's gorgeous, just like the first book -- I love the illustration of the Sirens, and Calypso comforting Odysseus, and Ino saving him from the storm... It's lovely.

The story itself is very simple, given that it's aimed at children. It's quite lovely in its simplicity, though; it works very well alongside Alan Lee's illustrations.
Micah
Well, I've already put it aside to give away, if that tells you something. We so enjoyed Black Ships Before Troy, that this came as a great disappointment. The writing didn't captivate in the way the former did. Though, perhaps I'm holding it to an anachronistic standard by expecting the protagonist to be empathetic.

Beyond the fact that you don't really like Odysseus for the first two-thirds of the book, the narrative is unnecessarily graphic. While I acknowledge that the subject matter is grim...more
Jessica
I would not recommend this book to children. Because it has been simplified into plain language, the violent events are depicted in an even more gruesome manner than in the original epic poem, which I feel makes this book inappropriate for children to be reading on their own. In addition, I was not very impressed by the writing in this book. It is choppy and simplistic, written more in summary format than in a fluid narrative, which makes it rather dry and boring, especially during the parts tha...more
Terri
As in Black Ships Before Troy, Rosemary Sutcliff writes a story of an epic that many adults are afraid to read for fear of the classics, in a manner that is captivating and understandable. It is by no means dumbed down and yet my children could easily understand the story.

Alan Lee's watercolor illustrations are beautiful and keep the youngest listener sitting quietly to hear the story while seeing the pictures.

The characters and the story are so easy to read that it is an easy transition to pick...more
Ron Bajrami
This book is about Odysseus, the mythical king of Ithaca, who has to get home from Troy, but does not know the way. The setting is in Greece, and Odysseus's external conflict, is him dealing with the God's and monsters. Odysseus's internal conflict, is him trying to find home and thinking about his wife and kids.

When Odysseus fights the Cyclops and kills him, it reminds me of when Apollo, the god of music killed the Cyclops for killing his son.

I would give this book 5 stars, because I really lov...more
Jennifer
Beautiful, compelling retelling of Homer's Odyssey. The book is considered children's literature, but it is easily enjoyed and appreciated by anyone of any age. If you are "afraid" of Homer's epic poetry, this is a great place to start. Accompanied by gorgeous artwork (lots of nudes in there, if you're concerned about that with children...), it is a book worth browsing again and again. It carries all the action, suspense, and drama of the original, and whets your appetite for the real thing. Hig...more
Janisse M
This book is an intersteing book, it's about a man named Odyesseus that goes on a mission and fights many different creature. He landed on an island and had to fight a Cyclops, he stapped it in the eye and tricked him. So when Odyesseus went to attack him, he told him that his name was no body, so when the Cyclops screamed for help, he told the other Cyclops that no one was attacking him. At the end Odyessus came back alive
Megan Franks
This is a great book to use if you want to introduce The Odyssey to a tween (age 11-3. It addresses all of the major themes (longing for home, desire for glory, hospitality, etc.) and all of the adventures are adequately covered as well. For the more squeamish, some descriptions are a bit disgusting (example: when Polyphemos eats Odysseus's men) but not quite as detailed as the original text. I imagine most of my 12-year-old girl students will wrinkle their noses and ask if we can just skip thos...more
Laura
4 years ago when we read Mary Pope Osborne's version of the Odyssey, we were completely captivated. This version feels like more of a slog.
Rachelle
It was a little slow in the beginning, but once you got further into the book the more interesting. Make sure, before you read this book to read the book Black Ships before Troy (also by Rosemary Sutcliff).
Moira
Another great translation of Homer, made accessible for the kiddo.
Sarah
A great retelling of The Odyssey. However, the writing style is a little dull at times.
Dana
This is a shortened version of the real wanderings of oddyseus. I thought it was pretty good and the author did a pretty good job.

Odysseus travels to all of these foreign lands trying to get back home from defeating the city Troy. He keeps getting stopped and finally all of his shipman die and he is the last one alive.

Enventually he makes it home to his wife and wins the battle.

I like this book and would have it in my classroom.
Larysa
I just read this book for my children's lit class, and I did not like it at all. It was supposed to be a version of the Odyssey for kids, but it was so dumbed down that there was no story or description left. Sure kids would not understand Homer, but they are not stupid. The author could have added so much more, but instead she just gave an outline of the story. I would not recommend it to a child or anyone for that matter.
Zoe
This is the nicest children's edition of the Odyssey I've seen. It maintains the poetic feeling this story should have, and simplifies things enough to be accessible and interesting to elementary-age kids (the ones in my class, at least) without losing the feeling of a Greek epic. The watercolor illustrations are nicely done, and add to the story, although there might be something to say for leaving more to the imagination.
Nielson
It was a good book...I especially liked reading about it after I had read the chapter in the Childrens Lit. book about traditional fantasy. It was entertaining and well-written. The pictures added to the book. I thought it was a great book for kids because by reading it, they could get a synopsis of what the Odyssey is all about. The author kept the main details in the book with the poetic-type language normal of that time.
Christine
Required class reading: This was one of those books that you have to be patient with.


For my IP&T class: Though I do not love this book, it is good to use as a suplementary reading during a unit on the Greek Gods. This book is a child's version of The Wanderings of Odysseus. It is more appropriate for them compared to the original, and clearly shows the roles of each of the Gods and what powers they hold.
Elizabeth Bass
Another great narrative (from an epic) from author Rosemary Sutcliff. This would be great resource for students while reading an epic version. She also puts the events in chronological order instead of the traditional plot scheme of this story (which is easier for Westernized thought). My only concern is a few illustrations with breasts, if indeed this becomes part of a class library.
Christiann
The sequel to Black Ships Before Troy: The Story Of The Iliad, this book will delight anyone who loves a good story accompanied by amazing art! Alan Lee's illustrations are (to me) the highlight, but Sutcliff's story will also hold you enthralled.
Louisa
I liked this book simply because it was much easier than reading the actually Odyssey. While I do think that there is some inappropriate content in the book, I think I could use sections of it in my classroom. I think that the Odyssey is such a big part of where heroic stories came from that it is important to teach. It will only add to the children's cultural experiences.
Nicole Fellows
I think this book is a good version of the Odyssey for kids to read because it kept the main points of the story, but made it easier to understand. I think the author could have added more detail to make the story more interesting, but I do think it has enough to at least give kids a good idea of what the Odyssey is about. I thought it was good book.
Katie Robinson
This is a nice simple retelling of the Odyssey.

It's not YA in the modern sense but it's an adaption that is simple enough for that age group. I don't get why everyone's complaining why it's graphic because in my opinion the violence isn't bad at all.

I love the importance of family and home in this story. Overall, I want to read the original now.
Jessica
I thought this book covered the main points of Odysseus' journey. It was almost like a plot summary though. I guess if the author was going to put everything together in a small book meant for children, then it would have to be like this. It would be good to teach children about the events that happened on Odysseus' journey home.
Rachel
A simple retelling of the epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer.
This book felt like a well-written cliff notes version of The Odyssey. It may be good to use with 6th grade social studies, but I believe the students will have to have at least a little background information and discussion in order to fully understand what is going on.
Sam
While I find this book an easy way to interest and explain the Odyssey to young children, I felt like it greatly dumbed-down the experience. It was too shifty, and jumped from one story to another with no transitions. This would be a great read-aloud with a class if you were doing a unit that correlates to the Odyssey though.
Rachel
I wasn't a big fan of this book. It was a very shortened version of the adventures of Odysseus. There was hardly any characterization or describing of events. It felt more like a summary of the real thing. This book could be helpful in the elementary classroom to help teach a little bit about Greek mythology and legends.
Kami Huff
*Traditional Fantasy* I thought this book was a concise version of the very long stories of Odysseus. I did not particularly enjoy it because it was so fast, and the stories were very short and devoid of much detail. But if you wanted to be exposed to these epic stories, it gets to the point and tells the stories.
Katrina
I have a vague memory of reading something like this in fourth grade (I think it was Jason and the Argonauts); I didn't like it then and I didn't really like it this time. All the events moved really fast without much detail to what happened and the things that happened were to out of the ordinary for my taste.
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Rosemary Sutcliff was a British novelist, best known as a writer of highly acclaimed historical fiction. Although primarily a children's author, the quality and depth of her writing also appeals to adults, she herself once commenting that she wrote "for children of all ages from nine to ninety."

Born in West Clandon, Surrey, Sutcliff spent her early youth in Malta and other naval bases where her fa...more
More about Rosemary Sutcliff...
The Eagle Of The Ninth The Lantern Bearers The Silver Branch Black Ships Before Troy Sword at Sunset

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