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Trojan War
Olivia E. Coolidge
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Trojan War

3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  729 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews

In this retelling of the Trojan War, Olivia Coolidge crafts heroes and gods into real, multidimensional characters, not just the figures of legend. Vibrant storytelling and finely wrought action have made her version of the classic tale of the Fall of Troy accessible to generations of young readers.

Hardcover, 244 pages
Published January 1st 1952 by Houghton Mifflin
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Brian Santana
Oct 03, 2014 Brian Santana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Trojan war by Olivia E. Coolidge is one of the best story's on Greek history in my opinion and I honestly just could not put it down. It vividly describes the battles fought and makes you feel like your actually a solider in battle, this realistic fiction shows the minds and lives of many different characters and many different perspectives of the people fighting on both sides the suspense becomes greater the and honestly will make give you goosebumps.this book has some very vivid(bloody and ...more
Nov 17, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was fascinating. It was interesting on how clear the author portrayed the characters' gifts and major flaws. The book strangely doesn't wander into the grey, like I would think it would. And surprisingly it was very eye opening. I appreciated the author's tasteful endeavors to show what happened without getting into to much detail (the sensual elements especially). I can now say that I truly know who Helen of Troy is.
Wonderful retelling of the story of the Trojan War, something I haven't read about since I was a child. All of the famous heroes and villains from Western history are here: Achilles, Agamemnon, Hector, Ajax, Paris, Cassandra, the Queen of the Amazons, Menelaus, Prius, and many more. I have read all of these stories before, for the most part, but never all together in one place. The Iliad is a story of war, murder, greed, and cruelty. There are not good guys, really, just powerful people motivate ...more
Feb 04, 2009 Timmy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book that I'd review is called The Trojan War by Olivia Coolidge. The book's genre is myth . The message/theme of the book overall showed courage and will to overcome and surpass obsticles. The setting of the book is around somewhere around the 12th or 13th B.C. on the lands of Troy and Greece on which thousands of Greek and Trojan soldiers would soon fight and the gods will also fight.

During the time when Troy finally made peace with the Greeks. Everyone had peace it was yet until Prince P
Jan 18, 2016 Nisha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Penthesilea sat astride a fiery white horse, and from the waving crest of her helmet to the sandals on her feet she glittered with gold. (134)
Feb 06, 2016 Juli rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
School book. Hard to follow. Not well written, but the boys loved this book.
This is an excellent retelling for upper elementary or middle school children. The writing is lucid but not watered down, and the stories are gripping and retold with little deviation from their source material.
Jan 31, 2013 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sonlight
This book brought together many of the Greek myths and legends weaving them into a complete story. It was very entertaining, if a tad on the violent side for my 1st & 3rd graders, with characters larger than life. I especially enjoyed it as a good back story after watching the movie Troy. It made me appreciate how well the movie was made and gave insight into some of the subtleties. With many characters, storylines, and battles it was sometimes hard to follow, but overall we really enjoyed t ...more
Feb 17, 2013 Kiersten rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I know more about the unfolding of the Trojan war, according to the gossip over the centuries. There were interesting chapters here and there, but mostly there is a lot of smoting and hacking, threats, challenges: boy stuff. Boys will definitely enjoy this book more than I did. There were parts that were absolutely confusing, though. Chapters begin without orienting you to where you are and whose perspective you're seeing. Write all the characters down as you meet them and make sure you no ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Nicolas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Too hard for me . Try again next year
Making ancient Troy and the associated gods and characters accessible to younger readers is a good reason to pick up this book. While aimed at teenagers and young adults, it's also worthwhile as a hard-to-put-down volume that reads like a soap opera.

Agamemnon, Achilles, Hector, and all are here, with dialogue and exposition made easy for the young reader. I found it fun to read, as a way to re-live Homer's tale all over again and to get in touch with my inner Greek gods.

A good book for a sunny d
Sep 24, 2013 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author did an excellent job of presenting the mythology surrounding the Trojan War in an engaging and readily accessible style while remaining true to the ancient authors whom she was paraphrasing. I highly enjoyed it as an adult who has already read the Illiad, Odyssey and Aeneid; and after reading I promptly gave it to a friend's teenage daughter whom I knew to be interested in Greek mythology. I think that nicely illustrates the appeal that this book can have to persons of a wide range of ...more
This was a decent introduction to mythology for my 5th and 7th grader, but it was hard to follow at times. It did whet their appetites, though, and my son has since read several other books on some new favorite characters (e.g. Achilles and Odysseus). It provided a great opportunity to show how ancient mythology has been incorporated into our culture, e.g. "Achilles' heel." In fact, they heard and understood that term shortly after we read about Achilles, so it was worth our time.
Oct 14, 2015 Zoe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the story, but Coolidge just makes it boring! The Trojan War is an exciting, fun story but it reads like an encyclopedia.
Nov 17, 2014 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in the 50s, this book uses older and formal language. Maybe a tough sell to the younger crowd (under 10) of today. But its wonderful because it includes the before and the after and the inbetween---all the parts that we love about the classic story. Haven't found anything that covered the stories like this
Aug 27, 2009 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe this was the book i had when i was 12, it had a differant paper back cover: all red... but i know the title and author sound familiar.

I really liked this book, i learn a lot, and it inspired me into mytholgy, and its connection to history
I thought this story would never end. My high schoolers didn't enjoy it either, aside from the funeral games. Maybe I should worry?
The one advantage to it was that it made the movie "Troy" more understandable... kind of....
Jul 16, 2013 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book selection for sixth grade summer reading. It is a faithful retelling of events leading to, during, and after the Trojan war. Can be dry at times. If you are an adult, read the Lawrence translation of the Odyssey instead.
Nov 22, 2015 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of my childhood favorites. It tells a fairly in depth version of the Trojan War (my favorite myth) in simple language with a few illustrations. Sometimes I still revisit it just due to my love of the myth.
Oct 05, 2011 Emma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't understand how anyone could so horribly mutilate such a beautiful story. Why we read this in 6th grade English, with so many better versions of the same tale, I shall never know.
Pretty good. Nicely sums up the Trojan War stories. Wish there had been more about Odysseus's trek home. I think kids would enjoy some of those stories (cyclops and all that).
Oct 09, 2010 Skye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeschool
Another homeschool book. Started good, slow at the end. Takes all of the stories that you've heard bits and pieces of about the Trojan War and puts them together.
Apr 22, 2013 Lesé rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book (my 12 year old, not so much)! I love reading Geek mythology and think this book gave a great introduction to any future readers of The Odyssey.
Oct 25, 2012 Mel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read aloud for my child. There's a mistake about Ajax. Did he commit suicide or was he lost at sea?
But other than that, it's an exciting read for older children.
Dec 09, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was ok. I enjoyed some stories better than others. I did like reading about the Trojan Women because my niece was in a play and was Andromache.
Jun 17, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Sonlight Curriculum
An excellent retelling of The Iliad that makes this ancient story accessible to children of all ages.
Oct 20, 2011 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite book on mythology. It jumps from one chapter to the next and is a little hard to follow.
It was a very nice retelling of The Trojan War. I feel as if I now understand Homer's epics.
I am currently reading this book with one of my boys for a school assignment.
Dec 12, 2012 Tammy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gory, gross, and I'm glad it's over, as is the boy I was reading it to.
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Olivia Coolidge was born in London, England, in 1908. She received her education at Somerville College, Oxford University, where her main subjects included Latin, Greek, and philosophy. These studies helped her earn her place in the pantheon of children's literature through her mythological re-tellings demonstrating careful research and the adroit capacity to bring the past to life.
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