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The Trojan War

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  911 Ratings  ·  55 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, 272 pages
Published October 29th 2001 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1952)
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Miranda They were stranded at Aulis. Agamemnon then sacrificed his daughter, Ighegenia (did I spell that correctly?) to get winds.
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Community Reviews

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Nov 11, 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.
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
Antonio Russell
Sep 30, 2016 Antonio Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 'The Trojan War' there is one big picture loaded with a bunch of other little pictures. But the main gist of the book is to describe what the Trojan War was and how it happened. I mean the book was a little confusing at first but once you start to get the feel of it then it's easily understandable. Achilles was the great leader of the Greek army. All his enemies feared him and thus this really did assist the Greeks during the war. My favorite character was also Achilles. I think that his myth ...more
Brian Santana
Oct 02, 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
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
Nov 29, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-for-the-kids
Again, 4 stars for the kids. The goal of the book (as stated on the back cover) is to provide an over-arching summary of the entire Trojan War, to show how various stories are all connected to one another (Trojan Horse, Achilles, Odysseus). We enjoyed this read aloud, particularly the kids, but it leaves sort of a sense of constant death by violent means. That's accurate for war, I guess. The kids started commenting that each chapter seemed to include OR conclude with scores of men being cut dow ...more
Mar 29, 2016 Alisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a recollection of the famous Trojan War. It takes place before and during the war. Coolidge accurately describes the events of the war, adding in the gods and goddesses. She describes how they effected the war in the eyes of the Greeks, though they don't really exist. The events are in chronological order and it was easy to understand the events that occur. I think the story was great and non-biased toward the Greeks or Troy. The characters, Achilles annoyed me. I found him selfis ...more
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
Nov 08, 2012 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
Sep 10, 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
Dec 12, 2012 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
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.
Aug 06, 2011 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
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.
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.
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....
Sep 04, 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.
Nov 27, 2007 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mythologers
loved it.
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).
Mar 05, 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.
Nov 28, 2012 Gavin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book with mythology and war put together.
Nov 28, 2007 Haylie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was.........okay
Anirudh Mangipudi
Aug 11, 2013 Anirudh Mangipudi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Book.
Jul 04, 2007 Mareena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Dec 08, 2016 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing introduction to The Trojan War. It connects so many stories, some familiar, most not so much. This is intended for kids but I am glad I read it to my boys so I could learn too!
Oct 08, 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.
Nov 28, 2009 Ironicdog is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
sorta boring, sorta exciting...
I am currently reading this book with one of my boys for a school assignment.
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.
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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.
More about Olivia E. Coolidge...

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