Shannon's Reviews > The Odyssey

The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds
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Jun 05, 11

bookshelves: graphic-novels, bekah
Read in June, 2011

I happened upon this graphic novel while getting another book from the young adult section of the library. My middle daughter is a fan of graphic novels (her own art is in often this style) and it's difficult to find graphic novels for youth that aren't incredibly violent (those targeted to boys) or highly sexualized (those for girls). But a rendering of The Odyssey? This was worth a look, if only because we are studying ancient history next year.

Both of my daughters read and finished this book before I did, but I am glad I read it anyway for my own enjoyment. During 2010, we read The Iliad, a youth translation of the classic tale, aloud. My daughters were either studying Greek mythology or had recently studied it and we all enjoyed listening to this gripping tale while house-bound on snow days. While reading The Iliad, I was struck by how bloody the book was, even in a version for children. So I wondered whether The Odyssey, especially in graphic novel form, would be too, well, graphic. To my delight, it wasn't. Hinds doesn't gloss over battles - they are there, but it was easy for me to skim past any panels that depicted violence and the violence rendered in pictures wasn't overly descriptive. Hinds chose to leave much to the imagination.

Concurrent with reading this book, I was reading Hinds' Feet on High Places. While the two books are quite different in subject matter and style, it was striking how much the two have in common - both are, at their core, about how to journey through life.

If your middle school aged child is interested in history, graphic novels or both, I highly recommend this book. It's a perfect introduction to the tale and might inspire them to read another, more literal, translation of the book. I found this to be an engaging and interesting view into a classic tale and we will likely revisit the story of The Odyssey in a different format during the school year.
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