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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

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,454 ratings  ·  128 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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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,454 ratings  ·  128 reviews

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Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: home-schooling
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
May 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, classics
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
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016reviews
I really enjoyed reading Padraic Colum's The Children's Homer, a retelling--originally published in 1918--of the Iliad and the Odyssey. You should know from the start that it is a prose retelling.

The story opens by introducing readers to Telemachus, the now grown son of Odysseus. When Telemachus was just a baby--just a month old--his father went off to war, to fight in the Trojan War. The war took ten long, agonizing years. But it's been over for just as many--ten long years. Telemachus and his
Caroline Lancaster
It was sooo good!!!! I loved the War of Troy and I have heard about the Trojan horse and everything and the war but making all the connections was so like “Ohhh so that’s what that means!” And it was just so so good, I recommend this book to anyone!
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
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
May 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Homer adapted for young readers by noted Irish poet perfect for reading aloud.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this paraphrase before teaching Homer for the first time.

Kindle edition lacks illustrations.
Dana Clinton
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still playing at the South Berwick Library adult summer reading challenge... complete the bingo card (well, that is my challenge; really the challenge is just to complete one bingo column!!)... one of the harder ones for me is to listen to an audio book. I don't commute really, so this is never a habit I had, and I find myself really struggling to "sit still" or "be still" long enough to get engaged in listening to a read!! But I have been working on a knitted elephant for a baby party soon, and ...more
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
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. ...more
Good, but some of the language was a little hard to understand. For example, "She spoke to him as a princess should, seeing that in spite of the evil plight he was in, he was a man of worth. 'Stranger,' she said, 'Since though hast come to our land, thou shalt not lack for raiment nor aught else that is given to a suppliant. I will show thee the way to the town also.'" ...more
Barbara Skalberg
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, ya
Required reading for my 6th grader. Oh my! If this is "Children's" Homer, I am not looking forward to the real deal in high school! As much as I did enjoy this book, it is quite a bit above the reading/comprehension level of my 6th grader. So glad the audio version was available to him to listen to AND follow along in the book with it. ...more
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Wonderful way to introduce Homer to kids and learn the Odyssey
Jun 06, 2009 rated it liked it
its pretty exiting but they talk kinda wierd. but theres lots of fights and its cool
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
AWESOME! Finally the tale of Odysseus in a language I can actually understand! The plot is surprisingly interesting...
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I saw this at in the kids' room at church when we were getting family pictures, flipped through it, thought it looked interesting, like maybe it would fill in some of the gaps from the condensed version I teach out of the 9th grade Lit Books we probably all remember and still be understandable, saving me the time of reading the real 600 page version. I thought if it was for kids then maybe Camille and I could read it at night (it would be something I would get something out of as well versus ...more
Eden Williams
Jan 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Three or three and a half stars! I can't decide which one.

I read this book for school. This book tells about the Trojan War and Odysseus' adventures getting back to Ithaka at a nice pace, except for the beginning. The beginning is pretty slow. It takes a while to get to the action, and it's a bit dull, for me. My second complaint is the way the characters spoke. I know it's the way the ancient Greeks spoke, but it's so.... formal. Here's an example:" We Cyclopes pay no heed to Zeus, nor to any
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiotapes
I loved learning from this classic story! The battle scenes almost lost me (other than the Trojan Horse), but the adventures of Odysseus and his will to return to his family was wonderful. I loved the characters in this book, the son, the wife, and Odysseus and the way they stayed fiercely loyal to one another. Someday I would like to read the originals, but this audiobook was perfect for all of us to be introduced to these great stories.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite of Padraic Colum's books based on ancient mythology and Greek literature. The story of the Trojan War and Odysseus' wanderings is captivatingly presented here in language plain enough for children to understand, but never oversimplified. If you are intimidated by the original Homer, this is an excellent place to start. ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, mythology
It won't be long before I am finished reading this out loud to my 9- and 6-year-old sons, and it has held them rapt. This is an abridged consolidation of the Iliad and the Odyssey in prose with some archaic vocabulary, but not overwhelmingly so - and the additional vocabulary is a bonus for my sons. ...more
Jeff Miller
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read portions of the Iliad and the Odyssey in college but had a hard time with the form of the old poetry. This book is like a Readers' Digest version of these stories. Many elements of these stories are repeated in books and movies today. It was enjoyable to read an overview of the original tales. ...more
Julie Keller
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Did not finish—too complicated to keep requesting and renewing from the library, but will probably try again eventually. I’d rather read this and get a taste of Homer’s originals than try to wade through the originals!
This didn’t seem like a children’s book to me!!! My husband and I listened to this book on a road trip to prepare for out trip the Greece in the fall. We enjoyed it and it gave us lots to talk about.
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was ok
I read this long before reading The Odyssey. The story was told and it was slightly easier to understand, but I didn’t like it. I read this in 7th or 8th grade for some “gifted” class I had to take, and I remember hating the entire book.
Mandy Crumb
Apr 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
Completed this as an audio version while also following along with the physical book. Thought it was perfectly done and both my 6 & 9 year olds were able to follow the story. Don't let the word "Children" in the title distract you. This is a beautifully written version that is lacking nothing. ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
a good read, my start into"classics" ...more
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a read-aloud with my grade-school age daughter. Very accessible way to experience "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey". ...more
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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

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