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Beowulf the Warrior

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  30 reviews
"Beowulf the Warrior is an outstanding modern version of the oldest epic in the English language. Ian Serraillier has retold in verse the story of the hero Beowulf and his three memorable exploits--first, his rescuing of Hrothgar the Dane from the ravages of monstrous Grendel; next, his victory over Grendel's strange and horrible mother; and finally, in Beowulf's old age, ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 13th 2004 by Bethlehem Books (first published 1954)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  261 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children Interested in the Story of Beowulf
It's been a number of years since I last read the Anglo-Saxon epic of Beowulf (I keep meaning to read the new Heaney translation, and compare it to some of the more traditional versions), but reading Ian Serraillier's retelling for younger readers has really reminded me of the power of this tale, and the beauty of the language used to tell it. At forty-eight pages, Serraillier's edition is brief enough for young readers, but still manages to cover the three main episodes in the hero Beowulf' ...more
Christine Smith
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this readable translation in modern English! I struggled with the version I had read previously, but this time I was able to fully appreciate the story, and my children were as well.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent translation for young readers, maybe around 5/6th and up or for adults needing a refresher before diving into a more difficult translation. Perfect for introducing this fascinating story to young students as a read aloud.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nice to see true chivalry & sacrifice, unlike all the arthur tales
Feb 04, 2021 rated it liked it
It was ok
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I normally eschew abridged versions of famous books. On the other hand, some classics are so heavily-laden with difficult language that an abridged version is helpful in making them accessible to the average reader. I’m not averse to reading difficult books, but there are a few books that I haven’t read because the language is daunting; Beowulf is one of them. So I was delighted when I read that British novelist, Ian Serraillier had rewritten it for children.

Although told in simple language, Beo
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Easy reading...great for younger readers and an epic adventure.
Mr.Peepers#Crazy Peep Kid
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2021
I want to start this review off by saying that I read Grendel last semester in my English 4 class. I just checked out this book at my school Library. I am happy to say that I finished this book in the Virtual Silent Bookclub on Goodreads. This is a five star read for me because I enjoyed reading Beowulfs side of the story. What I liked about it was how much it went into detail about his battles against Grendel, Grendels mother, and the dragon. Highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read an a ...more
Sara Tiede
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As an avid Beowulf junkie, this is a superb rendition. The translation is accessible and exceptionally told. And the accompanying wood cut style illustrations are stunning! A great introduction to a great story for younger readers, and a comfortable and well rendered friend to older readers already familiar!
Ryan Norrell
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great version for reading aloud to younger children. Beautiful prose in accessible language that retains the ability to hold their attention. I read it to my 7 and 5 year old boys, who immediately asked if we could reread it.
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wonderful translation. It captures the excitement and sensation of the story, maintains something of an elevated language and poetry while also being approachable. This is the translation I'd have high schoolers use if I were teaching it. Beautiful woodcut illustrations as well. ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: amcm
I've read several adaptations of Beowulf, and I didn't like this one at all. ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brought back fond memories of sophomore English lit class!
Richard A
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very short and approachable modern-English version of Beowulf. Be ware that this version is quite abridged from the much longer original old-English saga.
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great to read for a kid!
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent translation for upper elementary and up.
C. Janelle
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
My daughter and I recently began volume 2 of Susan Wise Bauer's The Story of the World homeschool history curriculum. This retelling of Beowulf was recommended in those materials, and I am so glad we picked it up. The verse is powerful but accessible to children, and the illustrations really add to the atmosphere of the stories.

My daughter's not much into battles and heroics (she prefers books about animals), but even she enjoyed this version of the Beowulf tales. She read it on her own and then
Timothy McNeil
I can understand why the more recent Heaney translation was met with a large amount of joy if this is how the tale had been handled. Not that it is bad. It is suitable for middle schoolers and such, but it has an awkward feel of trying too hard to hold onto the the 'flowery' language while being accessible to a more modern audience. I only wish the illustrations has been presented as woodcuts. ...more
Joshua Nuckols
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recently reread. Loved the poetic readability of this one. Good one to read aloud.

"I read this version when I was a kid...nothing spectacular--then. Recently read Seamus Heaney's and it was great. Maybe this translation deserves a rereading."
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
Not the absolute best version, but it's an easier version, which worked well for my easier senior class. I just love the story of Beowulf and discussing epics, epic heroes, and the hero's journey. This version has some pretty unique illustrations, which students always love. ...more
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A well-done abridgement that makes Beowulf approachable by kids and others who wouldn't read the longer translation. Retains the sense of the original. My old Scholastic Books version has great woodcut illustrations. ...more
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Not as good as Seamus Heaney's, but enjoyable. A particularly nice format. ...more
Artifice Magazine
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rebekah
Not as good as Seamus Heaney's, but enjoyable. A particularly nice format. ...more
Neil Munday
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
excellent . the telling of a tale that facinates.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it
I pre-read this before I read it to my sons. It has been 27 years since I read a version of Beowulf. I enjoyed reading it and will probably read it to my sons in the next couple of weeks.
This old tale is such a treasure! I am so glad it was preserved all these years and I think that Beowulf and Wiglaf are the embodiment of courageous and selfless heroism.
Not as exciting as other translations, but shorter and easier for some students.
Madame Reads
***3.5 stars rounded down***
Jonathan Brown
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good abridged version of the epic.
Sep 14, 2018 added it
Shelves: read-for-school
I know that this is a translation so they'll all be different, but I was wondering if this was simplified. Writing back then would obviously be much different than today's writing, and probably wordier. :P This was an interesting and quick story (poem, actually). It was a school assignment and we read a bit about it beforehand, and lots of emphasis was placed on how the cultures of the pagans clashed with the spreading Christianity in Beowulf. While I definitely saw some of that, it wasn't qui ...more
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Ian Serraillier was a British novelist and poet. He was also appreciated by children for being a storyteller retelling legends from Rome, Greece and England. Serraillier was best known for his children's books, especially The Silver Sword (1956), a wartime adventure story which was adapted for television by the BBC in 1957 and again in 1971.
He was born in London, the eldest of four children. His f

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