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The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy

Padraic Colum

Book Overview: 

Also known as "The Children's Homer," this is Irish writer Padraic Colum's retelling of the events of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey for young people. Colum's rich, evocative prose narrates the travails of Odysseus, King of Ithaca: his experiences fighting the Trojan War, and his ten years' journey home to his faithful wife Penelope and his son Telemachus.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Then," said I, "what must I do to win back the favor of the gods?"'

'He told me, speaking truth, "Before setting sail for your own land," he said, "you must return to the river Ægyptus that flows out of Africa, and offer sacrifice there to the gods."'

'When he said this my spirit was broken with grief. A long and a grievous way would I have to sail to make that sacrifice, turning back from my own land. Yet the will of the gods would have to be done. Again I was moved to question the Ancient One of the Sea, and to ask him for tidings of the men who were my companions in the wars of Troy.

'Ah, son of Odysseus, more broken than ever was my spirit with grief when he told me of their fates. Then I heard how my brother, great Agamemnon, reached his own land and was glad in his heart. But his wife had hatred for him, and in his own hall she and Ægisthus had him slain. I sat and wept on the sands, but still . . . Read More

Community Reviews

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 c...more

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...more

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...more

Rereading this paraphrase before teaching Homer for the first time.

Kindle edition lacks illustrations.

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...more

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...more

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, so...more

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. T...more

Homer adapted for young readers by noted Irish poet perfect for reading aloud.

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