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Beowulf Paperback – July 22, 1999


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Paperback, July 22, 1999
$9.01 $4.91
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (July 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192723693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192723697
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #777,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The classic eighth-century English poem is strikingly presented, making accessible the story of a young man's heroic journey to find and slay two monsters. Ages 11-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review


"Asks to be placed immediately in the hands of every child...reads aloud resoundingly."--The School Librarian


"The strong, alliterative prose has something of the same quality as the splendid Old English verse. A remarkable achievement."--Children's Books of the Year



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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tom Brody on June 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
My 6 1/2 year old liked this from start to finish. The book is easy for a young kid to read, though there are some harder vocabulary words, such as "forfeit," "burnished," and "precipice." Her favorite part was the section where Grendel takes a victim:
"Grendel . . . lurched towards the nearest man, a brave Geat called Leofric, scooped him up and, with one ghastly claw, choked the scream in his throat. Then the monster ripped him apart, bit into his body, drank the blood from his veins, devoured huge pieces . . . swallowed the whole man, even his feet and hands." There is a nice Glossary at the end, telling the reader how to pronounce the English and Danish names (and names of swords!). If you are a parent, why teach your kid about King Arthur and Robin Hood, and stop there? There are other fine tales about knights, et al., i.e., Beowulf. The illustrations are stylized pen and ink, that is, they tend not to be literal representations of monsters and dragons. If you are teaching your kid about early English history, e.g., about William the Conqueror or about King Henry II, then this version of Beowulf makes a good accompaniment. Another excellent book, which narrates relationships more subtle than monster-hunting, is Canterbury Tales, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean (this is not a typo) with delightful illustrations by Victor G. Ambrus. None of Chaucer's baudy tales are in this kids' version. Instead, you'll find tales of faith, devotion, and trickery, all suitable for the age of five and up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Quickhappy on April 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
This quick (50 page, less many, many illustrations) book makes for an exciting introduction to Beowulf. It's not an easy read, but it is well worth making the effort. I think that the tale will work best as a read-aloud to kids younger than ten. Children ten and up should be strong readers with good stamina, who can push through the difficult words. AND, the book can be read by adults only! I read this book without my 6 year old, and really enjoyed it.

The vocabulary is quite challenging for young ones. Consider on just one page: pyre, faggot, brooches, salvers, barrow, bequeathed. The book is laden with such vocabulary. And the old English names are difficult as well. Hrothgar, Aeschere, Wealhtheow, Heorot, Unferth,Ecgtheow, Hygelac, Healfdene, Scyld, and more. The art is on the abstract side: better for adults. The art does help to explain the story, but that is not its driving purpose. I liked it fine, but I think more straightforward art would have been beneficial, particularly to the young reader.

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien would do well to buy this book. Clearly, Beowulf's battle with the dragon was inspiration for The Hobbit. Adults should not shy away from this read. It does not condescend. Thus it offers a fast and truncated, but still worthy, version of the old English tale.
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Format: Paperback
[note: this is a review of the poem generally, not this particular translation]

Beowulf is one of those Medieval works of literature that many have heard about but few have read. However, it's worth reading, if only to experience a story so different from modern sensibilities. The poem extols Beowulf's physical courage and bravery against monsters and dragons. It's an odd mix of early Christian and warrior ethos. Beowulf is not a modern hero. There's not much to recommend him to modern readers - he's boastful, relies on brawn not brains, and his search for glory ends up putting his kingdom at risk. Still, it's fascinating to read this type of story and realize how far away it is from our own times.

Because this is a translation of an Anglo-Saxon poem, it's worth saying a word about the text itself. It's readable, but isn't smooth reading for the uninitiated. I'd say this - if you don't like reading English-language poetry, you probably won't enjoy reading this poem. If you do make the effort, I'd recommend really making the effort. Go slow and make sure you understand the story. Don't skip over a few lines thinking they're not as relevant.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By gary vanhaaften on July 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Would have been nice to know that this was a children's book. But other than that the sender did what they said.
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