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The One-Eyed Giant (Odyssey) Paperback – September 2, 2003

33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For graduates of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, these installments of the Tales from the Odyssey series deftly distill episodes from Homer's epic. Osborne (the Magic Tree House series) opens the first volume as Odysseus receives King Agamemnon's orders to join the fight against Troy, and bring home the Greek queen, Helen, kidnapped by a Trojan prince. In succinct chapters, the author then traces the labyrinthine journey of Odysseus and his men as they attempt to sail home to Ithaca. She touches on their encounters with the island of the lotus-eaters, Polyphemus the Cyclops and Aeolus, god of the winds. The second book brings the hero and his band to the island of the cannibal giants who devour a number of Odysseus's men, the palace of Circe the enchantress, who transforms some of the Greeks into swine, and the Land of the Dead, where Odysseus encounters his mother's ghost. Plot takes precedence over character development, but the hero's bravery and fidelity come through in his actions. In brief chapters and concise sentences, Osborne pares down each of these adventures into easily absorbed, swiftly paced episodes that will keep readers anxiously anticipating book three, Mermaids and Monsters, scheduled for spring 2003. Each volume includes a glossary of gods and goddesses and a pronunciation guide to the characters' names, which also help recommend this series as a tidy introduction to Homer and to Greek mythology. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 8-11. (Sept.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Reviewed with Mary Pope Osborne's The Land of the Dead .

Gr. 4-8. Osborne turns her considerable skill in retelling myths to Homer's Odyssey in these slim, charming opening volumes in her Tales from the Odyssey series. In the first volume, One-Eyed Giant, Odysseus and his men commence their perilous homeward journey at the conclusion of the Trojan War, first encountering the lotus-eaters and then pitching desperate battle with the fearsome Cyclops. In Land of the Dead, the travelers escape from the wily Circe, only to brave the Land of the Dead in search of the wisdom of the blind prophet Tiresias. Osborne's simple, engaging narrative will surely capture interest as it presents a great hero in bold, yet human, dimensions--protecting his men, longing for home, wondering what the next catastrophe will be. The idea of delivering the classic story in small, beautifully written, accessible bites will appeal to both teachers and young readers, who will eagerly await subsequent volumes. Each book includes a short pantheon of major gods and goddesses, a pronunciation guide, and information about Homer and mythology. Anne O'Malley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Series: Odyssey (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (August 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786809280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786809288
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Widely regarded among parents, teachers, and librarians for its power to instill a passion for reading, Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning Magic Tree House series is an international phenomenon and has sold more than 120 million books worldwide since its debut in 1992, and has been translated into 32 different languages in over 30 international markets. There are currently 51 Magic Tree House books and 28 Fact Trackers, the nonfiction companions to the fiction titles. All Magic Tree House books are available in print, as ebooks and Listening Library audio books, which are all narrated by Mary Pope Osborne. Visit for more information about the series, activities, and more.

The Magic Tree House Classroom Adventures Program is a free, comprehensive set of online educational resources for teachers developed by Mary Pope Osborne as gift to teachers, to thank them for their enthusiastic support of the series. Complete with lesson plans, curriculum guides, and creative activities, the Classroom Adventures Program incorporates every book in the series, including the nonfiction Fact Tracker titles, enabling teachers to build upon students' interest in Jack and Annie's adventures, while simultaneously meeting core curriculum standards across a multitude of subjects. Educators can learn more at

MARY POPE OSBORNE is an ardent advocate and supporter of children's literacy, and the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and young adults, including novels, retellings of mythology and folklore, picture books, biographies, and mysteries. From 1993-1997, Ms. Osborne served as president of the Authors Guild, the country's leading organization for published authors. She has traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, visiting schools and speaking on issues related to children's literacy. She recently spoke at the UN regarding the importance of worldwide literacy and was profiled on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams for her continued efforts. Mary has donated over 250,000 books to children in need through her Gift of Books program. She resides in Connecticut. The creator of the Magic Tree House series, Ms. Osborne is also the coauthor of the companion Magic Tree House Fact Trackers series with her husband, WILL OSBORNE, and her sister, NATALIE POPE BOYCE.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#41 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#41 in Books
#41 in Books

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Learning All The Time on April 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
We read these books as part of our study of ancient Greece. The kids absolutely loved these stories, and were riveted by the Trojan War and the Cyclops.

The literature loving purist in me was a bit wary of reading "watered-down" classics to my children, but then I read Jessie Wise Bauer's Well-Trained Mind. She advocates giving kids age appropriate versions of classic literature so that they grow to love the stories and are therefore unintimidated by the original texts when they are older. This made so much intuitive sense to me, and so in that spirit, I introduced my children to these great little books.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By amazonbuyer on April 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have spent weeks trying to purchase a complete set of Osborne's rendition of the Odyssey. I do not need to reiterate what a wonderful job she did in making this appropriate for younger children without ruining the true spirit of the story. You can find that in the many reviews you will find for each book.

What I am trying to do is save others from spending two weeks trying to find out how they can purchase this set without having to pay $125 for a new paperback copy of one book (The Land of the Dead). There are other books in this series that are also way too expensive. I didn't think I needed to break the bank for books that originally sold for $5.99.

So here's the scoop:

The Osborne rendition of the Odyssey was originally sold in separate books as follows:
Book One: One Eyed Giant
Book Two: Land of the Dead
Book Three: Sirens and Sea Monsters
Book Four: Gray Eyed Goddess
Book Five: Return to Ithica
Book Six: Final Battle

I was going crazy trying to find Book Two (Land of the Dead), Book Three (Sirens and Sea Monsters), and Book Six (Final Battle) for reasonable prices.

So, after much research, I discovered the following:

In 2010 the publisher, Hyperion, combined books 1-3 (now called "Tales from the Odyssey, Part One") and 4-6 (now called "Tales from the Odyssey, Part Two").

"Tales from the Odyssey, Part One": ISBN 978-1423128649 $5.99
"Tales from the Odyssey, Part Two": ISBN 978-1423126102 $5.99

I had no problem finding "Part One" on Amazon, but "Part Two" was another story. If you type in the isbn it will take you to their listing but it does not have a picture. It says "Part Two" is in stock but will take up to 2 weeks to get to you.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book was exciting, tense and kept me reading it. I love Ms. Osborne's style of writing. I ran out and bought the 2nd book the next day, and finished it that day.
My favorite part was when they met the one eyed giant.
Age 10
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Homeschooler on May 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
We began this series before the 5th and 6th books were completed. My daughter (then 5) absolutely loved the stories and kept asking when we would get to finish the series. Her little sister was enthralled by the books as well. They were thrilled when our set was completed, and both enjoyed the much anticipated ending. Since then, my now 7 year-old has read through this series probably 3 times on her own. A few months ago, she dedicated a weekend to reading all 6 books -- with occasional Barbie breaks. While the Odyssey books are quick reads and by no means comprehensive, the author stays true to the original storyline in an age-appropriate manner and deepens young readers' interest in the epic. After devouring this series, my daughter will definitely enjoy listening to me read The Children's Homer (which is also a wonderful child-friendly version) to her. I'm sorry, but I have to throw this in for those that may not fully appreciate the author's Magic Tree House series . . .the Odyssey series is well written and not sappy like the Magic Tree House books (which, admittedly, my kids love to listen to OVER and OVER again on audio - and they are educational -- just so saccharine). Part of the charm for my daughter, who admires all things beautiful, was the hardback format of the Odyssey series; they are indeed lovely little books. Maybe Mary Pope Osborne should tackle the Gilgamesh epic??? I appreciate that she clearly loves to write accurate works for children and wants them to enjoy reading while learning something new and important.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2004
Format: School & Library Binding
Because my kids have learned so much from the Magic Tree House Series, I read this aloud to my 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son. Both were fascinated. We read this in one day, because we all wanted to find out what happened next! (They did find the One-Eyed Giant pretty scary, so I wouldn't recommend it for kids prone to nightmares.)
Also, I appreciated the glossary, to help with pronouncing names. I'll definitely get the others in this series -- Excellent!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 2nd Grade Students on January 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Spencer's Review

Have you ever been on a long trip that you thought would never end? You don't know the meaning of long until you read about the journey of Odysseus in "The One-Eyed Giant by Mary Pope Osborne. I found this book both adventurous and exciting not knowing what would happen on the next page. It all starts on the island of Ithaca in ancient Greece where a brave man started his journey. His name was Odysseus, and he was King of Ithaca and a simple man who loved his family more than anything. Odysseus had many trials to face when he left them to fulfill a promise to wage war on Troy. A promise he wished he didn't have to keep. Athena the Goddess of Wisdom and War tries to help Odysseus and tells him to build a large wooden horse that just may help them take down the walls of Troy, but getting in there will be a big job. In addition to this trial and many storms along the way, Odysseus and his men would face the Island of the Lotus Eaters, where some much needed food could turn into an erased memory, and leaving this island, a big struggle. Upon returning on their ship headed for home the men come upon a shore where the sound of bleating goats promised a much needed meal and sweet wine to drink for Odysseus and his men. But while feasting here they were intrigued by a mysterious shore they saw in the distance where they could see smoke from fires and hear the sound of deep voices. Though he wanted to go home to his family, Odysseus could not resist his urge to find out who might live in this mysterious place and untied his ship there. When he and his bravest men searched around, they peered outside of a cave they had found; expecting to see the island's shepherd..... and this was no shepherd.
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