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Tales from the Odyssey, Part 1 [Kindle Edition]

Mary Pope Osborne
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If Odysseus ever wants to see his family again, he will have to face hungry cannibals, outwit a beautiful witch, and sail past a six-headed serpent in an epic journey of endurance and courage. In this exciting series, best-selling author Mary Pope Osborne retells Homer’s Odyssey, one of the most thrilling adventure stories of all time.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-Gruesome monsters and mysterious journeys, daring heroes and hazardous adventures-all the ingredients required by young listeners in search of a noble quest-are found in this gripping audio performance. Mary Pope Osborne distills the beauty and power of the Homeric epic's tales into simple, powerful language in two tales (Hyperion, 2002) that allow young voyagers to journey along with Odysseus as he returns home from the Trojan Wars. Osborne reveals her deep affection for Greek mythology in a relaxed, conversational spoken introduction to the recorded production that places the stories into the context of Ancient Greek history. She shares her belief that the deeds of strong female characters and heroic Odysseus hold relevance for today's children who must also deal with fears and anxieties, and who may take courage from these splendid role models. James Simmons, a Shakespearian actor, perfectly conveys the mood of the fateful events with his resonate British accent and lucid, expressive phrasing. No sound effects or additional actors are needed, as Simmons delivers an astonishing breadth of emotion and mood through expression ranging from suspenseful whisper to monstrous roar. The audio production includes Simmons' reading of Osborne's research notes, guide to the gods and goddesses, and background information on Homer and his epic poems. The fine quality of both Osborne's classical retelling and Simmons' dramatic performance encourage listeners to anticipate further collaboration on the four additional titles planned in the series.
Mary Burkey, Grandview Heights City Schools, OH
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Mary Pope Osborne is the author of the bestselling Magic Tree House series. She has also written many acclaimed retellings of myths, folktales, and works of historical fiction.

James Simmons has worked extensively on stage and television and can be seen in the film version of Henry V.

Product Details

  • File Size: 541 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion; 1st edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0093PLKB6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,144 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extra Credit for Parents December 31, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Okay - first..thank you to the reviewer who had the ISBN number for the 2nd book! I just added it to my cart and based on a review of the 2nd book, it looks like it will be the right one.

We bought this for my 1st grade son who loves stories and was completely intrigued by the idea that there were superheros before Batman and Superman. I started to read it out loud to him and before I knew it, the whole family was gathered around including my husband, who has read the Odyssey and Iliad many times, 3rd grade girl and kindergarten girl. Everyone LOVED it! My husband was impressed at how the story was redone for a younger age but was still true to the feel. The groan when the book ended and Odysseus was not home yet was huge! I had to promise to order the next volume today.

I would highly recomend buying the 3 book volumes instead of individual books - it makes kids realize that each book is just part of a big story. AND be ready to buy the next volume! The other reviewer gives you the number to look up.

We also bought him the coloring book from Dover of Greek Gods and Goddesses from Amazon. It really helped with picturing some of the gods - although we realized at the end of Mary Pope Osborne's book that the author has sketches of them and pronounciation lists! Oh well.... he still loves the coloring book.

There are some gross parts (people being eaten by the Cyclopes and Giants and the Six Headed monster) BUT it is well handled and not overly graphic at all. We are crazy overprotective parents about what our kids watch and my kndergarten girl didn't even bat an eye. So don't let that stop you from buying the book. I think everything was entirely age appropriate for younger elementary who have not had a birds and the bees talk as well!

Overall - it is a great way to introduce your kids to the Odyssey and I will absolutely be looking for anything written by the author (actually already added a couple to my cart!)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect introduction to the Odyssey January 29, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Because my son loves Greek myths, and also loves Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series, I thought I'd give these CDs and the accompanying books a go. They have been a huge hit with my kindergarten son, a very strong early reader. At first he read the books while listening to the CDs--which was a wonderful way to learn just how to pronounce the names of the many characters. Then he read the books alone, over and over, enthralled by the epic battles. The quality of the CDs is outstanding. And while the books are written for children, they do not condescend---adults who is not familiar with the Odyssey, or even those who are, will enjoy these CDs too. I have enormous respect for Mary Pope Osborne's ability to bring history to life for children---this CD set only reinforces my respect for her.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can not believe there are not more reviews! March 1, 2012
By In2why
I own both book 1 and book 2 which is a brilliant collection of all her individual tales from the Odyssey. I just finished reading the first book aloud to my 8 year old, and we are thrilled. Osbornes language choices are magical. It has also stretched my son's vocabulary because the magical storytelling and the context make it easy to understand. Of course this isn't as detailed as the original, but few children are ready for the original until high school, and by then they often don't care. I think that by introducing the wonderful stories in Mary Pope Osbornes format, that it will build pegs for them to latch on to when they tackle "The Illiad" later. I should also add that I am a homeschooling parent, and we read laundry baskets full of books each year (maybe each month) and these two are at the top of our list for the year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to Homer and kid-friendly. April 3, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think this book could win pretty much anyone over to Homer and these timeless stories that are so much a part of our collective conscios. You'll see Homer's classic descriptions in here, like "rosy-fingered dawn" and "the wine-dark sea," and all the drama and even gore (when Odysseus's men are eaten by the Cyclops and Scylla, for examples), but somehow more fun to read with your kids than a straight translation would be. Make sure to get Part 2, too. My 7-yr-old son was dying to know if Odysseus would ever make it home!
Hint for read-alouds: you can Google how to pronounce names like Scylla, Charybdis, Telemachus, etc., to get the accent/intonation right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Excellent for all ages! July 25, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
We homeschool and have been studying Ancient Greece. What an amazing job Osborne has done with her retelling of Homer's Odyssey. We listened to the audiobooks and my kids ranging from 6 to 12 were riveted. They now rank the Odyssey as one of the best stories they have heard of all time. Vivid imagery and detail, great vocabulary and language use in a way that is sophisticated but not overwhelming to kids. Adults will enjoy this book series too! Thank you so much Mary Pope Osborne!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for me February 3, 2014
By Fezzik2
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a teacher who's class reading level ranges from 3th grade to 10th grade. I used this edition to teach a classic to students who would not have been able to understand a true translation. It omits many of the complicated Greek names and focuses on the core of the novel. It is user friendly and enjoyable. The students loved it. It was interesting enough to capture everyone's imagination, and still challenge my higher order thinkers. The lower level readers had success with limited teacher support. It was nice to be able to use a novel that all my students could read and access. Mary Pope Osborne is a consistently wonderful author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I Like the Odyssey!!!!
It was fun with monsters and dragons and Odysseus was the best part . I also liked it because it had some violence.
Published 21 days ago by Leonard Rand
5.0 out of 5 stars Good prose translation
Osborne stays close to the spirit of the verse version, weaving in touches like rose-colored dawn and wine-dark sea nicely. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sean Frerking
5.0 out of 5 stars My students loved this series.
Great intro to the Odyssey.
Published 3 months ago by S. R. Hulstine
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for myths units
It was perfect for a classroom read! I was able to read it in 2 days, so I know exactly how to frame it out for my unit.
Published 3 months ago by E. M. Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Review for Tales from the Odyssey, Part 1
This book is a wonderful synopsis of the Greek Odyssey, written for the middle school student. I read it, remembering the full version I had to read in high school. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kathleen J. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
I downloaded this onto my Kindle for my nine year old while we were traveling. He very quickly devoured it and is hungry for more Greek Mythology. Read more
Published 6 months ago by palma genovese
5.0 out of 5 stars I can read very easily.
I satisfied to this book. I will purchase next book. My 10-year daughter also like this book. Highly recommend to brave girls and boys.
Published 7 months ago by Hyo Suk Nam
5.0 out of 5 stars Swimmer and cooking games
Stampylongnose is cooler then you. He is ! If you sed no!!
He is!! Cooking is fun!!
I love you!!
I'm kidding about stampylongnose things.
You're sooooooo cool!!
Published 7 months ago by Ashley Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the Odyssey
Great way to introduce your child to the classics! Well written, easy to read and understand, exciting and engaging. My 9 year old grandson loved it!
Published 11 months ago by Barbara Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars Most awesome book I have ever read!!!!!!
I loved the the third chapter of the third book!!!!! I recommend this book to Greer Thompson bec
ause she is really in to Greek mythology. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
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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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#29 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#29 in Books
#29 in Books

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