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

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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.
Austin
Age 10
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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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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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Format: Paperback
Young readers, especially those who are already fans of Mary Pope Osborne, will enjoy having this collection of books in their library. The series consists of six beautifully bound books. As with the Magic Tree House series, the imagery is great. The chapters are short and captivating. My son quickly read each book until he completed the series. As a parent, I am especially pleased that this retelling holds true to the original myth and has broadened my son's knowledge of Greek Mythology. Trenton especially enjoyed referencing the map of Odysseus' journey, which is presented in the opening pages of each book, and the sketches of the gods and goddesses, which are presented towards the back of each book. His only negative comments were regarding the editing. He found a couple of mistakes (omitted or misspelled words) while reading this series. Also he was baffled that there was one god - Mars - mentioned in the text who appeared to be omitted from the sketches and other references included in the book. However, explaining that Mars is the Roman name for Ares cleared up the confusion. Additional features of this series are a pronunciation guide (a must for youngsters reading Greek Myths) and a brief description of the main gods and goddesses presented in each book.

Mary Pope Osborne is a wonderful author! She has helped to bring so much information to my son in a way that is easy for him to understand. He started reading The Magic Tree House books when he was six and now at age seven he has read each book many times including the Merlin Missions, and he is excited about reading more. They are entertaining and informative. For those who want to spend more time with Jack and Annie as they learn more about the facts presented in the Magic Tree House series, Mary Pope Osborne and her family have many informative companions to the Magic Tree House series. As a parent, I highly recommend all these books.
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