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Tales from the Odyssey, Part 1 Paperback – May 4, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Mary Pope Osborne (www.marypopeosborne.com) is the author of the best-selling series The Magic Tree House. She has also written many acclaimed retellings of myths and folktales and works of historical fiction.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Part 1 includes:

Book One:

The One-Eyed Giant

Book Two:

The Land of the Dead

Book Three:

Sirens and Sea Monsters

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Series: Tales from the Odyssey
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Disney/Hyperion Books; 1st edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423128648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423128649
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Powell on 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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Format: Paperback
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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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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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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Tackling Greek mythology probably confuses most parents and I wasn't any different. I simply didn't know where to begin. When my daughter came home and told me they had done a play in class about Athena, I knew I had to jump in and start somewhere. By chance, this book is where I started and it worked out great!! I got her both Part 1 and Part 2 for Christmas. (Get both Part 1 and Part 2 and you will have all 6 books that Osborne has written, they were combined by the publisher.)
A chapter book with no pictures, (appropriate for 4th grade) perfectly accessible reading and exciting storytelling that kept us BOTH on the edge of our seats! She happily knows A LOT more about the characters in Greek mythology that she did a month ago....(and so do I!)
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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. I appreciate the scaled down version, thinking of the fourth and fifth grade students who are reading this for the Oregon Battle of the Books series. Mary Pope Osborne does as excellent job. Now I feel I must read part 2, because I have no memory as to how the tale ends. I will order the book, as I did this one, from amazon.com.
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