book review

The Adventures of Odysseus

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Today we’re honored once again to have Hannah Rials guest blog posting for us.
As a family we love the Greek myths but we especially love this edition of Odysseus. The story is written in a way that my family of varying ages can grasp it and the illustrations are simply stunning and brilliantly colorful.
Oddysseus Cover
Here’s a look at Hannah’s journey into “The Odyssey” :
This is the tale of the wise, brave Odysseus, king of Ithaca, who nineteen long years ago went to fight in the Trojan War for ten years. These past nine years have been his attempt to return to his home, his wife, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus, who was just a baby when he left.
oddyseus 2
He washes up on the shore of King Alcinous. His daughter, Princess Nausicaa finds Odysseus and brings him back to her father. From here he tells the court of his difficult journey from Troy. He blinded the enormous cyclops Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, angering the God of the seas. He then lands on the island of circe, where all of his men are turned into pigs, showing their true nature, but thanks to Hermes, Odysseus is immune to her power. After staying on her island for a year, Circe sends the men off with plentiful provisions and a plan for Odysseus to travel into the Underworld to visit the blind poet Tiresias. Here, he learns what he must do to earn Poseidon’s forgiveness. He must listen to the sirens’ song as his men row the boat past them.
Odysseus 1
Next they come to Scylla’s domain, and Odysseus and his men watch helplessly as six men are devoured to save the rest of the crew. They are left to mourn their fellow crewman shipwrecked on Hyperion’s island, home to his sacred animals. The number one rule: do not touch the animals. What do his men do? Roast two animals. So their fates are cursed. They sail off into Chrybdis, and everyone except Odysseus dies. He washes up on the shore of the nymph Calypso, who holds him hostage on her island for seven years.
Eventually at the bidding of Athena, Calypso allows him to build a raft, but Poseidon’s waves destroy his raft and this is when he ends up on Alcinous’s island. The king then provides Odysseus with new clothes, treasure and a ship to see him home. When he gets to his home in Ithaca, the goddess Athena appears to him and turns him into an old beggar man, because a happy welcome does not await him. Suitors have ravaged his home for these long years in hopes that Penelope will pick them as a new home. Telemachus has been gone searching for news of his father, and he arrives just as Odysseus does. They are both told to go to the herdsman Eumaeus, where they are reunited at last.
After they arrive back at their home, Penelope has been discovered unweaving the shawl that she is making for Odysseus’s father, so now she must pick a husband. She decides that the man that can string Odysseus’s bow and shoot it through twelve axes will be her new husband. They all try and they all fail, until Odysseus, still disguised as the beggar, succeeds, and he and Telemachus kill all the greedy suitors. After a test that only Odysseus would know the answer to, Penelope welcomes him with open arms and his family is reunited once more.
I loved this retelling of this classic tale. It is much easier to comprehend than the high school’s copy! The illustrations are beautiful and really remind me of Greek art! Including two complete discs, this is a must read for the family. I can picture reading this in sections, that way the next night, you will have to recap everything you read the night before until you know the entire story by heart!
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Grab your copy of The Adventures of Odysseus and other amazing Barefoot Book titles HERE.

Something To Do:

How funny is this!? Cyclops Polyphemus TP Roll Craft from DLTK Kids:
Cyclops craft


What animal would Circe turn you into? (from What Animal Am I?)
Become an Ancient Greek at Crafty HomeSchool Mama
Become Greek Gods
Food of the Gods from
**some of these links are affiliate links
Hannah Rials
Born in the hills of Louisiana and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, Hannah Rials is a seventeen year old aspiring author and editor. She’s been writing short stories since she was a little girl, but for the past several years, she has been writing, editing, and reediting a novel of her own that she hopes to publish in the near future. Hannah will be attending college in the fall 2014 as an English major with the hopes of becoming an editor, but for now, she is enjoying her time at Jump Into a Book as a columnist and intern!

1 thought on “The Adventures of Odysseus

  1. Hannah (and Valarie), these illustrations do look beautiful 🙂 The Greeks certainly had vivid imaginations with this stuff. I only have vague recollection about the myths themselves and haven’t reread anything to refresh myself, but for sure, they end up in all kinds of literature. Harry Potter is a good example! (Also Riordan’s books.) Nice review, ladies 😀

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