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‘The Odyssey’ retold by Robin Lister

The Odyssey retold by Robin Lister

Age: 9+

This timeless epic is beautifully retold by Robin Lister. The story is partly written through the narrator’s voice and partly through the earnest voice of Odysseus.

I read this book initially when I was about 9 years old. Remembering how much I had enjoyed it first time round, I was keen to re-read it. Secretly, I was also hoping to glean some mythical inspiration for the story I am currently working on.

Odysseus, ‘unluckiest of men’, has been striving to return to his homeland of Ithaca for many years, ever since the Trojan War. He comes tantalizingly close to Ithancan shores on numerous occasions, but time and again he is pulled away to face hideous battles.

Readers meet a rich host of characters such as the blundering, one-eyed Cyclops; Circe, initially so fickle but later a benevolent guide;  and the good and faithful Athene.

Reading it second time round, I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated by the jealous gods that dictate Odysseus’ fate. It seems he can do little to avoid the trials ordained for him – his survival is ‘in the lap of the gods’.

Fortunately, my frustration subsided when I reached the victorious ending.  Odysseus’ virtue is finally rewarded – satisfying triumph over adversity.

The Odyssey  is a whirlwind of gripping adventure which will entertain any young reader who seeks exciting escapades. Along the way, readers will also pave a good foundation if they ever read Homer’s poem in later years.

Themes: adventure, myth, fantasy, classical literature.

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About Wright Reading

I am a big fan of children's literature - both reading children's books and also writing my own stories for children. I am currently working on my first children's book, The Springs of Inyani. I am a qualified primary school teacher and have taught at primary schools in London and Hampshire. I am the creator of Creative Beans - creative writing workshops for children. Running these workshops gives me much enjoyment and I always look forward to reading the fantastic stories written by young authors. (www.creativebeans.org) Over the last few years, I have jotted down my thoughts and a short summary of any children's books I read. Given that children and parents often ask me for book recommendations, it made sense to put my thoughts and summaries online. All the reviews listed are my own personal opinion. This is purely subjective so please read with as many pinches of salt as you think necessary.

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