Overview

This high interest/low vocabulary retelling of The Iliad introduces young readers to Homer's thrilling epic tale. Set during the siege of Troy, and complete with duels, battles, larger-than-life characters like Achilles, and the famed Greek gods, The Iliad is truly the ultimate adventure story.

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Classic Starts: The Iliad

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Overview

This high interest/low vocabulary retelling of The Iliad introduces young readers to Homer's thrilling epic tale. Set during the siege of Troy, and complete with duels, battles, larger-than-life characters like Achilles, and the famed Greek gods, The Iliad is truly the ultimate adventure story.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 4–6—A welcome introduction to Homer's The Iliad. While the book uses the clear and concise language typical of the series, there is some attempt to mimic the rhythmic language of the original: "Now, dear reader, you will hear the tale of Achilles and his rage." The story is broken into sections, with a quick introduction to Greek myth. Each chapter title clearly sums up the main event within, and the action scenes are paced well against the exposition to give readers the full scale of the story. While there are better versions to truly reflect the artistry of the original, this is a great choice for readers who need a clear breakdown of the story. It could easily be used to supplement classroom readings of a more challenging version or to allow students not quite ready for the original to get a head start. Discussion questions at the end will be particularly helpful for teachers.—Heather Talty, formerly at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781454908968
  • Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Series: Classic Starts Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 261,028
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Homer

Academic consultant Dr. Arthur Pober has spent over 20 years in the areas of early childhood and gifted education. He has been the principal of one of the world's oldest laboratory schools for gifted youngsters, Hunter College Elementary School, and was Director of Magnet Schools for the Gifted and Talented for over 25,000 youngsters in New York City.

Biography

We know very little about the author of The Odyssey and its companion tale, The Iliad. Most scholars agree that Homer was Greek; those who try to identify his origin on the basis of dialect forms in the poems tend to choose as his homeland either Smyrna, now the Turkish city known as Izmir, or Chios, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea.

According to legend, Homer was blind, though scholarly evidence can neither confirm nor contradict the point.

The ongoing debate about who Homer was, when he lived, and even if he wrote The Odyssey and The Iliad is known as the "Homeric question." Classicists do agree that these tales of the fall of the city of Troy (Ilium) in the Trojan War (The Iliad) and the aftermath of that ten-year battle (The Odyssey) coincide with the ending of the Mycenaean period around 1200 BCE (a date that corresponds with the end of the Bronze Age throughout the Eastern Mediterranean). The Mycenaeans were a society of warriors and traders; beginning around 1600 BCE, they became a major power in the Mediterranean. Brilliant potters and architects, they also developed a system of writing known as Linear B, based on a syllabary, writing in which each symbol stands for a syllable.

Scholars disagree on when Homer lived or when he might have written The Odyssey. Some have placed Homer in the late-Mycenaean period, which means he would have written about the Trojan War as recent history. Close study of the texts, however, reveals aspects of political, material, religious, and military life of the Bronze Age and of the so-called Dark Age, as the period of domination by the less-advanced Dorian invaders who usurped the Mycenaeans is known. But how, other scholars argue, could Homer have created works of such magnitude in the Dark Age, when there was no system of writing? Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, placed Homer sometime around the ninth century BCE, at the beginning of the Archaic period, in which the Greeks adopted a system of writing from the Phoenicians and widely colonized the Mediterranean. And modern scholarship shows that the most recent details in the poems are datable to the period between 750 and 700 BCE.

No one, however, disputes the fact that The Odyssey (and The Iliad as well) arose from oral tradition. Stock phrases, types of episodes, and repeated phrases -- such as "early, rose-fingered dawn" -- bear the mark of epic storytelling. Scholars agree, too, that this tale of the Greek hero Odysseus's journey and adventures as he returned home from Troy to Ithaca is a work of the greatest historical significance and, indeed, one of the foundations of Western literature.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Odyssey.

Good To Know

The meter (rhythmic pattern of syllables) of Homer's epic poems is dactylic hexameter.

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