Gilgamesh the Hero

Gilgamesh the Hero

by Geraldine McCaughrean, David Parkins
     
 

This is one of the oldest stories in the world, and it's about things that still matter to us today: friendship, fame, courage, happiness.

Gilgamesh and Enkidu are friends -- best friends. Together they can work wonders, fight monsters, brave earthquakes, travel the world! But waiting in the dark is the one enemy they can never overcome.

Retold by

Overview


This is one of the oldest stories in the world, and it's about things that still matter to us today: friendship, fame, courage, happiness.

Gilgamesh and Enkidu are friends -- best friends. Together they can work wonders, fight monsters, brave earthquakes, travel the world! But waiting in the dark is the one enemy they can never overcome.

Retold by award-winning author Geraldine McCaughrean, and illustrated with great power by David Parkins, Gilgamesh the Hero is a story that will linger in the imagination long after the book has been put down.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
The world's oldest recorded story, originally carved onto clay tablets in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) some 3,000 years before Christ, is here beautifully, if very freely, retold by a distinguished British children's author. — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
Geraldine McCaughrean retells the oldest recorded story, adapted for children, in Gilgamesh the Hero, illus. by David Parkins. The great king Gilgamesh fights Huwawa, Guardian of the Cedar Forests, slays the Bull of Heaven, seeks the secret of immortality and travels the world in this dramatic story of a powerful ruler who is both loved and hated by his people. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is the saga of Gilgamesh, who was a real king of Uruk in Mesopotamia some time between 2700 and 3200 BC. His epic tale, the oldest known recorded story, originally was carved on a dozen stone tablets. Over the years, the tablets were broken into shards that scholars have studied, trying to piece together the story, which is, more or less, the account of Gilgamesh's perilous journey as he tries to learn the meaning of life. In the beginning Gilgamesh is a fairly typical king, intent on building monuments and waging wars and taxing his people. Then he meets Enkidu who becomes his dearest friend and together they go off on a quest. When the two men fight and kill the Bull of Heaven, the law demands punishment-one of them must die. After hearing the sentence, life seems to drain from Enkidu. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh finds the pain of the loss unbearable, yet he must bear it. In his grief, he begins another long and difficult journey searching for the secret of immortality. Through his journey he becomes a changed man and a kinder, more thoughtful ruler. This allegory, is skillfully, beautifully retold by the incomparable Ms. McCaughrean who has won every major prize for children's literature in Great Britain. Mr. Parkins, whose illustrations in this book are inspired by Assyrian art, has illustrated many children's books and been shortlisted for several prestigious awards. 2003, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Ages 9 to 12.
— Janet Crane Barley
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-In this evocative retelling of the oldest recorded epic, McCaughrean delivers primordial themes to a modern audience. Arresting images and potent storytelling make this an impressive presentation. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
McCaughrean turns in a robust, exciting rendition of the world's oldest written epic. After many astounding feats, proud, powerful king Gilgamesh sees his beloved sidekick Enkidu die, and becomes terrified of doing the same. Abandoning self-respect, he searches the world for the secret of immortality, crosses the Waters of Death to hear the tale of undying Utnapisthim (better knows as Noah), and at last returns home, to make wiser bids for immortality by telling his tale, and raising children. Thanks to the former, as McCaughrean points out, he's better known today than Ishtar, Enlil, or any of the other "immortal" gods he fought and worshiped. Enhanced by Parkins's expressionistic tableaus of gnarled, dramatically posed figures, she relates his adventures with gusto-"Gilgamesh calmly strung his bow. 'Don't launch the funeral barge yet. What can go wrong with the two of us side by side?' 'Do you really want me to tell you?' said Enkidu"-while vividly capturing his pride, soul-deep anguish, and the personal cost of his hard-won wisdom. The most riveting retelling yet of this ancient, ageless tale. (introductory note) (Folktale. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802852625
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
06/28/2003
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
95,701
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.43(d)
Lexile:
780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

Meet the Author


Geraldine McCaughrean has written more than a hundred booksfor children, including the award-winning Gilgames theHero (Eerdmans). In addition, she has won every majorprize for children's literature in England, including theCarnegie Medal, the Whitbread Award, and the GuardianChildren's Fiction Award. Geraldine lives in England.

David Parkins has been short-listed for the Kurt Maschlerand Smarties awards and commended by the National ArtLibrary Illustration Award. He lives in Lincoln, England.

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