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Rosemary Sutcliff wrote more than 40 historical novels for young adults, including The Wanderings of Odysseus and Black Ships Before Troy, as well as five adult novels, and several books of nonfiction.
Gr 5-8‘As with Black Ships Before Troy (Delacorte, 1993), Sutcliff's retelling of The Illiad, the story of The Odyssey is presented in an accessible, enjoyable format. A brief prologue sets the scene after the fall of Troy. The chapters, each of which tells of a challenge Odysseus faced, are not episodic, but rather come together as a continuing story. Sutcliff creates an intimate portrait of a man whose greatest desire is to return to his wife and home, despite great temptations. He is portrayed as a conquering hero-god, but with a touch of sadness. The reteller uses storytelling techniques to engage readers and the language and rhythm of a bard to maintain the story's flow. The detailed watercolor illustrations are dreamlike and soft-edged. They set the mood for the essence of particular episodes and display the horrors of battle where appropriate. Reading the first book would clarify Odysseus's entire tale, but is not necessary to the enjoyment of this volume. The pronunciation guide and map are helpful. Readers will enjoy this classic adventure, and they may be inspired to explore Greek mythology further.‘Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Praise for The Wanderings of Odysseus "[Sutcliff] retells Homer's Odyssey with thrilling drama...The story of the hero's long years of wandering...has the mythic power of everyone's search for home...[and she] fuses epic grandeur with a direct simplicity that will bring the universal story home."-Booklist "Rosemary Sutcliff has done a great service...by warmly and carefully abridging two classics that many people find difficult to tackle in their original form. Not only has she broken the long tales into tolerable and interesting chapters, she has smoothed out the language while keeping true to all of the original drama and excitement."-Parent Express "An intimate portrait of a man....Readers will enjoy this classic adventure."-SLJ Praise for Black Ships Before Troy An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults "A splendid offering, bringing the ancient tale to new and vibrant life."--Kirkus Reviews, Pointer "Amazingly told, taut with cunning and terror."--Booklist "[Sutcliff] brings into vivid focus the mythic story of the Trojan War, with all of its visually dramatic elements...[and] leaves many of the epic's powerful metaphors intact."--Publishers Weekly