The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel

The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel

Telemachus has been waiting for 17 years for his father Odysseus to return from the Trojan War. Now a young man, he chafes in vain at the small army of men living off his father's estate while they try to win his mother's hand in marriage. Knowing nothing of his father's fate, he sets sail to distant lands to discover whether anyone knows of Odysseus' whereabouts, or if he is even alive. Odysseus is alive, but the gods test his courage, patience, and skills, further delaying his journey home and his reunion with his wife and son.

This retelling of Homer's classic epic poem takes on the format of a graphic novel, increasing its accessibility to a wider audience without diluting the quality of the text. Gareth Hinds' full color artwork draws the reader’s eye from frame to frame. Filled with beautiful Mediterranean scenes, ghastly monsters, and plenty of action, the drawings help bring this ancient tale to stirring life again. The observant reader will notice that when the gods take on a disguise, they are identifiable by a barely noticeable blue chalk outline.

Odysseus' adventures are complete, albeit abbreviated due to the format. Cyclops, the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, gods and goddesses, battles, deceit, honor and glory are all here. Readers who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series will dive into this new perspective on Greek mythology.

256 pages       978-0763642686     Ages 12 and up

Recommended by Jane Behrens, High School Librarian.

Editor's note: Other translations of The Oydssey used by educators:

The Odyssey: The Fitzgerald Translation  translated by Robert Fitzgerald 510 pages    978-0374224387

The Odyssey translated by Robert Fagles    B000PGMXSQ

The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson  592 pages   978-0393356250  (highly popular)


Educator's perspective:

My students are really into Rick Riordan's stuff, so rather than teach a novel that they've already read but tap into their interest, I've also used Gareth Hinds's graphic adaptation of The Odyssey.  They're really into graphic novels, so it's a good way to teach a canonical text with a lot of historical importance and some modern themes and roles worth challenging, while also teaching some of the textual elements present in graphic novels that they may not have the vocabulary for.  Other graphic novels that have been popular are Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson and Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola.  These were both "Battle of the Books" texts for our district and were big hits.  Roller Girl has some good social-emotional elements along the lines of a young coming-of-age book that I think would make it a good text for the curriculum too.  I've also used Gene Luen Yang's pair of graphic novels Boxers & Saints to look at perspective, and students were engaged and it created some great discussion.--Rich Farrell, Educator, Illinois, NCTE Teaching and Learning Forum February 2017

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