The Iliad, Odyssey and Greek Myths. Introduction to the classics for young readers.

Shakespeare, Chaucer, Homer, Virgil. All these names make the hearts of homeschooling parents beat a bit faster. We all love reading and teaching the greats but when it comes to introducing these masters to children, our heart might skip a collective beat with anxiety. Introducing classic literature to children is a bit of a balancing act.

On one hand you want to challenge our homeschool children but how do you do this without overwhelming them with stories that are often complex, intricate, and dense? Can you encourage a child to fall in love with classic texts without overwhelming them with too much detail?

That problem is one of the challenges of using a literature approach to teaching. But, the good news is that there are extremely talented authors and illustrators who have masterfully adapted some of the most famous classic stories from these authors and made them approachable for young children.

Today, we want to share with you some of our favorite adaptations of some of the classics, all available from the Wake County Public Library.

Title: Classic Starts the Odyssey
Author: Homer,  Edited by Tania Zamorsky
ISBN: 9781402773341

Homer's epic tale of the warrior Odysseus's decades-long struggle to return home after the Trojan War is simply and beautifully retold, with all the drama intact. Young readers will thrill at Odysseus's adventures with the man-eating Cyclops; the enchantress Circe, who turns his crew into pigs; and the angry sea god Poseidon.

Wake County Library:

Title: The Odyssey
Author: Homer,  Illustrated Stuart Robertson
ISBN: 9780789454553

A retelling of Homer's epic that describes the wanderings of Odysseus after the fall of Troy. Illustrated notes throughout the text explain the historical background of the story.

Wake County Library:

Cover of the book The Wanderings of Odysseus
Title: The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey
Author: Rosemary Sutcliff
ISBN: 9780553494822

Rosemary Sutcliff’s reimagining of the classic epic The Odysseus is woven through with a spectacular cast of men, magicians, and monsters. Odysseus’ harrowing journey home to his family and kingdom tests the limits of his strength, and the power of his will.

Wake County Library:

Cover of the book Black Ships before Troy
Title: Black ships before Troy : the story of the Iliad
Author: Rosemary Sutcliff
ISBN: 9781845073596

Retells the story of the Trojan War, from the quarrel for the golden apple, and the flight of Helen with Paris, to the destruction of Troy. Homer's epic poem, The Iliad, is one of the greatest adventure stories of all time and Rosemary Sutcliff's retelling of the classic saga embodies all of the astonishing drama, romance, and intrigue of ancient Greece.

Wake County Library:

Cover of the book The Epics of Greek Mythology
Title: The Epics of Greek Mythology
Author:  Don Nardo
ISBN: 9780756544829

Greek epics called the Iliad and the Odyssey, two of mankinds greatest tales, come packed with mighty battles, challenging journeys, and many struggles and triumphs. Get the real story of the legendary Trojan Horse by following the fortunes of the mighty warrior Achilles. Discover how brave Odysseus survived one misfortune after another, as he desperately tried to return to his homeland. Read about these famous tales and many more.

Wake County Library:

Cover of the Classic Starts Book The Iliad
Title: Classic Starts The Iliad
Author:  Homer, Edited by Kathleen Olmstead
ISBN: 9781454906124

This 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.

Wake County Library:

Cover of the book The Children's Homer
Title: The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy
Author:  Padraic Colum
ISBN: 9780689868832

This beautifully written book by the famous Irish poet should be read by, or to, every child to give them an introduction to the most important work (Not including Religion) ever composed. The story here told has inspired people of all civilisations for nearly 3,000 years. No person should be allowed reach adulthood without having experienced some aspects of Greek classical civilization and these action-packed tales of heroism, humanity, weakness, tragedy and joy are a great starting-point.

Wake County Library:

Cover of the Classic Starts book Roman Myths
Title: Classic Starts Roman Myths
Author: Diane Namm
ISBN: 9781454906117

Several of the best-loved Roman myths are gathered in this one beautiful abridged collection, from “Romulus and Remus” (which tells how Rome came to be) to “Cupid and Psyche,” “Oedipus and the Sphinx,” and more. For easy reference, there's also a detailed list and family tree of all the important gods and goddesses right at the start.

Wake County Library:

Cover of the book I am Arachne
Title: I Am Arachne: Fifteen Greek and Roman Myths
Author: Elizabeth Spires
ISBN: 0374335257

In this singular collection, the heroes and heroines of fifteen Greek and Roman tales give their own dramatic accounts of events. From the magnificent spinner Arachne, who learns that a mortal should never challenge a god, to the god Pan, who prefers Earth to Mount Olympus, to the beautiful, self-indulgent Pandora and the gold-stricken Midas―the reader becomes a confidant to the tellers of these sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, always engaging tales of wonder, woe, romantic love, and jealousy. Mordicai Gerstein's energetic, whimsical illustrations combine with Elizabeth Spires's playful renditions for a totally fresh take on familiar and not-so-familiar myths.

Wake County Library:

Cover of the book The Constellation Hercules
Title: The constellation Hercules: the story of the hero
Author:  M J York
ISBN: 9781623234867

Retells the story and adventures of Hercules, discusses the astronomical features of the constellation Hercules, and describes the history of the constellation and its myths in world culture.

Wake County Library:

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