by Padraic Colum
It's been many years since I read any Homer. This book was an eloquent reminder of Homer's genius. Mater Amabilis recommends this book in Level 2 (Mythology under Literature) though I intend to increase the frequency from once to twice a week near the end of the year so we can finish before the summer. It seemed cruel to leave First Son wondering for a whole summer!
First Son has already been introduced to the Iliad and the Odyssey, most recently in Classic Myths to Read Aloud (reviewed here on the blog), but this book-length retelling is much deeper. I was delighted with the choice of language which includes words like "thee" and "thy," as well as the courage to include some of the conversations that relate more of the culture and beauty of the original than merely the plot.
First Son has read and narrated the first four chapters for me so far this year (in fourth grade) and hasn't seemed to struggle at all with the language or understanding. He does have trouble with the names, so I try to pronounce those as well as I can for him during the narrations. (Ideally, I suppose I'd do so before his reading, but I haven't been that organized.)
I think I could read this aloud to my family, including my girls who are almost seven and five, but they would probably struggle more with the language and following the story. I think it's just right for First Son.
Despite the title, I would also highly recommend this book to any parent or adult that is looking for an introduction to Homer.
I purchased my copy from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts. (I don't receive anything if you follow the link to Sacred Heart; I do receive a small commission if you follow the link to Amazon and make a purchase.)