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The Iliad PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

The Iliad

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The Iliad PDF, ePub eBook A strikingly illustrated retelling of Homer’s classic from the team who brought us The Odyssey—Carnegie Medalist Gillian Cross and illustrator Neil Packer. After nine years of war between the Greeks and Trojans, tensions are heating up among men of the same faction as well as those on opposing sides. Two proud and powerful Greeks, King Agamemnon and legendary warrior Achill A strikingly illustrated retelling of Homer’s classic from the team who brought us The Odyssey—Carnegie Medalist Gillian Cross and illustrator Neil Packer. After nine years of war between the Greeks and Trojans, tensions are heating up among men of the same faction as well as those on opposing sides. Two proud and powerful Greeks, King Agamemnon and legendary warrior Achilles, quarrel over a beautiful maiden, causing Achilles and his myrmidons to drop out of the fight. Meanwhile, fueled by rage and pride, honor and greed, soldiers on both sides—Odysseus and Patroclus for the Greeks, Paris and Hector for the Trojans—perform heroic deeds, attempting to end the war. Depicting their actions, and those of the gods they invoke, are vivid, stylistic illustrations reminiscent of Greek pottery, giving this large-format volume an extra measure of authenticity and appeal.

30 review for The Iliad

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cáitín

    This was a wonderful old tale and was retold perfectly for a young reader it was accompanied by beautiful Illustrations which will keep a younger reader engaged and not lost interest in the story

  2. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    I bought this for my library because so many of the kids are into Percy Jackson, and I finally got around to reading it this month. I have only read The Iliad (and only excerpts!) once before--in college--but the main points of the story came back as I read this version. It seems to me that this version was very close to the original story, even though it definitely paraphrased and summarized, as well as adding some material at the beginning and end to put the text of the Iliad in the context of I bought this for my library because so many of the kids are into Percy Jackson, and I finally got around to reading it this month. I have only read The Iliad (and only excerpts!) once before--in college--but the main points of the story came back as I read this version. It seems to me that this version was very close to the original story, even though it definitely paraphrased and summarized, as well as adding some material at the beginning and end to put the text of the Iliad in the context of the larger legend of the Trojan War. I liked that it included major events from The Iliad that could easily veer into "mature" content, but retold in a way that was appropriate for kids (stealing women, dragging someone's body behind chariots, basically anything the Greek gods do) and I think the illustrations were both beautiful and contributed to the retelling. I also liked that many of the illustrations incorporated the Greek names for characters. Finally, I liked that there is information given about modern archaeology surrounding the city of Troy. My one disappointment is that the illustrator included a couple characters who were portrayed as Black, but the only character who is immediately identifiable as being Black is a completely negative character (Dolan). Could we have had a great variety of characters be characters of color if you were attempting to display diversity? Is there more to this choice in illustration that I'm not aware of?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dougie

    This retelling of the classic tale is pitched somewhat towards younger readers, though not to its detriment. Having read Song of Achilles, I’ve been wanting to read a good version of Homer’s actual tale and this filled that gap admirably. The story is told succinctly, perhaps a little too brief in some places where it feels a little rushed, but the book as a whole is great. The telling of the story and the wonderful illustrations are perfectly matched, highly recommended as a good primer for the This retelling of the classic tale is pitched somewhat towards younger readers, though not to its detriment. Having read Song of Achilles, I’ve been wanting to read a good version of Homer’s actual tale and this filled that gap admirably. The story is told succinctly, perhaps a little too brief in some places where it feels a little rushed, but the book as a whole is great. The telling of the story and the wonderful illustrations are perfectly matched, highly recommended as a good primer for the classic story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    Gorgeous writing with weird and fascinating illustrations. Our whole family loved this version of The Iliad.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Somehow I missed Cross and Packer's first Classical collaborative effort on The Odyssey, but that just means I got to be delightfully surprised by how good their version of The Iliad was. Packer's illustrations are ravishing, and I adored how he cleverly mimicked the style of painting common to Greek vases and used every opportunity to work either characters from the Greek alphabet or Greek versions of the story's characters names into his pictures as design elements. Paired with Cross's simple, Somehow I missed Cross and Packer's first Classical collaborative effort on The Odyssey, but that just means I got to be delightfully surprised by how good their version of The Iliad was. Packer's illustrations are ravishing, and I adored how he cleverly mimicked the style of painting common to Greek vases and used every opportunity to work either characters from the Greek alphabet or Greek versions of the story's characters names into his pictures as design elements. Paired with Cross's simple, lucid translation, they make for a near-perfect introduction to Homer's tale for young readers. If I have any quibbles at all, it's that so much of The Iliad's cadence was predicated on it being an oral epic, the length and meter of which meant Homer would add an epithet to each character's name (fleet-footed Achilles, man-killing Hector) either to help the listener remember who amongst the near-infinite cast of characters he was talking about or to ensure he filled out the syllabic line correctly. Cross's translation avoids any hint of such rhythms, which makes for a more straight-forward reading experience but leaves those of us who've read other translations feel that there's just a little something lacking here. While it's no Fagles, this edition of Homer's tale is both gorgeous and engrossing, and a great entree to Classics for children or young adults. (Also fun for regular adults who just like Homer.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maged Zeineldin

    It is a classic book that I read with my 10 years old son. It is simply the Iliad. The book use a relatively advanced vocabulary for my son's age group however it was actually good to teach my son new words. My only warning to parents is that the Iliad describes a war with realtively a lot of violence.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janis

    Cross tells the complex story of the Iliad with spare and perfect phrasing, and her approach is complemented in this beautiful volume for young readers by the choice of font and paper (with pages in varying colors), and striking design elements. Neil Packer’s illustrations, odd and fascinating, stylized and evocative, are a perfect contrast. (Publication date is September 22, 2015)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mathew

    I found this to be an excellent retelling of Homer's epic poem. Cross does not just choose to recap main events but covers the relationships and the reasoning behind many of the actions that the characters take. In previous versions, writers have shied away from other members of the story, generally focusing on key players and their actions but in this version, the author weaves a carefully thought-out story, choosing to keep in the minor players and sharing the sadness and conflict that they fe I found this to be an excellent retelling of Homer's epic poem. Cross does not just choose to recap main events but covers the relationships and the reasoning behind many of the actions that the characters take. In previous versions, writers have shied away from other members of the story, generally focusing on key players and their actions but in this version, the author weaves a carefully thought-out story, choosing to keep in the minor players and sharing the sadness and conflict that they felt and saw throughout the war. I also thought that the gods were written well too. The highlight though is Neil Packer's illustrations. He claims that Cross' writing made the job of illustrating the book easy (it's a lovely, chunky size) but I'd argue that his whole-page illustrations do more than enough to hold their own with their bold colouring and characters whose poses and positioning are echoes of the same characters to be found on Ancient Greek pottery. I would hope that these stories, some of our oldest and best, are shared with children.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Don Putnam

    My daughter (age 12) has really enjoyed reading all the Percy Jackson books along with learning about Greek and Roman mythology. Doing a little brainstorming for a good Christmas present, I found The Iliad and The Odyssey for kids. This book was wonderful! We read a few chapters together every day and enjoyed looking at the art work. What a wonderful way to introduce the epics to kids! Obviously it retells the story for kids, but it still remains true to the story - including the violence. Having My daughter (age 12) has really enjoyed reading all the Percy Jackson books along with learning about Greek and Roman mythology. Doing a little brainstorming for a good Christmas present, I found The Iliad and The Odyssey for kids. This book was wonderful! We read a few chapters together every day and enjoyed looking at the art work. What a wonderful way to introduce the epics to kids! Obviously it retells the story for kids, but it still remains true to the story - including the violence. Having been over 20 years since I read The Iliad, as an adult, I enjoyed the refresher to the story too! The art work is really cool! I realize art is a preference, so some people may not like the art work. Personally, I thought it was really great! It looks like something out of the Byzantine era. My daughter got a good laugh out of some of the art. Tonight, we'll start The Odyssey!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Wittenberg

    I'm delighted to give this 5 enthusiastic stars. This version was accessible to my kids (ages 5 & 8) without being patronizing or dumbed down like other classic adaptations can be. We looked forward to reading this aloud each night and they'd beg for extra chapters; after we finished they immediately begged to start The Odyssey. For myself, I've read a lot of the recent contemporary myth adaptations (Circe, Song of Achilles, Remember the Girls), but I don't think I've ever read The Iliad (ma I'm delighted to give this 5 enthusiastic stars. This version was accessible to my kids (ages 5 & 8) without being patronizing or dumbed down like other classic adaptations can be. We looked forward to reading this aloud each night and they'd beg for extra chapters; after we finished they immediately begged to start The Odyssey. For myself, I've read a lot of the recent contemporary myth adaptations (Circe, Song of Achilles, Remember the Girls), but I don't think I've ever read The Iliad (maybe in high school?)... so reading this version was great for background knowledge. Highly recommend!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Read this one with the kiddos. The illustrations are incredible. Cross did a great job adapting the story for young readers; it's age-appropriate without being either childish or losing too much. My boys are now happily devouring Greek mythology and want to read the Odyssey, so mission accomplished.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    In my novel, I had the book by Gillian Cross that had both the Illiad and Odyssey. I learnt a lot about the Trojan War and historical figures such as Achilles and Hector. A very good and educational novel for young children to read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    this is basically a chapter book with pictures and the pictures are so dream-like. I really like this author because they also wrote a version of the Odysseus in this style. this story is not interesting though, it's just a lot of blood and gore.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stefalopod

    Another good version of the foundational literary text. These two books by across are written so that they’re coherent to kids but still big enough, with enough information to get the full story across. Reid enjoyed thoroughly but man, there sure is a lot of killing for a 7 year old.

  15. 5 out of 5

    stillme

    Wonderful retelling appropriate for reading aloud to a younger audience. My 5 year old loved it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carmel

    Beautifully done, but the storyline was choppy. It’s a tough one to shorten, but still recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    A really cool YA-level retelling of the classic Homer poem, with beautiful illustrations. Now on to The Odyssey!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    loved it. It was very readable and informative and the art work by Packer was fabulous. I haven't ever read the true "Iliad", but it was nice to get a short dose of information and perspective in this edition. now on to the Odyssey, by the same team!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Huang

    This was a great retold version of the Iliad. The story was interesting and easy to understand and the pictures were cool.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    Anyone who has ever taken a literature course knows Homer's two epics The Iliad and The Odyssey. There have been countless translations of them and ways to make them more accessible to current generations and younger audiences. Candlewick Press has recently published these works of Homer aimed at children ages 8-12. They are both written by Gillian Cross and illustrated by Neil Packer, and I am going to tell you about them. The Iliad begins with the story of Paris and the golden apple. Three godd Anyone who has ever taken a literature course knows Homer's two epics The Iliad and The Odyssey. There have been countless translations of them and ways to make them more accessible to current generations and younger audiences. Candlewick Press has recently published these works of Homer aimed at children ages 8-12. They are both written by Gillian Cross and illustrated by Neil Packer, and I am going to tell you about them. The Iliad begins with the story of Paris and the golden apple. Three goddesses (Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite) presented him with a golden apple and told him to give it to the most beautiful. Paris was not bright enough to realize that no matter who he picked, two others would be upset with him. They all offered him bribes to try and be picked, but Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world (Helen) as his wife if he gave Aphrodite the golden apple. This was the most appealing bribe to him, and from this small apple the Trojan War soon followed. Within this story is a lot of bloodshed and capturing of women. Paris took Helen from King Menelaus. Agamemnon took a woman named Chryseis who was the daughter of a priest. Briseis was taken from Achilles by Agamemnon, because Agamemnon had to give back Chryseis. For a while Achilles refused to help Agamemnon and the Greeks, until his cousin Patroclus was killed by Hector. This led to Achilles finally going to war with the Trojans, killing Hector, and Paris killing Achilles. This did not end the war, though. Odysseus created what became known as the Trojan Horse, and was able to sneak all the Greek soldiers into Troy to destroy the city and everyone in it. With the war over, Odysseus was ready to go home. This leads us to the story The Odyssey. The Odyssey takes place after the Trojan War and Odysseus' journey back home takes ten years itself. That means that in total, he was gone from his home for twenty years. On this long trek, he is held captive for seven years on Calypso's island. They were captured by a Cyclops and had to blind him to escape. They narrowly avoided the Sirens who tried to steer their boats into the rocks and drown them. There are many marvelous tales in this epic, but I always like the end and the cleverness of Odysseus' wife Penelope. She was clever and stalled her many suitors for years in the hopes that her husband would return. She also arranges an archery contest that she knows only her husband could win and when he does win, she tests him one time further just so she can be 100% sure. This is truly a marvelous tale. So what makes Gillian Cross and Neil Packer's versions great for kids? It's the way they are told. The story is simplified, but not dumbed down. All the elements, plot lines, gods, goddesses, etc. are present and accounted for. And the pictures are absolutely perfect in form and style. There are some images that are a bit off-putting and grotesque, which I appreciate, because not all characters in these stories are meant to be beautiful. At the end of the books is the Greek alphabet and context on both Homer and the Trojan War. These serve to further educate young minds and adds to the beauty of these books. These books are proof that you don't need to be an adult to enjoy the Classics and that if you start your children early, they too will love good literature. Highly recommended!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daisy

    Captivating, suspenseful book! A little bit hard to follow because there is so much going on, I often lost track of who was on who's side and what not, but otherwise, the vocabulary was easy to understand. A book about two countries fighting a war because one man "stole" another man's woman. To be honest I don't like how in the book they describe Helen being "stolen", as if she was an object, but that's the true history so it was interesting to learn about. The illustrations help you comprehend Captivating, suspenseful book! A little bit hard to follow because there is so much going on, I often lost track of who was on who's side and what not, but otherwise, the vocabulary was easy to understand. A book about two countries fighting a war because one man "stole" another man's woman. To be honest I don't like how in the book they describe Helen being "stolen", as if she was an object, but that's the true history so it was interesting to learn about. The illustrations help you comprehend the text, and I know I used them as references from time to time. I recommend the book, for anyone looking for an exciting war tale.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I loved this book, not as much as the rendition of The Odyssey but that tends to usually be the case. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I thought the epilogue finished the story off too quickly without enough depth and I like the versions where Patroclus chooses to don Achilles' armor without permission. The dialogue in the book is compelling and the pictures fascinating.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Louis

    Another excellent effort in translating and editing down a Classic so that is more accessible to a younger reader. It was not so trimmed down as to leave an older reader, me, bored. Both my son and I enjoyed this work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy Potts Ostrowski

    A wonderful alternative to reading the actual Iliad by Homer, Gillian Cross's words and art will captivate any adult or child who happens upon them. This is a wonderful addition to any Greek mythology collection for the classroom or home.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    A well done retelling of the Iliad. The illustrations are colorful and egageing and somehow capture the ancient mood and style of the story. I often enjoy these classic stories for younger readers. They are a great way to revisit the story without the intimidation of the source material.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Hall

    I read this in one sitting,I thought the layout of the book was fantastic and the retelling by Gillian Cross was really good.Throw in the brilliant artwork by Neil Packer and how can you go wrong.I will be purchasing the Odysseus next which is all put together by the same team

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    I always struggle to keep track of who's who when there are so many different names, and I didn't try hard enough to take this in properly. But I do think it's a well pitched book for younger readers as an introduction to classic literature.

  28. 4 out of 5

    PWRL

    SM

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    It's been a good 20 years since I read The Iliad. It's a great story and Cross puts in a wonderfully accessible format. Great for 4th-5th graders.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Duncan Lamb

    Got the boxed set... If your memory of the Iliad extends to that it has a few of the Greek myths in it, it can be a wake up call that the entire poem/story takes place in about 3 days during the siege of Troy - no quests, monsters, or anything of the sort. I found many more levels to the Iliad after listening to a lecture about the context of the Greek readers and their time before re-reading it. To the Greeks, it was like the Bible to our culture - everyone knew it, quotes and examples from it we Got the boxed set... If your memory of the Iliad extends to that it has a few of the Greek myths in it, it can be a wake up call that the entire poem/story takes place in about 3 days during the siege of Troy - no quests, monsters, or anything of the sort. I found many more levels to the Iliad after listening to a lecture about the context of the Greek readers and their time before re-reading it. To the Greeks, it was like the Bible to our culture - everyone knew it, quotes and examples from it were used in everyday life, etc. And to Homer, and the Greeks, it wasn't just a bunch of short stories, but stories with heavy themes worthy of deep thought. The most important is that the Gods really did care about rewarding good and punishing evil. Man's problem was he couldn't tell the difference, and too often let his hubris, his out-of-control arrogance, get in the way of even thinking about his choices, which then always end in tragedy, and boy does Achilles' hubris bring him tragedy. Through this lens, many of the stories take on greater meaning. Some of my favorite lines: Hector:" Let's make an agreement before we fight. If I kill you, your armor is mine, but your comrades can take your body away for a proper funeral. Will you give the same promise?" Achilles (already off-the-charts enraged): "Wolves don't make promises to lambs!" Priam: "Have pity, give me back his body. I've come with a cart full of treasure to ransom it. And I've done what no other father could bear - put my lips to the hand that killed my son." One complaint about the book - it doesn't mention Iphigenia in the first chapter, and knowing she was an innocent that was killed makes Agamemnon's fate at the end make a lot more sense, in line with gods making sure that wrongs get righted in the end.

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