Cover image for The land of the dead
Title:
The land of the dead
Author:
Osborne, Mary Pope.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 2002.
Physical Description:
105 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm.
Summary:
A retelling of part of the Odyssey in which Odysseus and his fleet continue their journey and encounter giant cannibals, a beautiful witch, and the Land of the Dead.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
750 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.9 1.0 63443.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.5 4 Quiz: 34152 Guided reading level: P.
ISBN:
9780786807710
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

In these books based on episodes from Homer's Odyssey, Mary Pope Osborne brings to life the exciting adventures of one of the greatest heroes of all time. Now in paperback!


Author Notes

Mary Pope Osborne was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma on May 20, 1949. She grew up in a military family, and by the time she was 15 she had lived in Oklahoma, Austria, Florida, and four different army posts in Virginia and North Carolina. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in religion. After graduation, she traveled around Europe and Asia. Before becoming an author, she worked as a window dresser, a medical assistant, a Russian travel consultant, a waitress, an acting teacher, a bartender, and an assistant editor for a children's magazine.

Her first book, Run, Run as Fast as You Can, was published in 1982. She is the author of the Magic Tree House series and the Merlin Missions series. Her husband, actor Will Osborne, helps her write the nonfiction companion series, Magic Tree House Research Guides. Her other books include The Deadly Power of Medusa, Jason and the Argonauts, Haunted Waters, and Moonhorse.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-8. Osborne turns her considerable skill in retelling myths to Homer's Odyssey in these slim, charming opening volumes in her Tales from the Odyssey series. In the first volume, One-Eyed Giant, Odysseus and his men commence their perilous homeward journey at the conclusion of the Trojan War, first encountering the lotus-eaters and then pitching desperate battle with the fearsome Cyclops. In Land of the Dead, the travelers escape from the wily Circe, only to brave the Land of the Dead in search of the wisdom of the blind prophet Tiresias. Osborne's simple, engaging narrative will surely capture interest as it presents a great hero in bold, yet human, dimensions--protecting his men, longing for home, wondering what the next catastrophe will be. The idea of delivering the classic story in small, beautifully written, accessible bites will appeal to both teachers and young readers, who will eagerly await subsequent volumes. Each book includes a short pantheon of major gods and goddesses, a pronunciation guide, and information about Homer and mythology.--Anne O'Malley


Publisher's Weekly Review

For graduates of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, these installments of the Tales from the Odyssey series deftly distill episodes from Homer's epic. Osborne (the Magic Tree House series) opens the first volume as Odysseus receives King Agamemnon's orders to join the fight against Troy, and bring home the Greek queen, Helen, kidnapped by a Trojan prince. In succinct chapters, the author then traces the labyrinthine journey of Odysseus and his men as they attempt to sail home to Ithaca. She touches on their encounters with the island of the lotus-eaters, Polyphemus the Cyclops and Aeolus, god of the winds. The second book brings the hero and his band to the island of the cannibal giants who devour a number of Odysseus's men, the palace of Circe the enchantress, who transforms some of the Greeks into swine, and the Land of the Dead, where Odysseus encounters his mother's ghost. Plot takes precedence over character development, but the hero's bravery and fidelity come through in his actions. In brief chapters and concise sentences, Osborne pares down each of these adventures into easily absorbed, swiftly paced episodes that will keep readers anxiously anticipating book three, Mermaids and Monsters, scheduled for spring 2003. Each volume includes a glossary of gods and goddesses and a pronunciation guide to the characters' names, which also help recommend this series as a tidy introduction to Homer and to Greek mythology. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 8-11. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-In these retellings, Osborne sets up each small slice of Homer's story with the same brief prologue and concludes with a note about Greek myths, a glossary of the main gods and goddesses, and a note on her sources. One-Eyed Giant ends as Odysseus and his men drift on the sea after being cursed by the Cyclops; Land of the Dead begins with the men escaping the cannibal giants and ends with Odysseus still longing to be reunited with his wife and son. These books have large type and are filled with easy-to-read dialogue, making them good, energetically told introductions to the Odyssey for children unfamiliar with the story.-John Palmer, Bryan & College Station Library System, Bryan, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prologuep. 9
1 Island of the Cannibal Giantsp. 11
2 A Gift from the Godsp. 20
3 The Witch's Spellp. 27
4 The Messenger Godp. 41
5 The Witch's Palacep. 47
6 Another Journeyp. 59
7 The Land of the Deadp. 68
8 Like A Shadow or A Dreamp. 73
9 The Warrior Ghostsp. 83
About Homer and the Odysseyp. 93
Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greecep. 96
The Main Gods and Goddesses and Pronunciation of Their Namesp. 98
Pronunciation Guide to Other Proper Namesp. 101
A Note on the Sourcesp. 103
About the Authorp. 105