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The Land of the Dead [Hardcover]

Mary Pope Osborne


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Book Description

Sept. 30 2002 Odyssey (Book 2)

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!


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 2nd edition, revised edition (Sept. 30 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786807717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786807710
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 13.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,724,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Reviewed with Mary Pope Osborne's The One-Eyed Giant .

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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For days, Odysseus, king of the Greek island of Ithaca, rowed with his warriors over the calm sea. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are having trouble buying a complete set for a reasonable price, please read this review April 29 2010
By amazonbuyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have spent weeks trying to purchase a complete set of Osborne's rendition of the Odyssey. I do not need to reiterate what a wonderful job she did in making this appropriate for younger children without ruining the true spirit of the story. You can find that in the many reviews you will find for each book.

What I am trying to do is save others from spending two weeks trying to find out how they can purchase this set without having to pay $125 for a new paperback copy of one book (The Land of the Dead). There are other books in this series that are also way too expensive. I didn't think I needed to break the bank for books that originally sold for $5.99.

So here's the scoop:

The Osborne rendition of the Odyssey was originally sold in separate books as follows:
Book One: One Eyed Giant
Book Two: Land of the Dead
Book Three: Sirens and Sea Monsters
Book Four: Gray Eyed Goddess
Book Five: Return to Ithica
Book Six: Final Battle

I was going crazy trying to find Book Two (Land of the Dead), Book Three (Sirens and Sea Monsters), and Book Six (Final Battle) for reasonable prices.

So, after much research, I discovered the following:

In 2010 the publisher, Hyperion, combined books 1-3 (now called "Tales from the Odyssey, Part One") and 4-6 (now called "Tales from the Odyssey, Part Two").

"Tales from the Odyssey, Part One": ISBN 978-1423128649 $5.99
"Tales from the Odyssey, Part Two": ISBN 978-1423126102 $5.99

I had no problem finding "Part One" on Amazon, but "Part Two" was another story. If you type in the isbn it will take you to their listing but it does not have a picture. It says "Part Two" is in stock but will take up to 2 weeks to get to you. Due to past experience, I didn't want to order "Part Two", wait the two weeks and end up with nothing or another "Part One". If you want to experiment & find out if Amazon can actually get the correct book, please do so and let us know how it works for you.

Here is how I got my hand on both books at the reasonable price of $5.99 each. I ordered "Part One" from Amazon and then went to their competitor for "Part Two". The competitor does not have "Part Two" available online either, but you can type in the ISBN to see if any of their physical bookstores have copies available on the shelves. A few bookstores in our area had the book. I called and asked them to physically get the book while I was on the phone & please hold it for me. They happily did this for me and told me they were willing to hold it for up to three days.

The publisher (Hyperion) is a division of Disney Book Group. Disney is well know for having strange practices with regard to making their old classic movies available. I didn't know this practice applied to recently published and "in demand" book series. Maybe that's not the case. The copies I purchased are "trade copies". Maybe they're testing the market & the mass market publication will soon be released. I really don't know how the book publishing process works so this is just surmising. Maybe someone versed in the book publishing process can enlighten us. I would love that!

Anyway, if you really want a copy of Osborne's "Odyssey", I hope this helps you find it without your having to spend hours on the computer or running from bookstore to bookstore.

Cheers!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be better April 6 2009
By Bo Bipidty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My 9 year old and I read this and it was definitely an interesting read. However, you should know that the pages are quite small and the print a little large, so the actual amount of reading is probably less than 50 standard pages. Also, in order to read all of the Odyssey, you need to purchase at least 4 of these small books, which gets pretty expensive. Additionally, I believe this story for children lends itself to illustrations of which this book has virtually none. We decided to go with http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1841488003/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance book as it had all of the Odyssey stories in a single book with beautiful illustrations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tbreading@warsaw.k12.in.us Oct. 21 2005
By T. Breading - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I use this book for an ESL English class. It's much more comprehensible than reading the poetic version. The kids seem to enjoy it, where I think they would be lost with the poetic translation in our textbook. All of the students in this class are low level English speakers, so this gives them something interesting to read without a huge comprehension challenge. They find it interesting to read about going to the land of the dead and then coming back. Most are Catholic, so it is alittle difficult for them to understand Hades and Persephone. There is no good comparison to what they already know.
5.0 out of 5 stars great for kids who love the Greek stories May 2 2013
By heyjulie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mary Pope Osborne, what a gift you've been for our family. From the dozens & dozens of Jack & Annie books, not these. Aimed at older readers than the Treehouse series, it is perfect for kids who's reading is a bit more advanced.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the Odyssey: The Land of the Dead June 26 2007
By J. C. Greene - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am reading Mary Pope Osborne's Odyssey series with my 10 year old son. He is enjoying the stories and I think it's a great introduction to Greek mythology.

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