Monday, July 10, 2017
Book Review- Black Ships Before Troy- The Story of THE ILIAD
Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing Black Ships Before Troy- The Story of THE ILIAD, a children's retelling by Rosemary Sutcliff and Illustrated by Alan. Lee. This book won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. It was previously released in Great Britain, but has now come to the US.
What caused me to pick up this book in the first place was the excitement of seeing THE ILIAD retold for children. I remember having to read the full thing in college, and though I loved its mate, THE ODYSSEY, I stumbled through the long, long prose of THE ILIAD. So, I wanted to see if it was even possible to remake this poem easy enough for children to read.
The answer is a definite YES! Wow, this retelling is so easy to follow. Gone are the long winded speeches (sorry classic lovers) and instead the author sums up the story into easy to read chapters that allow children to understand the time line, get to know the characters without confusion, and still feel the excitement of the battles.
Now, I don't see younger middle graders picking this up, but I do see pre-teens and history loving kids giving it a looksie. The illustrations give an added treasure to this gem. The pages are bracketed by wonderful art that tells the story through pictures. The classic dress and armor will give kids a look into the authentic culture of ancient Greece.
This retelling is a success and I give it 5 stars as a history winner!