Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of ‘The Iliad’ by Rosemary Sutcliff (1993)

My 7th grade reading teacher, Mrs. Steppe, taught Greek and Roman mythology.  She passed out a piece of paper with the Greek gods and goddesses listed on one side and the Roman gods and goddesses listed on the other.  I think that was it.  Woo hoo.  As though all I would ever need to know was their names and what they were the god of:  beauty, war, music. . .   It took me more than a decade to finally learn the fascinating stories behind the odd names I memorized in her class.

Black Ships.jpgI hope your experience with Greek and Roman mythology was better than mine.  It probably was.  You probably had a fabulous teacher who had you read books like Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of ‘The Iliad.’  I’m more than jealous.

Rosemay Sutcliff, a British author,  expertly re-tells the classic story of Helen of Troy — the face that launched a thousand ships!  You’ll meet Paris, Ajax, Achilles, Helen and the infamous Trojan Horse.  She brings the characters to life and forevermore you and your children will catch the many references to these famous personalities that lie all around us in Western Civilization.  Make sure to seek out the hardback edition, it has the beautiful illustrations by Alan Lee for which he won the Kate Greenaway Medal for the best children’s illustrations by a British subject.

The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey makes a good follow-up read.  The language of both of these books is a tiny bit high-brow.  If your child is familiar with the stories already, or is an avid reader they should be fine.  If you’re not sure how they’ll do, these books make excellent read-alouds to middle grade students.

Middle Grade to High School Reading Levels, 128 pages, Mythology, Books for Boys, Published in 1993.


About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
This entry was posted in Books for Boys, Fantasy, Fiction, High School Reading Level, Middle Grade Reading Level, Mythology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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