Review Blog

Nov 02 2010

The Odyssey: a Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds

cover image

Candlewick Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7636-4268-6.
This beautifully crafted graphic novel is one of the best I have read. It is the story of Odysseus, thwarted by the god Poseidon in his attempts to return home to his wife and son after the Trojan wars. Monsters and obstacles are put in his way, only to be overcome with the help of the goddess Athena, and the hero has some romantic encounters on the way.  This interpretation of Homer's epic poem is well researched as are the atmospheric pencil and watercolour renderings of life on the Greek islands in the Bronze Age add another dimension to the text.
Well balanced between the carefully chosen dialogue and the visual narrative, each frame effectively communicates the story without the need for extra explanation. The characters are well drawn and easy to identify, the use of soft coloured outlines to distinguish gods from mortals, works well. The reader is able to instantly and vividly recognise the characters' emotions as they struggle through each trial and dynamic viewpoints add to the fast pace.
Following on from Hinds' graphic adaptations of Beowulf and Shakespeare's King Lear and Merchant of Venice, this literate adaptation will have appeal for adults and senior students revisiting the classic text while the skill of the artist makes it accessible to ESL and middle school students looking for a story of adventure and hardships overcome.
Sue Speck

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017
CBCA Awards 2017 winners
Environment Award for Children's Literature 2017
Speech Pathology shortlist 2017
2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
2017 Branford Boase Award
2017 UKLA Book Awards

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates