Parents' Guide to

The Odyssey

By Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Essential, epic poem of Greek gods, monsters, and heroes.

Book Homer Adventure 1998
The Odyssey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

A Masterpiece which is best understood with a guide who has read it

It's fashionable to have students read certain things because "they don't want to read anyway, so let's give them something they'll like." What happens is that they may read, and may feel good about it, but it's a useless exercise. What have they learned about life, themselves, and other people? The Odyssey is ancient; so use a good modern translation. Any student should be minimally aware of the story line; any good high school student going to college should know it in depth. It's not meant to be ploughed through: a student should be given information about it, and then a teacher, preferably, should point out and discuss salient points. It's about coming home. What is "home" what is our deepest longing? The women here are powerful and interesting: Athena and Penelope? Excellent intelligent women who are good and decent models for girls, but for boys, too. Not to be familiar with this book is to miss out on really important aspects of being human. Then, ideally, it should be picked up again and read as an adult. How much better is the Odyssey now?
age 18+

inappropriate

really inappropriate content and hard to understand what the language is saying

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (11 ):

The Odyssey isn't just an important book, it's also a very exciting book and a beautiful work of literature. As the popular Percy Jackson series for younger readers attests, kids are fascinated by Greek tales of gods, monsters, and heroes, and The Odyssey is the original Olympian tale. The epic hero, Odysseus, overcomes supernatural creatures and all kinds of magic, thanks to gods warring among themselves. The prose of The Odyssey, while possibly daunting for middle school and younger kids, is worth appreciating with its beautiful, rhythmically repeated images: "grey-eyed Athena," dawn spreading her "fingertips of rose," etc.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate