The One-Eyed Giant
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Age Range: 8 - 10
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The author of the Magic Tree House series brings the Odyssey to an only slightly older audience with these retold episodes from books nine and ten of the original. Though keeping a connection to Homer’s language with references to “rosy dawn” and the “wine dark” sea, she tells the tales in formal, simply phrased prose—beginning and ending with introductions to the Greek gods, covering the Trojan War in a few pages, then taking Odysseus and his dwindling crew past the land of the Lotus Eaters, Polyphemus the Cyclops, and the squandered gift of Aeolus, god of the winds. Between the same front and back matter the adventures (these from books 10 and 11) continue in Book Two: Land of the Dead (ISBN: 0-7868-0771-7) and a third, at least, is on the horizon. Odysseus’s longing for home and family is the thread that binds these timeless tales together—that and a crowd-pleasing succession of vividly rendered man-crunching monsters. Lots of white space and slightly larger typeface make these look just right for the chapter book crowd; read alone or aloud, these will leave an audience rapt and eager for more. A terrific idea, masterfully executed. (source note; map and illustrations, not seen) (Folktale. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7868-0770-9
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002

Kirkus Interview
Mary Pope Osborne
January 6, 2015

Danger in the Darkest Hour is beloved children’s writer Mary Pope Osborne’s latest entry in the Magic Tree House series and it features Jack and Annie’s most dangerous mission ever. The magic tree house has taken Jack and Annie back in time to England in 1944. England is fighting for its life in World War II. Before long, Jack and Annie find themselves parachuting into Normandy, France, behind enemy lines. The date is June 5. Will the brave brother and sister team be able to make a difference during one of the darkest times in history? “It appears there is nowhere Osborne’s Magic Tree House cannot take readers, as this successful foray suggests,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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