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The Heroes, or, Greek Fairy Tales for My Children

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

30 review for The Heroes, or, Greek Fairy Tales for My Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I read this book when I was in the fourth grade , and fell in love with it . I read it over and over until I graduated high school . It's still one of my most prized possessions , even though the pages are falling out . I read this book when I was in the fourth grade , and fell in love with it . I read it over and over until I graduated high school . It's still one of my most prized possessions , even though the pages are falling out .

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gina Johnson

    AO year 3 read. I know a lot of people struggle with this one and some are even subbing in a different book but I just love it. I feel it needs to be read aloud and it reads almost like poetry sometimes. The words, the flow, the cadence... it’s lovely.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Hacker

    It was so christianized I died

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lekeshua

    Pretty good. Some stories hard to get onto because of all the Greek names. My son really loved Perseus. Great precursor to Mythology by Edith Hamilton.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Roslyn

    "I am Pallas Athena; and I know the thoughts of all men's hearts, and discern their manhood or their baseness. And from the souls of clay I turn away, and they are blessed, but not by me. They fatten at ease, like sheep in the pasture, and eat what they did not sow, like oxen in the stall. They grow and spread, like the gourd along the ground; but, like the gourd, they give no shade to the traveller, and when they are ripe death gathers them, and they go down unloved into hell, and their name va "I am Pallas Athena; and I know the thoughts of all men's hearts, and discern their manhood or their baseness. And from the souls of clay I turn away, and they are blessed, but not by me. They fatten at ease, like sheep in the pasture, and eat what they did not sow, like oxen in the stall. They grow and spread, like the gourd along the ground; but, like the gourd, they give no shade to the traveller, and when they are ripe death gathers them, and they go down unloved into hell, and their name vanishes out of the land. "But to the souls of fire I give more fire, and to those who are manful I give a might more than man's. These are the heroes, the sons of the Immortals, who are blessed, but not like the souls of clay. For I drive them forth by strange paths, Perseus, that they may fight the Titans and the monsters, the enemies of Gods and men. Through doubt and need, danger and battle, I drive them; some are slain in the flower of youth, no man nows when or where; and some of them win noble names, and a fair and green old age; but what will be their latter end I know not, and none, save Zeus, the father of Gods and men. Tell me now, Perseus, which of these two sorts of men seem to you more blessed?" My-six-year old loved this book. I thought it was fantastic. The stories are well told and fun to read. But the author tries to Christianize them too much. You can see that in the passage above with the mention of hell and likening Zeus to the Christian God. At the beginning of some stories and throughout Kingsley tries to pull in Christian values. So, that was annoying/cumbersome. Even so, this book is heads and tails ahead of most children's literature written lately.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leah Beecher

    Once again as home schooling time is limited when it comes to the reading of whole books to accompany our unit study of Ancient Greece, we only read the introduction and the first "Hero" story. But both my daughters {5th and 6th} and myself enjoyed the stories. I think the drawback for reading these ancient tales, obviously adapted for children, is that they read a bit like those primary grade "easy reading" works of classics. Instead of getting drawn into an exciting story the tales are told si Once again as home schooling time is limited when it comes to the reading of whole books to accompany our unit study of Ancient Greece, we only read the introduction and the first "Hero" story. But both my daughters {5th and 6th} and myself enjoyed the stories. I think the drawback for reading these ancient tales, obviously adapted for children, is that they read a bit like those primary grade "easy reading" works of classics. Instead of getting drawn into an exciting story the tales are told simply as a narrative of a sequence of events. However, the Greek classics are such literature classics that I feel it is almost imperative to be at least familiar with these works and characters that have been read for thousands of years, to be a wholly educated person of literature. Much like reading Shakespeare, except that we loved Shakespeare. This book was recommended in the Charlotte Mason guide of homeschooling. Most likely because as its name suggests, it puts emphasis on heroes of moral character. The Victorian Era Charles Kingsley writes a wonderful introduction on how a Christian reader can glean the redeeming aspects of these old Greek tales. A good supplement for your middle school or high school student of whole books in Ancient Greek history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This was a very detailed and in depth look at a trio of Greek Heroes. Occasionally Kingsley nicely ties in a Christian perspective although it is random and unexpected and therefore loses some of it's charm. Additionally, there he sometimes seems to go off on tangents, providing us with too much detail about a very minor character and possibly confusing the reader. By pointing out that this is so and so from the story so and so where such and such happens in the middle of his narrative about ano This was a very detailed and in depth look at a trio of Greek Heroes. Occasionally Kingsley nicely ties in a Christian perspective although it is random and unexpected and therefore loses some of it's charm. Additionally, there he sometimes seems to go off on tangents, providing us with too much detail about a very minor character and possibly confusing the reader. By pointing out that this is so and so from the story so and so where such and such happens in the middle of his narrative about another character entirely, the reader is forced to make a connection to another story that they may or may not be familiar with. This prevents the reader the delight of making that connection himself during this reading or at a later time. The children did appreciate the closer look at these characters and story lines that they have explored previously.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beverly J.

    A somewhat dry retelling of mythos. A veritable antique, I was intrigued by that alone. Would probably have read further than I did if I had had more time with it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Hayes

    This is Charles Kingsley's retelling of stories from ancient Greek mythology for children. It deals with three heroes, Perseus, Jason (of the Golden Fleece) and Theseus. I enjoyed reading it as a child, and liked the pictures, which are pretty, but not particularly Greek -- the pastoral landscapes, especially, look English rather than Greek. I found it interesting to see what I could remember of the stories, having last read them when I was about 10. Though it tells of the origin of a "Procruste This is Charles Kingsley's retelling of stories from ancient Greek mythology for children. It deals with three heroes, Perseus, Jason (of the Golden Fleece) and Theseus. I enjoyed reading it as a child, and liked the pictures, which are pretty, but not particularly Greek -- the pastoral landscapes, especially, look English rather than Greek. I found it interesting to see what I could remember of the stories, having last read them when I was about 10. Though it tells of the origin of a "Procrustean bed", which I had often seen referred to in other books, I retained no memories of it, and had to look it up as an adult. The thing I remembered best was the three old crones encountered by Perseus, who had to share one eye between them, and, of course, his fight with Medusa and rescue of Andromeda from the sea monster. The only thing I remembered about Theseus was his encounter with the Minotaur, which, however, I had pictured as taking place underground, but in the story it evidently did not, which made little sense of the spool of thread he had to carry to find his way out again. But I also found the stories strangely flat, especially Theseus. He was an ancient superhero, so powerful that he never seemed to be in any real danger. I do think, however, that they would be good for modern kids to read, and not only those brought up on a diet of superheroes. There are many references and allusions to them in other literature -- the Procrustean bed is just one example -- and so it can help children to understand those references. Also, the past is another country, another culture, and reading stories from different cultures can help children to understand cultures other than their own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jimbo

    The Heroes was found in an old used bookstore and I wanted the book to help me keep Greek myths clearer in my head. Unfortunately, it didn't. I get ever situation and hero mixed up all the time (except for Jason and the Argonauts because I loved that crazy movie as a kid). Hercules (or as Kingsley spelled it Heracles) I know a bit about. But beyond that, only what I got from other books and comics--which none really follow a true storyline from the myths. The book contained only three tales. Hone The Heroes was found in an old used bookstore and I wanted the book to help me keep Greek myths clearer in my head. Unfortunately, it didn't. I get ever situation and hero mixed up all the time (except for Jason and the Argonauts because I loved that crazy movie as a kid). Hercules (or as Kingsley spelled it Heracles) I know a bit about. But beyond that, only what I got from other books and comics--which none really follow a true storyline from the myths. The book contained only three tales. Honestly, I cannot even remember the first one (didn't make too much of an impression, I guess) then there was Jason and Pericles. The writing was simplistic, but the footnotes were just as confusing as the names, places, and situations. Do not get me wrong it wasn't difficult, I just wanted a better reading of those Greek myths. So I probably will tackle Edith Hamilton or Bulfinch's books on the Greeks and see if they are better suited to my reading of them.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    I know others found the Christianisation annoying, I actually found it quite funny. The copy I had had a foreward in the book explaining that it's bad not to believe in the one true God, and becuase the Greeks falsely believe in multiple god, their misguided ways of worship is what caused all the natural disasters they experienced. God was trying to punish them apparently. I found this quite funny. It's a silly way of thinking that reflects the time heavily. And the fact this book does reflect t I know others found the Christianisation annoying, I actually found it quite funny. The copy I had had a foreward in the book explaining that it's bad not to believe in the one true God, and becuase the Greeks falsely believe in multiple god, their misguided ways of worship is what caused all the natural disasters they experienced. God was trying to punish them apparently. I found this quite funny. It's a silly way of thinking that reflects the time heavily. And the fact this book does reflect the time it was written, made it a good read for me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Judine Brey

    I enjoyed reading some of the "actual" stories of Greek mythology. The connection of Theseus to various other characters, including Procrustes and the minotaur, made his section move more quickly than the others. Jason and the Argonauts, I felt, took more time than it needed to; I was also concerned that we don't learn about how things end between Jason and Medea, which is kind of a crucial component to that story. I enjoyed reading some of the "actual" stories of Greek mythology. The connection of Theseus to various other characters, including Procrustes and the minotaur, made his section move more quickly than the others. Jason and the Argonauts, I felt, took more time than it needed to; I was also concerned that we don't learn about how things end between Jason and Medea, which is kind of a crucial component to that story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rik

    I enjoyed the Christian introduction and occasional comment, which addresses the reader as if they are a fellow believer. The stories themselves were a little dry at times, rushing through the events with little to enliven the narrative. I hadn't registered that this was written for children, so that probably explains the lack of depth. Knowing almost nothing of Greek myths, I found this seemed a good introduction and easy read. I enjoyed the Christian introduction and occasional comment, which addresses the reader as if they are a fellow believer. The stories themselves were a little dry at times, rushing through the events with little to enliven the narrative. I hadn't registered that this was written for children, so that probably explains the lack of depth. Knowing almost nothing of Greek myths, I found this seemed a good introduction and easy read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janette Schafer

    Charming primer on Greek mythology I was drawn to this book in order to refresh my memory of some of the Greek myths. While written for children, the stories are not childish but charming. These are carefully wrought abridged versions of well-loved stories and they will be readily enjoyed by people of all ages.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bella

    A super fairy tale The moral of all the stories remain same, if you are noble and righteous then victory is on your side. You will have adventures in your life. But never let go of your values. Truly a good read

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bill V

    The tales are well told. I seem too remember them more fondly when I was much younger. As I was reading them, various perceived contradictions came to mind as I was trying to reconcile these tales or myths with others.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

    This was my third time through this book with one of my children, and I do enjoy retellings of the Greek myths. Typical for Kingsley, it can be wordier than necessary, but they are well told. They are more detailed than the stories in something like Tanglewood Tales or A Wonder Book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Stories of the Greeks before the Iliad and the Odyssey--my first encounter with the original Procrustes! Yet this was also kind of confusing because of the seemingly-arbitrary spelling of names. "Daidalos" and "Icaros". Stories of the Greeks before the Iliad and the Odyssey--my first encounter with the original Procrustes! Yet this was also kind of confusing because of the seemingly-arbitrary spelling of names. "Daidalos" and "Icaros".

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tiffani Reads

    I love stories of Greek Mythology and Greek heroes but this book was just ok.

  20. 4 out of 5

    María Ortiz

    Not my favorite, my son loved it, though🤷‍♀️

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kacie Dreiling

    Judged this book by its lovely antique, red, falling-apart Victorian looking cover. It was basically just going to be a home accent, and then I started reading the preface and it hooked me. Taken with the grain of salt that anything can be better conveyed and all things will have holes in the narrative, Kinglsey did a magnificent job at speaking so plainly about his Christian perspective on the Greek heroes. It was absolutely delightful. The read was smooth and easy. The characters were gripping Judged this book by its lovely antique, red, falling-apart Victorian looking cover. It was basically just going to be a home accent, and then I started reading the preface and it hooked me. Taken with the grain of salt that anything can be better conveyed and all things will have holes in the narrative, Kinglsey did a magnificent job at speaking so plainly about his Christian perspective on the Greek heroes. It was absolutely delightful. The read was smooth and easy. The characters were gripping. The resolution of The Argonauts was a little weak, but he did a great job explaining Jason and Medea and all the voyages of the heroes of that time. But mostly, I loved that it was intended as, basically, fairy-tale bedtime stories. And it reads as thus. It's a perfect book to pick up when waiting in line or at a coffee shop or just for a light read before bed! It's a refreshing look into the lives of Greek heroes and the gods they serve. Some sentences I loved: "& Orpheus laughed for joy...because the choice had fallen on him...for in those days poets and singers were as bold warriors as the best." "...for each of us has a Golden Fleece to seek, and a wild sea to sail over, ere we reach it, and dragons to fight ere it be ours." "Then Orpheus took the lyre, and sang of Chaos, and the making of the wondrous World, and how all things sprang from Love, who could not live alone in the Abyss." [C. Kingsley, Greek Heroes]

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

    This is such a great book! I picked up a copy, illustrated by Sir W. Russell Flint, and (oh my god) the illustrations - watercolor over drawings, are just absolutely beautiful. Not only are the illustrations great, but Kingsley's renderings of the three stories from Greek mythology (Perseus, The Argonauts, and Theseus) are likewise flawless and beautiful. The stories are abridged; a godsend compared to reading the (very long poem) 'Argonautica' of Apollonius Rhodius, which I did before reading K This is such a great book! I picked up a copy, illustrated by Sir W. Russell Flint, and (oh my god) the illustrations - watercolor over drawings, are just absolutely beautiful. Not only are the illustrations great, but Kingsley's renderings of the three stories from Greek mythology (Perseus, The Argonauts, and Theseus) are likewise flawless and beautiful. The stories are abridged; a godsend compared to reading the (very long poem) 'Argonautica' of Apollonius Rhodius, which I did before reading Kingsley's version. The middle story (The Argonauts), is also available in Edward Everett Hale's (the author of the great short story 'The Man Without a Country') small book called 'Greek Myths in English Dress'. In that small anthology are also a few gems from Hawthorne's own book of the same genre, 'Tanglewood Tales'. If you get this book, get the one illustrated by Maxfield Parrish; who is also a most outstanding illustrator. I recommend both books, both authors, both illustrators.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I found an ancient copy of this text in my mum's antique store. Note: I am not an English major, nor mythology expert, but simply a reader. Personally, I think Kingsley does quite a good job making Greek mythology approachable and digestible for children. The stories are simplified, well-written, and retain their charm and appeal. The cherry on top of the book is the beautiful pictures. I cannot comment on any illustrations in newer editions, but those in my book are remarkable. It's true as othe I found an ancient copy of this text in my mum's antique store. Note: I am not an English major, nor mythology expert, but simply a reader. Personally, I think Kingsley does quite a good job making Greek mythology approachable and digestible for children. The stories are simplified, well-written, and retain their charm and appeal. The cherry on top of the book is the beautiful pictures. I cannot comment on any illustrations in newer editions, but those in my book are remarkable. It's true as other reviewers have noted, that Kingsley writes from a Christian perspective. I, however, do not find the Christian element off-putting (and I am not Christian myself). I admit to being ignorant with respect to other children's books on Greek mythology and can therefore not compare this book to others. As it is, I would certainly read this book to my own children and recommend it to others as well.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carol Arnold

    A retelling of the legends of ancient Greece I have never been a big fan of the stories of ancient god's and goddesses. But this was free on Amazon so I gave it a try. I am still not a fan! There are too many unfamiliar and strange sounding names and locations. Part three of the book was the easiest and most reader friendly but my favorite part of the whole book was the last paragraph: "So it is still, my children, and so it will be to the end. In those old Greeks, and in us also, all strength an A retelling of the legends of ancient Greece I have never been a big fan of the stories of ancient god's and goddesses. But this was free on Amazon so I gave it a try. I am still not a fan! There are too many unfamiliar and strange sounding names and locations. Part three of the book was the easiest and most reader friendly but my favorite part of the whole book was the last paragraph: "So it is still, my children, and so it will be to the end. In those old Greeks, and in us also, all strength and virtue come from God. But if men grow proud and self-willed, and misuse God’s fair gifts, He lets them go their own ways, and fall pitifully, that the glory may be His alone. God help us all, and give us wisdom, and courage to do noble deeds! but God keep pride from us when we have done them, lest we fall, and come to shame!"

  25. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    This was an enjoyable book to read at a time when I didn't have time to indulge in a real page turner. Written in stories and segments that were easily taken on for a short sitting, the book is written in delightfully lyrical language with a certain simplicity and pace that takes one right through the old classics in a nice review of name dropping. Since the copy of the book I read is the 1895 first edition from my grandmother's library, I had not expected to find it still among modern reprintin This was an enjoyable book to read at a time when I didn't have time to indulge in a real page turner. Written in stories and segments that were easily taken on for a short sitting, the book is written in delightfully lyrical language with a certain simplicity and pace that takes one right through the old classics in a nice review of name dropping. Since the copy of the book I read is the 1895 first edition from my grandmother's library, I had not expected to find it still among modern reprintings, obviously popular through the years. But indeed it is easy to see why once you are into the pages of glorious, heroic deeds and lovely Aegean waters and the bright blue skies and rocky marbled hills of Greece. Kingsley's descriptive powers are great, and the book is a pleasure.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sneh Pradhan

    This is a pleasant book to read , and would have been delightful if I had found it in my childhood , as I was a big fan of Greek mythology . Nevertheless , this doesn't take away from the fact that the book fluidly expresses the wondrous imagination of the Greeks , their heroes , monsters , damsels in distress et al . It's a special treat as always to trace the origins of several commonplace terms of our English lexicon like Atlas , Icarian , Achilees heel ......just to name a few ...... The boo This is a pleasant book to read , and would have been delightful if I had found it in my childhood , as I was a big fan of Greek mythology . Nevertheless , this doesn't take away from the fact that the book fluidly expresses the wondrous imagination of the Greeks , their heroes , monsters , damsels in distress et al . It's a special treat as always to trace the origins of several commonplace terms of our English lexicon like Atlas , Icarian , Achilees heel ......just to name a few ...... The book does not however include even a sizeable fraction of the actual range of Greek mythology for children , but for the ten stories , it's still well worth a read !!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    My 9 year-old daughter has been tremendously enjoying these greek mythology stories and can't wait until we pick up the book to read the next chapter. I would agree with another reviewer that mentioned that there are times the author adds in too many details about a location or a minor character that really should have been more of an "in-passing' piece of trivia. It's almost as if he wanted to include more stories, but didn't want to flesh each one out completely, so just included it in the mid My 9 year-old daughter has been tremendously enjoying these greek mythology stories and can't wait until we pick up the book to read the next chapter. I would agree with another reviewer that mentioned that there are times the author adds in too many details about a location or a minor character that really should have been more of an "in-passing' piece of trivia. It's almost as if he wanted to include more stories, but didn't want to flesh each one out completely, so just included it in the middle of another story about another character that he was covering more in-depth.

  28. 4 out of 5

    fennie

    i love greek mythology. so it pains me to say that despite knowing the stories of perseus, jason & the argonauts and theseus, i have never actually read their stories in their entirety. thanks again to the kindle app, i have filled a hole in my mythology knowledge. what i found most interesting about these tales weren't the stories themselves, but the way the author writes them from a christian perspective. though part of the book title is 'for my children', i never considered that he would speak i love greek mythology. so it pains me to say that despite knowing the stories of perseus, jason & the argonauts and theseus, i have never actually read their stories in their entirety. thanks again to the kindle app, i have filled a hole in my mythology knowledge. what i found most interesting about these tales weren't the stories themselves, but the way the author writes them from a christian perspective. though part of the book title is 'for my children', i never considered that he would speak directly to his children to make sure they learned certain lessons from these greek heroes.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maya

    This was a nice little book, which I read in a 1920's edition - I've always had a fondness for the Greek myths and this was such a sweet looking book. It's certainly packed full of information and contains the stories of Perseus, The Argonauts, and Theseus. However, being of such an age, I did find it very dry and the writing rather unexciting. I would recommend it to anyone looking to build their knowledge of the myths because it has plenty of helpful footnotes and is quite brief, but fir anyon This was a nice little book, which I read in a 1920's edition - I've always had a fondness for the Greek myths and this was such a sweet looking book. It's certainly packed full of information and contains the stories of Perseus, The Argonauts, and Theseus. However, being of such an age, I did find it very dry and the writing rather unexciting. I would recommend it to anyone looking to build their knowledge of the myths because it has plenty of helpful footnotes and is quite brief, but fir anyone looking for an entrance into Greek mythology I would try to find a newer edition.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lekeshua

    I read this aloud to my son as one of his lessons. He really enjoyed the story of Perseus. He was inspired to complete a written and drawn narration to show to Daddy, when he returned home for work. Often I will hear him today mention Perseus or recall bits of the story. Love it when children make connections to stories and tales on there own. It only took us a couple of episodes of reading to grow accustom to the language. I am not in the least bit surprised that my 8 year old son was able to e I read this aloud to my son as one of his lessons. He really enjoyed the story of Perseus. He was inspired to complete a written and drawn narration to show to Daddy, when he returned home for work. Often I will hear him today mention Perseus or recall bits of the story. Love it when children make connections to stories and tales on there own. It only took us a couple of episodes of reading to grow accustom to the language. I am not in the least bit surprised that my 8 year old son was able to enjoy and understand this excellent book.

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