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Classic Myths to Read Aloud by William F.…

Classic Myths to Read Aloud

by William F. Russell

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Personal Response- I have always enjoyed this class mythology story so I included this book with my unit for a project earlier in this class. I liked that it was easy to follow and understand. Homer is difficult to read sometimes so it's refreshing to read something and understand it. I like that they included some basic background and has a pronunciation guide.

Curricular Connections- I actually used these stories at my school. I read a loud all 6 stores, students took notes to create a summary and finally they produced a google slide show on one designated story out of the six. Student enjoyed the book and even commented it's more interesting than some things on TV. I liked that they enjoyed listening to the story since that is why the accumulation of stories was gathered together. ( )
  amy.wesen | Apr 12, 2015 |
The story of Damon and Pythias is a classic good vs. evil where good triumphs over evil. Damon and Pythias are the best of friends, with such a close bond they would die for one another. Dionysius is a tyrannical leader who wishes to put Pythias to death because of a dream he had, but when he witnesses the trust and love Damon and Pythias have for one another he has a change of heart and lets both friends free and asks if he too could be friends with them as they are to one another. The story is a moral lesson of how true friendships should be.
  vanessa.wallace | Apr 13, 2014 |
This book is a great resource for teachers. This book is a collection of myths presented to be read out loud to children. Each myth has a kind of study guid to go with it,great questions to ask students. It also names the main characters in the story and who they are. Very cool book.
Echo and Narcissus
Greek Mythology
Classic Myths to Read Aloud
William F. Russell, Ed. D.
Crown Trade Paperback
Copyright 1989 by William F. Russell

1. The gods and goddesses in this story are: the god Jupiter who enjoys philandering with the mortals and nymphs on earth, his very jealous wife Juno, Echo a very talkative nymph, and Narcissus an extremely good looking god who has a very cold heart. The goddess Nemesis who seeks to punish and reward to keep a balance in the universe also plays a part in this Myth.

2. Plot
Jupiter heads down to earth to party with the mortals and nymphs. His wife Juno goes looking for him. A very cheerful extremely talkative nymph named Echo who is also a nymph who services Jupiter during his time on earth tries to head off Juno with her chatter. When Juno realizes she has been tricked she is very angry and uses her divine powers to take away Echo’s voice. Echo is left with the ability to only repeat the last word of any sentence spoken to her. In the Forest Echo comes across Narcissus the very handsome cold hearted god and instantly falls in love with him. He does not return her affections and she is left to wander with a broken heart and eventually fades away leaving only traces of her faint voice behind. Narcissus also reaches his demise when a scorned maiden prays to the gods to punish Narcissus for tormenting people with his good looks and cold heart. The goddess Nemesis hears her prayer and punishes Narcissus by making him fall in love with his own reflection in a pool. Narcissus being unable to tear himself away from his own image eventually fades away as did Echo. In his place a flower with white petals and a striking golden center is left.
  mrichter | Dec 6, 2009 |
First sentence:
The biggest mistake that parents and teachers make when helping children to read is that they stop reading aloud to them once the children have begun to read for themselves.

Reason for Reading: I first read this book to my eldest son approx. ten years ago and it became my favourite retelling of myths to read aloud to children. I had always planned to read it to my 9yo and I've been reading a story a day to him every M-F.

Comments: This is the best book of Greek and Roman myths especially written for reading aloud to children that I have come across and we've read a lot in our household. This book is written in the storyteller format. Each story starts with a brief synopsis for the storyteller and a list of words with phonetic pronunciations. These words also are shown with phonetic pronunciations the first time they appear in the story. After each story is a short paragraph or two called "A Few Words More" which is for the benefit of the storyteller and tells the Greek or Latin roots or word history of certain words that come into play in this particular story. This is not meant to be read aloud but gives the storyteller options to weave them into a post story discussion if time permits.

The book is divided into two sections. Part I is recommended for ages 5 and up and concentrates on the well known Greek Myths such as Athena, Echo, Marathon, Damocles, Pegasus, Io, Orpheus, Pygmalion, Theseus and Jason. Part II is recommended for ages 9 and up and primarily tells in chapters three tales, The Trojan War, Ulysses and Aeneas.

Do not let the age recommendations fool you into thinking this is a baby book. Five year olds listening to these stories are five years old who have grown up on Pinocchio, Peter Pan and Hans Christian Andersen (the originals, not Disney-fied versions). The vocabulary used right from the beginning is rich literature, as you would expect to find in Hawthorne's own tales of the myths. The violence of the original tales remains, in the first half perhaps the blood is not quite so red yet gruesome death does abound and in Part II the blood and gore flow freely. The only 'watering down' found in these tales is in the s*xual aspects of the original tales. Words like 'lover', 'friend' 'maid' and 'met' are used instead of the actual s*xual situations that occur when reading from original Greek sources.

I'm being quite blunt here as I do want readers to beware that these are very real renditions and don't expect a tenderhearted Teletubbies five-year-old to have a cutesy fun time with these tales. But then, this is exactly why I love this book so much. When your child is ready to really meet the Greek Myths this is my recommended book to start with. We've met some of these tales in our reading before but these versions really bring out the glory of the Greeks' mythology and the final Trojan War and Ulysses chapters are amazingly well told for this age group. The author even makes Aeneas (in a brief retelling) exciting.

I sold my original copy of this book and had to buy another copy to read it this time. You can bet I'll be keeping my copy now and saving it for the day I (hopefully) can read it to my grandkids. ( )
  ElizaJane | Aug 23, 2009 |
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Introduction: The biggest mistake that parents and teachers make when helping children to read is that they stop reading aloud to them once the children have begun to read for themselves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0517588374, Paperback)

The most complete collection of Greek and Roman myths specially arranged to be read aloud to children aged five to twelve. "Every child deserves this book. Those who do the reading aloud will be enlightened and rewarded, too."--Edwin Newman Line drawings.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:26 -0400)

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Presents the essential Greek and Roman myths that form the basis of our cultural literary heritage.

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