As you probably know, the Big Read’s 2022 book selection is Circe by Madeline Miller. Our program also selected several middle-grade books and a little grade book. One of our big-grade and middle-grade reads is a version of Homer’s The Odyssey. 

You may be wondering why our program selected this book. It is not exactly the kind of book that someone picks up from a library shelf and starts reading. If it had not been for my 11th grade English class, I probably would not have read it. 

One reason we chose this book is because of this very reason. Many high school curriculums use this text in their curriculum and it pairs well with Circe. Miller’s book retells portions of The Odyssey from Circe’s point of view. Circe is a villainous character that is a barrier to Odysseus, the main character of The Odyssey. It is important to take the time to understand different perspectives and pairing these pieces together allows our lakeshore readers to do that. 

Many of our student participants will be reading this in school with a teacher to guide them through the tricky content. Yet, if you are thinking of reading this on your own, then choosing Garth Hinds graphic novel version of The Odyssey may help you understand the story in an accessible way. There is also a version by Gillian Cross that gives illustrations along with the narrative text of The Odyssey

Our program aims to inspire lakeshore readers to read texts that push them and help them understand important themes within literature. The Odyssey does this by incorporating the hero’s journey, a better understanding of Greek mythology and culture, themes of pride, loyalty, and vengeance, and many other reasons. 

We hope you will join us now and at our events as we unpack all of these themes and topics! 

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  1. Greetings to the Author,

    Your analysis of the connection between “The Odyssey” and the character Circe is truly captivating! The way you delve into the relationship and significance of Circe in the epic poem is both insightful and thought-provoking.

    The Odyssey is a timeless literary masterpiece, and Circe’s role as a powerful enchantress plays a significant part in Odysseus’ journey. Your exploration of Circe’s impact on Odysseus’ character development and the themes of transformation and temptation is commendable.

    I particularly appreciate how you draw parallels between Circe’s magic and its symbolic representation in the story. It adds depth to the narrative and encourages readers to reflect on the complexities of human nature and the challenges faced by the hero.

    Your article sparks an eagerness to revisit “The Odyssey” with a fresh perspective, and I’m inspired to explore more about Circe’s role in ancient mythology.

    Thank you for sharing your profound analysis, and I eagerly await more captivating literary insights from you in the future!

  2. The Odyssey’s captivating narrative intertwines with Circe’s mystique, unveiling a mesmerizing tale of magic, transformation, and mythical connection.

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