Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Book Description:
Set sail with the greatest heroes of all time. Take up arms as they battle terrifying monsters. Be thrilled as they match wits with the gods. Enter a world of magic and intrigue and adventure in these exciting retellings of the greatest legends of Greek mythology.

Theseus. With the help of Ariadne he battles the ferocious Minotaur-a hulking beast who is half-man and half-bull!

Circe. She is a beguiling enchantress who charms Odysseus with an intoxicating potion that turns men into pigs! Luckily, Odysseus has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Cadmus. He sets off to rescue his sister Europa, who has been abducted by a bull. But the bull is none other than mighty Zeus himself!

Jason. After many adventures he and his Argonauts find the Golden Fleece-tucked away in a sacred grove and guarded by a ferocious dragon!

Here are the most exciting tales of the ancient Greeks, written especially for young people by one of our greatest authors.
My thoughts:
After reading The Wonderbook for Boys and Girls by Nathaniel Hawthorne for our first term of school, we quickly picked up the sequel, Tanglewood Tales: For Girls and Boys. The stories are presented as a book that Eustace Bright has written. Because of that the children that are present in The Wonderbook are not in Tanglewood Tales. My kids were very disappointed with this aspect of it. Also, these tales were a little darker and some didn't have happy endings, which caused some complaints. Even with these drawbacks, I felt they were very well written stories (though very loooooong!)and were beneficial to them.

 It was fun to watch my kids' reactions when they would start to figure out how the story was going to unfold or if they recognized a character from another myth. I was also amazed how well they remembered the characters. Even though we read only a half a chapter a week they remembered the characters and storyline immediatly, while I was wracking my brain trying to remember! Though The Wonderbook will be a favorite, Tanglewood Tales: For Girls and Boys was an enjoyable and fun read.

I am linking up:
Read-Aloud Thursday Pictures, Images and Photos


  1. This is another Hawthorne book I haven't read. I'm curious--do you just use Ambleside for your read-alouds, or is it your curriculum?

  2. I love Greek mythology. I did not realize that Hawthorne wrote tales like these. Thanks for sharing.



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