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Voices of the Trojan War

National Council of Teachers of English Notable Book (2005) Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices (2005)

Tell us, muse, of Troy’s dark days,
   of the house of Priam’s fall,
of Hector, the old king’s bravest son,
   killed at the Trojan Wall…

Sing of Achilles, the fiercest warrior
  To sale from the isles of Greece,
of Ithaca’s shrewd Odysseus,
  who fought, though he longed for peace…

Tell us again of the wooden horse;
give us an ageless rhyme
of heroes and battles, of meddling gods,
and a city lost to time.

This invocation to the Muse begins Kate Hovey’s exquisite rendition of the events leading up to and during the legendary ten-year long Trojan War. Through passionate verse and evocative images, readers are transported to the battlefield to witness the war as it unfolds—from the moment the Trojan prince Paris is manipulated by the gods to fall in love with the Greek queen Helen to the final maneuver by the Greeks, who enter and vanquish the city of Troy by hiding within the belly a gigantic wooden horse.

But wait, there’s more!

Arachne Speaks

Ancient Voices

Arachne Speaks

Ancient Voices

Praise for Voices of the Trojan War

“The classic tale of the Trojan war — about gods and men and fate — is here in full splendor. From Cassandra’s doomed prophesies to the contest for the golden apple to epic war and tragic ends, this story in verse is a fine retelling … parents and teachers will want to lend their voices to making the tale come alive as a read-aloud at home or for Reader’s Theater in the classroom.”


“The poems breathe life. … The sorrows and horror of war are not romanticized. Kate Hovey does not underestimate the intelligence of her young audience, which is refreshing. She quotes fragments from the ancient poets and dramatists before every poem, identifying the wellspring of her inspiration, an elegant acknowledgment that enthusiasts of the timeless stories will appreciate.”

Historical Novel Society

“Kate Hovey uses quotes from classic works about the Trojan War as epigraphs to individual poems in many voices that retell the story of Troy in an accessible, affecting, and engaging narrative. … Her own poems use a variety of formal structures, but they never get in the way of her easy-to-follow narrative line. She projects multiple perspectives on the battle and ultimate defeat of Troy, stressing the poignancy, irony and tragedy of the story.”

Cooperative Children’s Book Center

“Anger and revenge, love and jealousy, bloodshed and remorse — all the things that adults try to protect children from — are here. Blame it on the gods and great authors like Homer and Virgil, who wrote about the legendary Trojan War. But there is a new angle here. The heroes, gods, and others speak out during the 10-year battle. … The voices are humanized through humor, straight talk, and a gamut of emotions. … Adults, too, should appreciate the well-crafted, fresh approach to an ancient tale.”

Children’s Literature

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