The Geat: The Story of Beowulf and Grendel

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9780955212925: The Geat: The Story of Beowulf and Grendel
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The best version of "Beowulf" isn't called "Beowulf" - it's called "The Geat - the story of Beowulf and Grendel". It's not called "Beowulf" because it's not just another retelling of the old Anglo Saxon poem. Over the last ten years or so John Harris has developed an enviable reputation for his retelling of "Beowulf" - schools all over the country ask him back to tell the story every year as part of their curriculum. In that time the craft of telling the story to real children has combined with considerable research to produce the version we have here. "The Geat" is perhaps the nearest we'll get to the story that was told in northern Europe around the firelight for over a thousand years before "Beowulf" was written. It's one of the earliest horror stories, and certainly one of the best.

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About the Author:

John Harris is the only full-time professional Storyteller in Britain who works exclusively with younger audiences. He's been telling stories to great acclaim in hundreds of schools and libraries all over the country for the last decade. In the last few years he's also been a guest at book festivals across the country, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, and was a guest speaker at The Prince of Wales' Education Summer School, where Michael Morpurgo described his contribution as 'A Tour de Force'. He's also been heard on BBC Radio 4 and the digital station Planet Rock, and has published four much loved children's books.

Review:

"Fearsome monsters, powerful heroes and gruesome murders should be enough to keep the most bloodthirtsy young reader satisfied... the illustrations manage to be both frightening and comic." - Daily Telegraph "Beowulf made easy for a new generation of bloodthirsty juniors who are up for something a bit different. Distinctive illustrations and an enthusiastic rendition of a literary classic are what make the book so appealing. John Harris is a storyteller by trade, and it shows in the pace and rhythm of the text. He narrates the tale of the Geat warrior Beowulf, who sails across the sea to take on the challenge of gruesome, man-eating Grendel, monster of the parish. Beowulf is small, and Grendel is huge. But Beowulf has cunning and wisdom, and even children for whom this is a first time story will be left with a sense of how it will end - which makes all the blood and gore of the journey safely enjoyable." - Carousel, the magazine for Children's Books "It is a shame that the publishers of this book have had to resort to the usual hype on the cover: 'This is the orginal horror story - two thousand years old and as exciting as ever. Read it if you dare'. This re-telling of the story of Beowulf needs no such hyperbole. John Harris has apparently spent the last ten years telling the story in front of live audiences, honing the version that we now have in print. It has been worth the wait. Whilst the language is suitably bloodthirsty - and no details of pain, torture and death are omitted - a wonderfully evocative atmosphere is maintained throughout the book. There are excellent colour illustrations throughout and good quality paper is used, making this a 'must buy' for any library." - The School Librarian Magazine

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