The If Odyssey A Philosophical Journey Through Greek Myth and Storytelling for 8 - 16-Year-Olds by Peter Worley


The If Odyssey A Philosophical Journey Through Greek Myth and Storytelling for 8 - 16-Year-Olds by Peter Worley

The If Odyssey draws out the philosophy that lies behind each story in Homer's epic tale to introduce children not only to the exciting fables of Odysseus, but also to that other great Ancient Greek tradition, philosophy. Explore with Odysseus the value of happiness, non-existent entities, moral dilemmas, the philosophy of prophecy, and the nature of love among many other philosophical issues. From the author of The If Machine, this book offers stories and session plans suitable for use across the curriculum with children aged 8-16. Online you'll find maps of Odysseus' journey, The Words of Tiresias that provides clues for the children as to Odysseus' progress and an Ancient Greek language workshop with accompanying worksheets. You can use the 'Storykit' section, which provides hints and tips on storytelling skills, to bring the tales of The Odyssey to life and stimulate independent, critical thinking with your class.


This imaginative journey through the events of Homer's Odyssey will delight and engage children and adults in a philosophical adventure. Worley offers a masterful guide, providing rich philosophical questions and a clearly outlined method to support teachers in nurturing creative and critical thinking in their students. He has interwoven ethics, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, social philosophy, aesthetics into a narrative 'odyssey', using the iconic story of the human search for truth, beauty and goodness. I can easily see this text being adopted in elementary, secondary and even college level. Wendy C. Turgeon, Associate Professor of Philosophy, St. Joseph's College, New York, USA -- Wendy C. Turgeon What Peter Worley has achieved with The If Odyssey is nothing short of genius! As a secondary school teacher of English, Theories of Knowledge and Philosophy, I find this book an irreplaceable resource. Not only does it present the teacher with crucial pedagogical instruction, but with a systematic program in how to cultivate the requisite skills of storytelling. Moreover, Worley synthesises, with clarity and precision, how to relate key philosophical concepts to each of the stories from The Odyssey. Simply brilliant!? Mark C. Blythe, Teacher and Postgraduate Researcher in Philosophy of Education -- Mark C. Blythe Anything that inspires people to think and to understand how to think is a great boon. This book is just such a boon, and a great addition to the Worley assault on unthinking-ness. ?Professor A. C. Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities -- Professor A. C. Grayling Brilliantly thought provoking, the If Odyssey hooks you from the start and draws you in as cleverly, compellingly and seemingly effortlessly as if it had been put together by the 'wily

-- David Stuttard This splendid book by Peter Worley offers excellent material to help teachers introduce philosophical dialogue in their classes. Worley presents a good classic story, adapted to our time while remaining faithful to the original text, and suggests a multitude of activities and didactic orientations. It is one of the most useful books I've ever read. Felix Garcia Moriyon. Presidente of the International Council of Philosophy with children -- Felix Garcia Moriyon

About the Author

Peter Worley teaches philosophy in schools every week. He is a Resident Philosopher at 6 state primary schools in London and he is the founder and CEO of The Philosophy Foundation (, a charity that specialises in philosophy in primary and secondary schools, based in the UK. Peter has over 20 years' experience in teaching and regularly gives talks and presentations about philosophy in schools. He is a Fellow of the RSA and is a Visiting Research Associate at King's College London. Tamar Levi is an author and illustrator based in London, UK and has her own website: Tamar is also researching a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Roehampton University, UK. Angie Hobbs is Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield University.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


208 pages


Peter Worley
More books by Peter Worley

Author's Website



Publication date

4th October 2012



I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

LoveReading4Kids is a modern and creative way of emphasising the value and importance of books in this digital age #booksforlife

Amrit Bunet – Teen

At @HHSHaringey we love @lovereading4kids because our pupils can practice reviewing & get free upcoming books before anyone else!

Helen Swinyard – Heartlands High

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

It’s so easy to find the right book for your child. Such an easy-to-use, yet in-depth website. 100% reliable.

Pippa, Jack, Liam & Matthew Wils

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

Lovereading 4 schools