King of Ithaka

Tracy Barrett

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Telemachos has a comfortable life on his small island of Ithaka, where his mother Penelopeia keeps the peace even though the land has been without its king, his father Odysseus, since the Trojan War began many years ago.


But now the people are demanding a new king, unless Telemachos can find Odysseus and bring him home. With only a mysterious prophecy to guide him, Telemachos sets off over sea and desert in search of the father he has never known.


Read an Excerpt

Brax snorted and stamped, his bony knee grazing my ear. I sat back on my heels and pushed the damp hair off my forehead. “Hold still,” I said. “How do you expect me to do this if you kick my head in?”
“Sorry,” Brax said. I could tell that the thorn in his belly was more annoying than painful, but centaurs are not known for their patience. It must be the horse half of their nature that makes them impatient—and always hungry—and until I removed the thorn, Brax would be irritable and my skull would be at risk.
My nails were bitten



  • King of Ithaka book trailer

    Check out the trailer - a reenactment from the book - made by the author's nephew!



Praise for King of Ithaka

School Library Journal, Best Children’s Books of 2010

“This is a strong retelling with definite YA appeal, particularly in Telemachos’s final triumph, where he takes the chariot reins of his life in his own hands.”--School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Readers without prior knowledge of the Homeric epics can fully enjoy this as a rousing adventure, but those who are already acquainted with Odysseus’ tale will appreciate Barrett’s audacious take on the arrogant hero and his milquetoast son.” --BCCB

“Telemachos’ first-person narration allows readers to experience the complexity of his character as the prince matures and evolves into a leader that would make any parent proud.”--Booklist

“Readers are sure to enjoy a fast-paced story and action-packed journey in this tale of Telemachos, only son of Odysseus…What a great complement for readers of The Odyssey!”--Library Media Connection

“With its focus on Telemachos's determination and growth, Barrett's tale should be an enjoyable and accessible primer for readers who've not yet read the original.” --Publishers Weekly

A rousing introduction to epic characters and mythic creatures of ancient Greece from the fresh perspective of an engaging young hero.” --Kirkus Reviews

In the Press

KING OF ITHAKA by Tracy Barrett | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of KING OF ITHAKA . In this hero's quest drawn from Homer's Odyssey, Telemachos, only child of Odysseus, King of Ithaka, has waited 16 years for his wandering father to return from the Trojan wars while his dutiful mother, Penelopeia, fends off would-be suitors.
- Kirkus Reviews
Children's Review: King of Ithaka by Tracy Barrett, Holt, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8969-1
Building on the events of Homer's Odyssey from the point of view of Telemachos, the 16-year-old son of the absent king Odysseus, Barrett (the Sherlock Files series) crafts a coming-of-age novel full o
- Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Tracy Barrett

  • Tracy Barrett is the author of several novels, including On Etruscan Time, Cold in Summer, Anna of Byzantium, and the Sherlock Files series. She also teaches Italian language and civilization at Vanderbilt University. Tracy lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.


  • Tracy Barrett
    Tracy Barrett


Available Formats and Book Details

King of Ithaka

Tracy Barrett

Tennessee Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award Master Lis


Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)