A new Robin Hood movie opened this past weekend. Robin Hood is one of my favorite stories, and the library owns many different versions. Let’s start with the basics:
The Big Book of Knights, Nobles & Knaves by Alissa Heyman
Robin Hood’s story is told along with those of Arthur, The Cid, and others.
Favorite Medieval Tales by Mary Pope Osborne
Find popular stories from the Middle Ages such as Gawain and the Green Knight, Beowulf, The Sword in the Stone, and (of course) Robin Hood.
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
A classic, old-fashioned version.
Robin Hood by Carol Heyer
This version features fancy borders and lettering to give it the feel of a medieval manuscript.
Robin Hood by Paul Creswick
N.C. Wyeth, famous for his pirates, provides the illustrations for this book.
Robin Hood by Neil Philip
This Eyewitness Classics edition has historical background notes throughout the story.
Robin Hood: A Classic Illustrated Edition by Evelyn Charles Vivian
The story is paired with illustrations from a variety of artists from different time periods.
Robin Hood: The Tale of the Great Outlaw Hero by Angela Bull
Like the Eyewitness book above, this version has historical notes throughout the story.
Song of Robin Hood by Anne Burnett Malcolmson
A Caldecott Honor book and a collection of ballads (which were possibly the first way Robin’s story was told).
Some versions of the story are especially suited for younger audiences:
The Adventures of Robin Hood by John Burrows
A chapter book from Classic Starts, based on Howard Pyle’s version.
Robin Hood and Little John by Barbara Cohen
A picture book tells how the two friends met.
Robin Hood in the Greenwood by Jane Louise Curry
A version that stresses the merrymaking a bit more than the combat.
Robin Hook, Pirate Hunter! by Eric A. Kimmel
A boy inspired a bit by Robin Hood and a bit by Peter Pan defeats cruel pirates with the help of other children and animals.
The story has also been told in a comics format:
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Marcia Williams
Little jokes join the traditional story.
Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood by Tony Lee
Like the recent movie, this comic is a bit dark. Also, instead of starting the story when Robin becomes an outlaw, the author invents some history to explain what led Robin to that point.
Robin Hood also makes an appearance in other stories:
The Better Brown Stories by Allan Ahlberg
When a family asks a writer to make their story more interesting, the dad suddenly finds he is no longer bored in his ordinary job in the bank.
Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager
This is the story that first made me want to read Ivanhoe. See below.
Magic By the Book by Nina Bernstein
A library book has unexpected magical powers that take three children to Sherwood forest.
Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe adapted by Marianne Mayer
When I read that Robin Hood was a part of Ivanhoe, I immediately wanted to read it… but the copy I picked up was way above the abilities I had then. Luckily, there’s now a really fine adaptation for young readers.
The Website of the Warped Wizard by Eric A. Kimmel
Robin Hood has gone bad, and the Merry Men with him. They steal from anyone now, and keep it! And that’s hardly the only thing gone wrong in this strange computer game.
He also has parallels in other times and places:
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
The King of Thieves (a good friend of the main character in this fantasy novel) owes a lot to the man from Sherwood Forest, despite being a city-dweller. The author was a big fan of Robin Hood as a little girl.
Bandit’s Moon by Sid Fleischman
Based on the story of a real outlaw, who may have been the inspiration for the character Zorro.
The Legend of Hong Kil Dong, the Robin Hood of Korea by Anne Sibley O’Brien
I can’t believe our copy of this went missing before I could read it! Until we get a new copy, you can put the book on hold and have it sent from another library.
Outlaws by Ann Weil
The name “Robin Hood” has been attached to plenty of real people over the years. Some were pretty nasty characters. This nonfiction book tells the stories of a few famous outlaws.
Young Zorro: The Iron Brand by Jan Adkins
This is a an adaptation for children of Isabel Allende’s novel about Zorro. Our copy of the children’s book has been lost, but you can place a hold on the title to request a copy.
And there are some nontraditional versions that older readers might enjoy:
Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales by Gregory Maguire
“Little Red Robin Hood” and other silly stories will entertain fans of fractured fairy tales.
The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
My eyes lit up when I discovered Robin McKinley had written a YA Robin Hood story. I love what she did with “Beauty and the Beast,” and enjoyed her original fantasy The Blue Sword.
Robin of Sherwood by Michael Morpurgo
A modern boy dreams about Robin Hood and his companions. In a unique twist, many of the familiar figures are living as outcasts due to disabilities.
Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest by Nancy Springer
The first of a series, this book tells the story of Robin Hood’s daughter. It also breaks from tradition by including some fantasy elements. The author later went on to write stories about Sherlock Holmes’ little sister, Enola.
Sherwood: A Collection of Original Robin Hood Stories collected by Jan Yolen
This collection is a great choice if you want to sample a wide range of different authors. It features characters ranging from the Sheriff of Nottingham’s son to an artificial intelligence program loose on the Internet.
Keeper of the Grail, first book in The Youngest Templar trilogy by Michael P. Spradlin
You might expect a squire named Tristan or archer named Robard Hode, but an assassin named Maryam makes this perhaps the most unusual book in the bunch.
P.S. I just found a brand new book I had missed when writing this post:
Hawksmaid: The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian by Kathryn Lasky
Marian is the daughter of a falconer who learns to understand and speak to birds. The faithful birds help her and Fynn (Robin Hood) foil a plot against the king.