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Odd and the Frost Giants
by Neil Gaiman and Brett Helquist


Overview -

In this inventive, short, yet perfectly formed novel inspired by traditional Norse mythology, Neil Gaiman takes readers on a wild and magical trip to the land of giants and gods and back.

In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father perished in a Viking expedition; a tree fell on and shattered his leg; the endless freezing winter is making villagers dangerously grumpy.  Read more...


 
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More About Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman; Brett Helquist
 
 
 
Overview

In this inventive, short, yet perfectly formed novel inspired by traditional Norse mythology, Neil Gaiman takes readers on a wild and magical trip to the land of giants and gods and back.

In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father perished in a Viking expedition; a tree fell on and shattered his leg; the endless freezing winter is making villagers dangerously grumpy.

Out in the forest Odd encounters a bear, a fox, and an eagle--three creatures with a strange story to tell.

Now Odd is forced on a stranger journey than he had imagined--a journey to save Asgard, city of the gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it.

It's going to take a very special kind of twelve-year-old boy to outwit the Frost Giants, restore peace to the city of gods, and end the long winter.

Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever . . .

Someone just like Odd .


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780061671739
  • ISBN-10: 0061671738
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publish Date: October 2009
  • Page Count: 117
  • Reading Level: Ages 8-11
  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.57 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Fantasy & Magic
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Legends, Myths, & Fables - Norse

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 62.
  • Review Date: 2009-08-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this simple but well-done tale, Newbery Medal–winner Gaiman (The Graveyard Book) introduces Odd, a boy with an injured leg whose Viking father died at sea. Odd befriends the Norse gods Odin, Thor and Loki, who have been transformed into animals and exiled from Asgard. The gods, having previously tricked and bested the Frost Giants, are now receiving some of their own medicine. Showing great ingenuity, Odd figures out how to reach Asgard and then convinces the Frost Giant that ruling Asgard isn't so great (after all, admits the giant, his prize, the beautiful goddess Freya, “only comes up to the top of my foot. She shouts louder than a giantess when she's angry. And she's always angry”). The gods and the giant, though powerful, come across as self-involved and vaguely simpleminded, clearly in need of a resourceful young fellow like Odd to help set things straight. Although less original than Coraline or The Wolves in the Walls, this enjoyable story should appeal to Gaiman's younger fans. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)

 
BookPage Reviews

One boy's larger-than-life adventure

The mind of Newbery Award-winning writer Neil Gaiman must be a very animated, busy and slightly offbeat place—and thankfully so. Otherwise, adults and children alike would be missing out on some of the most inventive characters and stories of our time.

In this fantastical romp, laden with the echoes of Norse mythology, readers meet Odd, a 12-year-old Norwegian boy who is down on his luck. He recently lost his father, a master carver who dove overboard on a Viking ship to rescue a pony. Then, Odd crushes his leg in a tree-felling accident and is left to hobble about with one good leg, one bad leg and one wooden crutch.

Despite his moniker, Odd’s name doesn’t really fit him. He is, perhaps, the most normal character in this short, yet extremely compelling, novel. There are far more odd fellows the boy will encounter when he ventures out of his village—fed up with grumpy villagers and a drunken stepfather, and eager for adventure. It isn’t long before befriends a fox, a bear and an eagle—at least that’s what he initially believes them to be. Odd is soon enraptured and entwined in their spectacular tales of powerful gods, teasing goddesses, intimidating Frost Giants and a magical place known as Asgard.

Nothing is as it seems, Odd will soon learn. The woods are full of surprises, minds can play tricks and animals can transmogrify. The world of what is real and what is imagined soon melds together—with Odd smack in the middle.

In this magical novel, dry humor is woven into the concise text. Anthropomorphic animals, vivid imagery and fantastical happenings provide an extremely quick-paced and accessible introduction to mythology.

Readers, especially young boys, will easily be drawn into Odd’s excellent adventure, which is ultimately a satisfying coming-of-age story wrapped in magic and mythical overtones.

Sharon Verbeten is a freelance writer and former children’s librarian in De Pere, Wisconsin.

 
BAM Customer Reviews