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Odd and the Frost Giants

by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Brett Helquist

Published by HarperCollins, 2009
117 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-167173-9

Ages 8 - 11

The Norwegian villagers donít know what to make of Odd, the unlucky boy who keeps on smiling despite his fatherís death and the accident that left him with a crippled leg. When a delayed spring causes everyoneís tempers to flare, Odd heads out to his fatherís woodcutting hut, rather than bear the brunt of the communityís bad humor. Following an unusual fox the next day, Odd is led to a bear whose paw is stuck in the hollow of a pine tree. Watched by an eagle flying overhead, Odd frees the bear. The three creatures then reveal that they are not animals but Norse deities. The bear is Thor, Lord of the Thunders; the eagle is Lord Odin, greatest of the gods; and the fox is Loki, trickster and blood brother to the gods. Duped by a Frost Giant, theyíve been cast into animal form and exiled. Itís up to young Odd to outwit the Frost Giant and restore the three to their true bodies and home. Odd approaches the Frost Giant with equanimity, convincing the creature to return to his own home, and in turn is granted a meaningful reward by the Goddess Freya, who proves to be both funny and wise. Neil Gaiman weaves characters from Norse mythology into a humorous, quietly satisfying tale. CCBC Categories: Fiction for Children  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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