Odd And The Frost Giants

Summary:

When Odd was 10, his father was lost at sea. He tried to be like his father, but after a tree fell on his leg, he was crippled. After that, Odd kept mostly to himself, even after his mother married Fat Elfred of Midgard. In that year when Winter wouldn't let go, and everyone was getting on everyone else's nerves, Odd made a decision. He left and moved to his father's old hut. On that first morning of his solitary life, Odd met a fox, bear, and an eagle. Well, they weren't *really* a fox, bear, and an eagle. They were the gods Loki, Loki, and Odin. The Frost Giant had tricked them, transformed them into animals, and exiled them to Midgard. Worst of all, winter would never end. Odd couldn't abide that idea, so he and his animal friends set out to reclaim Asgard. 


BTSYA / Teen Reader (18):
Personally, I absolutely love and admire Neil Gaiman’s work, and I’m also very interested in Norse Mythology. That means I might have a bit of a bias in this review, but honestly, I can’t praise this highly enough. Odd – the main character – is relatable, even to me, and that’s what makes the book so great. He’s not a character you want to protect, even though he is just a young boy, and that’s because of the way he holds himself.

The mythology aspect is handled so well considering that this is a book for kids who probably don’t even know these gods exist. You don’t have to have any prior knowledge of Norse Mythology to enjoy the book, having the knowledge will only make the experience better.

This audience for this book is 8-12, which is appropriate, but I am older and I loved it. It is small and has illustrations which enhance the story. If you know someone who loves fantasy and/or mythology, I say go ahead and buy Odd and the Frost Giant. It’s totally worth the money, and I can’t think of any reason your money wouldn’t be wisely spent on it.  

Parent Perspective:
I loved the classic feel of this book. It is a cross between a fairy tale (with a male main character!) and a fable (animals and man learning life lessons). What I particularly love is how Gaiman 'lengthened' the story and added descriptive details that engage the imagination, but are often left out of other fables.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who love classic, timeless stories will love Odd. The story has a fairy tale feel, with the princess as the evil force.

Content Awareness Factors:

This is a wonderful story for all ages, and is perfectly suitable for children 5 to 8. That said, the broad vocabulary may require you to stop and explain concepts or cultures kids where kids lack familiarity.


Type of Book:
This is an illustrated chapter book fantasy / fairy tale for all ages.
Educational Themes:

This is a wonderful example of the fairy tale and fable genres. It is a great choice for introducing children to these kinds of stories, and their foundation (i.e., how they convey life lessons). As we learn early in the book, this isn't the first time the gods have been transformed into animals. Invite older children to write the next chapter: what 'trick' or event befalls the trio and (based on what we know of their character from this story) what animals will they become.

Reading Level:
2.5
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
8 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
8 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 18
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. Odd and the Frost Giants is a story that will have different meaning at different ages. It is a chapter book that you can read in pieces, but it is also a book that older readers will easily devour in one night.

Title Odd and the Frost Giants
Author Neil Gaiman
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers © 2009
Illustrators Brett Helquist
ISBN 9780061671739
Material Hard Cover
Cost $14.99
Genres Adventure, Fables and Folklore, Fantasy, Fairy Tale
be the star you are Cybils
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