Odd and the Frost Giants

Odd and the Frost Giants

4.1 77
by Neil Gaiman, Brett Helquist
     
 

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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

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 .

Editorial Reviews

Everybody loves Neil Gaiman, and why not? Born in Great Britain, transplanted to Minneapolis, this versatile writer has done everything and won everything: He has garnered awards for his science fiction novels and short stories; his young adult books; his comics and his graphic novels. Odd and the Frost Giants recalls the heroic effort of a 12-year-old Viking boy whose kindness reverses his bad fortune and sets him on the way to reclaim Thor's hammer and release the Nordic gods. Thunderous fun.
Publishers Weekly
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.)
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
This is an imaginative journey through Norse mythology. In this carefully crafted tale, Gaiman takes readers to ancient Norway where a boy named Odd lives with his family. His father dies on a Viking expedition, and a tree shatters Odd's leg, crippling the boy immediately. Will he ever walk again? After his mother remarries, Odd feels displaced within his own family. He wanders away from home and into the forest where he meets a bear, a fox, and an eagle. In this story, they are talking creatures with interesting tales to share. In fact, they are the gods of ancient mythology in animal disguise. Soon, he joins the animals on a journey to Asgard, where the Frost Giants have taken over the city. Will Odd save Asgard? Can a young boy outwit the mighty Frost Giants? This story is well-written, and young readers will fall into the tapestry of ancient Norway, a world filled with magic and mythology. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Using several figures from Norse mythology, Gaiman has written a thoughtful and quietly humorous fantasy that younger Percy Jackson fans will enjoy. Twelve-year-old Odd hasn't had a good couple of years: his father died rescuing a pony that fell overboard during a Viking raid, his leg was crippled during a tree-felling accident, and his mother married a man he dislikes. So, in the midst of what should be spring ("Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die"), he sets out for a cabin in the wilderness, figuring that anything will be better than home. Soon after arriving, a fox leads him to an enormous bear whose paw is caught in a tree; a large eagle circles overhead. Odd shows kindness and bravery when helping the bear, learning afterward that these three animals are gods who have been transformed by the Frost Giant. Odd is determined to help them, and his ultimate encounter with the Frost Giant is especially interesting, tweaking the tradition of small boys getting the better of giants. Readers will also enjoy Odd's interaction with the animals, Gaiman's simple and graceful writing, and the satisfying conclusion.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Gaiman does it again, this time featuring a lame young boy, talking animals and intrigue in Asgard. Originally written for World Book Day, this sweet, wistful, slyly funny novella also offers a crash course in ancient Norse mythology. Unlucky Odd lost his father during a Viking raid (but not to heroics) and then crushed his leg trying to be a man. When an endless winter descends, he leaves his stepfather's home and is recruited by talking animals who are actually Thor, Odin and Loki, exiled to earth by a Frost Giant. Odd ultimately outwits the giant in a way that upholds and yet totally subverts the trope, at the end returning home still humble but successful and clearly destined for more adventures. Like George R.R. Martin's The Ice Dragon (2006), this succeeds both as a delightful children's book and an adult collectible. Children will enjoy Odd's quiet heroism and the simple adventure; adults will love the squabbling gods and the strong women (and the Frost Giant's response to feisty Freya!). All in all, another winner. (final art not seen) (Fantasy. 8 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061964879
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/22/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
159,563
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.


Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
November 10, 1960
Place of Birth:
Portchester, England
Education:
Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
Website:
http://www.neilgaiman.com

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Odd and the Frost Giants 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know what happened but I have just discovered Neil Galman. Since this major discovery I have decided to read all his books. So far they have all been great.
Pinky_Pye More than 1 year ago
I'm teaching a unit on Norse Mythology and I used this book for my class. All of my students enjoyed it tremendously. Mr. Gaiman's previous book, American Gods covered the Norse myths (among others) nicely but this book is more appropriate for the classroom. I highly recommend his juvenile fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best two lunch breaks worth of heathen story I've read in a long time.
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
Odd and the Frost Giants is a fairy tale/legend style story of a strong, determined little boy named Odd, who despite being lame, alone and hated (by his new stepfather) finds his way in Norse life. Quiet and, well, odd, Odd is called on to help three gods, trapped in animal form on Earth by a vindictive giant who has seized their home. As the gods Loki, Thor and Odin spent more and more time trapped on earth they lose their selves to the bestial natures of a fox, a bear and an eagle respectively. With their home Asgard under the control of the Frost Giant spring cannot come to earth (Midgard) and the humans are doomed unless the gods resume their thrones, and their more human shapes. Hard and a little cold himself, Odd, only ten, is who Loki finds to help the trio, and through a series of clever sets of problem solving Odd, a mere human, becomes the one smart enough and reliable enough to save the gods and spring. Besides containing a subtle message that humanity is the core of the deities' strength, Odd and the Frost Giants is also a smart, blood-free tale set in a Viking era that children and adults alike will find compelling, adventurous and easy to follow. This remains one of books to cause the most anticipation in our family's nightly reading, and to engage the children strongly enough to keep them connected to the story, and to Odd, night after night (even on the nights we missed). Highly recommended for reading aloud and to give kids a taste of a world different from ours, but a little boy with all the same big feelings inside. "I like this book. I like the part when Odd was happy to go home." ~Amber, 6 "I liked this book. The snow would not melt. The giant took Asgard. That giant was so angry!" ~Leif, 9
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this! I am a big fan of Norse mythology and I think Gaiman did a great job of keeping elements of the myths and their iconic characters alive, while making it very readable, light and natural. I also loved the length of it. It's a tale and it shouldn't be dragged out in the way I think some writers might feel compelled to do. Perfect length. I love Neil Gaiman - have read most of his adult novels and LOVED American Gods and highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It isnt 9.99, its 1.99
Gary_W_Olson More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman's Odd and the Frost Giants was fun, and had numerous good moments... but (and you knew there was a 'but' coming)... it felt surprisingly thin, compared to, say, 'Coraline.' The storytelling itself was fine, the mythological spin was fresh, and it certainly wasn't boring, but the emotional impact, for me, was light.
Grannie-Reader More than 1 year ago
It was delightful, touching, entertaining, and at the same time challenging to all about their vaules. Although written for children, it carries a message that can challenge us all--at any and every age. A friend loaned it to me to read, and upon completion I immediately ordered a copy for my grandson--age 8 and hopefully to be shared with his two younger sisters. The writing immediately drew one in, and captured and held one's interest right up to the last page and last sentence and the last period. Would definitely put this on everyone's "must read list". Am looking forward to reading other works from this author.
madame_le_rar More than 1 year ago
kids would like this. as an adult is very cute, easy reading that fills your head with interesting dreams :)
Book_Savvy_Dad More than 1 year ago
My son really enjoyed this book. He enjoys mythology and this provided a neat mixture of fiction from a boys perspective.
HobbitForming More than 1 year ago
Another excellent children's story from Neil Gaiman that is also fun for adults.
KKR More than 1 year ago
This is a tale set in the far north, and it involves an under rated young boy who proves that he is valuable and important. Of course it has a happy ending. I bought it as a winter book for my 9 year old twin grandsons.
Storytellermary 24 days ago
Odd and the Frost Giants I listened to this on CD, read by Neil Gaiman, a delightful journey to Asgard! Teamwork, courage, cleverness prevail, with lessons for our mundane lives. I want to go back into Odd's world, maybe travel to Scotland with him next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for my bedtime readings with my 10-year-old. We both loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love Neil Gaiman, or just want your kids to read an awesome book about Norse mythology, check this one out. Highly recommend. Fun and easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a bedtime story, it is a fun little book that goes out of the ordinary. I also recommend The Wolves in the Walls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wha? I don ge tis
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm more accustomed to Neil Gaiman's longer stories, but this was no less of a pleasant read. Definitely a fresh take on an old Norse story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fantastic book from Neil Gaiman. A quick adventure to Asgard. Perfect for anyone odd.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book that's for all Neil Giaman fans and soon-to-be fans. :)