"Odd and the Frost Giants"
Published on Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 10:57am
Odd and the Frost Giants. by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Brett Helquist.
Odd is a Viking boy. His name means tip of a blade and is supposed to be a lucky name, but
Odd’s life has been anything but lucky. His father is dead, he injured his right leg trying to cut
wood and it never healed properly, his stepfather ignores him, and at the end of a long, cold
winter, tempers are short (as are the food stocks) and with his lame leg, he’s at the bottom of the
village heap—if someone has to stop eating, it’s going to be Odd.
So he goes out on his own, and settles down in an empty cottage in the woods--where he soon
meets some animals who are more than just animals. For one thing, they can talk. And for
another, they’re the enchanted Norse gods Odin, Thor and Loki, who have been turned out of
Valhalla, their home, and into animals by the frost giants, their long-time enemies. They need
help, but what can a kid with a bad leg do against frost giants, who have even defeated the most
powerful gods of Valhalla?
This is a fun (short!) read by the Newbery Award-winning author of The Graveyard Book and
Coraline. Unlike those, this is not a scary book, so although it's probably still best for readers
ages 10 and up, younger ones who want to try it need not worry!