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Odd and the Frost Giants Hardcover – September 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Kentucky Bluegrass Awards 2011, Grades 3-5
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061671738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061671739
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 END

Review

Praise for 'Coraline': 'One of the joys of reading Gaiman is how he subverts our expectations of magic, horror, fantasy and the mundane' The Times 'Gaiman's ear is acute ... There is much more. There is the tender and beautifully judged ending ... ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, rise to your feet and applaud: Coraline is the real thing' Guardian Praise for 'The Graveyard Book': 'An extraordinary novel by a very gifted storyteller. Adults find it terrifying; children lap it up. It's utterly original, and written with elegance and power' Observer, Books of the Year 'The best book Neil Gaiman has ever written' Diana Wynne Jones --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at www.neilgaiman.com more or less up to date.

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Customer Reviews

Neil always writes great stories.
Sadpunk0
I got this book to read aloud to my 8 year old son.
Linda S
Good story, characters are fun and interesting.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Henry W. Wagner VINE VOICE on April 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
A review by Hank Wagner, co-author (with Christopher Golden and Stephen R. Bissette) of the upcoming Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman, due out from St. Martins in October 2008:

Gaiman wrote Odd and the Frost Giants as his personal contribution to World Book Day in the United Kingdom, which exists purely to inspire children to read. It's an annual event where a group of authors write books for nothing and publishers publish them for nothing. These books are then sold for £1 each to children who have been given £1 Book Tokens. On its website, the World Book Day organization ([...]) describes it as "the biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading."

Regrettably, at least for US residents, there are no current plans to publish this charming, 14,500 word novelette in America. Happily, the book is available through Amazon.uk and it's only £1, a bargain even with current exchange rates. Be warned, however, the shipping charge will make the final cost seem relatively steep.

The good news is that it's worth the cost: the story, enhanced by several illustrations from frequent Gaiman collaborator Mark Buckingham, is delightful.

As you may have guessed from the title, the novelette deals with characters from Norse myth, a subject Gaiman became entranced with at a very young age. It tells the story of the crippled Viking boy Odd, who, running away from home, is befriended by a group of forest animals--a fox, a bear, and an eagle--who are far more than they seem. In truth, they are the Norse gods Loki, Thor, and Odin, respectively. Hoodwinked by a crafty and vengeful Frost Giant, they have been transformed into animals and exiled from Asgard.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Whitt Patrick Pond TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Neil Gaiman's Odd and the Frost Giants is a delight, a new tale in an old tradition, the mythological world of the Norse gods. Though intended for young readers, older readers can enjoy it as well. It is also a tale that reminds us that heroes come in all sizes, often from the most unlikely of beginnings, and that daring and wits can be even more important than strength and agility.

A good example of how Gaiman imbues his characters with personality is shown in this scene were the boy Odd is woken by the sounds of voices in the hut where he has taken refuge along with a strange trio of animals:

"It's because of you we're in this mess."
"I thought we had a deal. I thought we weren't going to keep harping on about a trivial little mistake..."
"You call this trivial?"
And then a third voice, high and raw, screeched.
"Silence."
There was silence. Odd rolled over. There was a glow from the fire embers, enough to see the inside of the hut, enough to confirm to Odd that there were not another three people in there with him. It was just him and the fox and the bear and the eagle...
Whatever they are, thought Odd, they don't seem to eat people. He sat up, leaned against the wall. The bear and the eagle both ignored him. The fox darted him a green-eyed glance.
"You were talking," said Odd.
The animals looked at Odd and at one another. If they did not actually say "Who? Us?" it was there in their expressions, in the way they held themselves.
"_Somebody_ was talking," said Odd, "and it wasn't me. There isn't anyone else in here. That means it was you lot. And there's no point in arguing."
"We weren't arguing," said the bear. "Because we can't talk." Then it said, "Oops.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. Baker on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This short story for children is basically everything I love about Neil Gaiman broken down into a quick 90 pages. The writing is fun and fluid with a knack for description that leaves just enough up to the imagination. The way he weaves the Norse Gods into his story is fun, exciting, and realistic. It gives just a little taste of what the Norse Gods are like, thus invoking curiosity about them in any reader (and what a better way to learn more about them than to go read Neil Gaimain's other books - American Gods, to be specific!) - which I think is exactly what is needed in a children's book. Any book that makes kids curious and inspires them to learn gets an A+ in my book.
In general, I find that Gaiman does adult novels and comics better than he does children's books. At least, I used to feel that way until the awesomeness of the Graveyard Book. This book aims at a younger audience than that of the graveyard book and still manages to be fantastic for an adult audience.
With Odd and the Frost Giants, Neil Gaiman shows that he is, indeed, able to take the awesomeness of his ideas and make them accessible to children. And yet, through it all, he throws in the occasional reference that children may not understand (and don't need to understand to appreciate the book) but that leave the adult riveted through the entire epic journey.
All in all, this book ends up being the perfect read for a mother or father to read to their child. Or for a child just getting into books. Or for an adult with a quick half hour in the waiting room.
It was just wonderful.
I don't think any more needs to be said. :-)
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