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The Story of Arbux: Grand-dad's Giant Adventure Paperback – October 30, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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The Story of Arbux is a delightful tale of a 16-year-old’s friendship and adventure with a giant. The book relates the tale through the memories of the protagonist’s grandson as he recounts the adventure as told by his grandfather.
I really enjoyed this book.Reading this brought back many memories of being a young boy doing things with my grandfather in his workshop or in his yard. He was always telling me stories and teaching me many things that I use throughout my life. It is appropriate for any age and (because of the way the author breaks up the story into different sections) it makes a wonderful book to read to children and to let them read on their own. The illustrations by Caroline K. Jensen are few, but they add a nice touch to the story as we move along.
The format sets up a great dynamic between the four main characters of the book: the grandson, Grand-dad, Grand-dad as a teen, and the giant – Arbux. In between the memories of the grandkids hearing the tale of this great adventure, we are exposed to wonderful lessons that have a greater meaning when coming from a beloved grandparent.
Grandson movingly intersperses memories of Grand-dad taking care of himself and his siblings which adds to the flow of the story rather than interrupt it. Fritz masterfully weaves the memory of hearing the story with the retelling of it in way that we grow up with the children while experiencing Grand-dad and Arubx’ journey to Norway.
We learn valuable lessons of growing up in a loving way that doesn’t feel like preaching at all. Grand-dad treats the children with respect and carefully explains what he means in language they can process and comprehend. Many of the lessons come from “Oddy Quotes”- quotations from the Havamal and Eddas.
Among the lessons were how to treat others, the length of friendships, and being a good host and a good guest. These lessons are such a part of Grand-dad’s character, that we accept the words as if they are from the High One Himself.
Grand-dad’s story progresses from his chance meeting with the giant to building trust and friendship. He realizes that Arbux is out of place, deduces where he might be from (based on his knowledge and belief from the Eddas and the Old Ones) and determines to see Arbux get home.
We are treated to many fun, tense, and touching situations as the two grow closer in their own ways. By the conclusion of the story, readers genuinely feel a connection to Grand-dad’s commitment, love, and sense of honor to his friend. And we find a love for them both too.
Fritz creates a sense of sitting in the presence of Grand-dad with the children waiting for the next installment of the fascinating tale. With the memories of Grand-son, we come to love and to aspire Grand-dad’s approach to life.
The Story of Arbux would make a wonderful animated film or short series. I really hope someone would take a look and make it happen. It earns a treasured place on the shelf with other favorites and will be very nice to revisit now and then as well as sharing with children. It is definitely one to have as a physical book to more easily go back and forth between the story.