Thursday, December 25, 2014

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Odd and the Frost GiantsOdd lives among Vikings with his mother and stepfather. His leg was crushed so he limps, but he always has a smile on his face that irritates others. One day, he walks into the woods, away from his stepfather, and travels to his father's old cabin. He spots a fox and follows it until he finds a bear trapped under a tree, an eagle soaring overhead. After freeing the bear, Odd discovers the three animals are actually the gods Thor, Odin, and Loki. Loki was tricked by a frost giant, so they were changed into animals and banished from their land. Odd decides he will help them, but what can one small boy do to defeat a giant?

This book reads like a Norse folktale and is a quick-read. Odd's character is overwhelming kind, but his smile has great power. It usually drives others crazy, but it also helps defeat the frost giant. The underdog story is easy to enjoy as Odd faces a powerful foe. It's amusing to see a small boy accomplish things three powerful gods were unable to do. As with many folktales, the plot teaches lessons about kindness, loyalty, and love for one's mother.

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