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Odd and the Frost Giants (World Book Day edition) [Paperback]

Neil Gaiman , Mark Buckingham
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Mar 2008
Odd's luck has been bad so far. He lost his father on a Viking expedition, his foot was crushed beneath a tree, and the winter seems to be going on for ever. But when Odd flees to the woods and releases a trapped bear, his luck begins to change. The eagle, bear and fox he encounters reveal they're actually Norse gods, trapped in animal form by the evil frost giants who have conquered Asgard, the city of the gods Can a twelve-year-old boy reclaim Thor's hammer, outwit the frost giants and release the gods?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; UK open market ed of World Book Day ed edition (3 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747595380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747595380
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 11 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

Product Description


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 the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the bestselling, multi-prize-winning author of many books for adults and children, among them novels and graphic novels, including the Sandman comic series which has sold over a million copies in hardback and paperback. Neil is also a screenplay writer with Stardust and Beowulf both being released in the autumn of 2007. He is British and lives in America.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Gaiman's most enjoyable 26 Mar 2008
By Erinn
Neil Gaiman really, really likes writing about gods, and that's okay. If American Gods is the solid, upstanding one that works hard and takes its job seriously and Anansi Boys is its younger brother that pops by in the middle of the night with some beer and a couple of friends, Odd and the Frost Giants is the youngest brother of all, the third child who goes around climbing into magical wardrobes when the others aren't looking (it wouldn't shut the doors properly, mind, because Odd is the type to know that it's very foolish to shut oneself inside a wardrobe).

In a Viking settlement in Norway, long ago, winter seems to be stretching on forever. Odd, a boy with a crushed foot who doesn't fit in with his stepfamily, runs away from home when he can no longer stand to be in close quarters with them. He ends up following after an unusually insistent fox, starting on an adventure that will throw him in with the gods in a fight to defeat the frost giants (well, giant, anyway) and save his village from endless winter.

Odd and the Frost Giants is a novella written for World Book Day as part of a promotion to get kids reading (schoolchildren in the UK and Ireland are each given a token that can be redeemed for one of the novellas specially written for the occasion). If this book doesn't work, I don't know what will; it's everything a children's book should be - high adventure, mythology, magic, talking animals, a good sense of humor, and a sensible, sympathetic protagonist. I really enjoy Gaiman's work, but sometimes it feels like his way with words is a sort of glamour, and with some of his books I wonder whether I'd like the plot quite as much if I weren't constantly distracted by his lovely language - which is a bit of an odd complaint, certainly, but it does bother me once in a while.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Midgard to Asgard, and back 26 Mar 2008
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 (I count myself among that group), 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 pound, 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely little tale for the younger reader. 4 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Neil Gaiman is not one for description and that works well in this entertaining little read for children. A good smattering of Norse mythology and an appealing hero, peril and adventure and a satisfactory (and not saccharine) ending.

Highly recommended. I would say ages 7 - 11 depending on reading ability.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd and the frost Giant 2 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a delightful book to read even as a grown up. Odd runs away after his father dies and his mum remarries. He encounters a fox, bear and eagle. With his three new found friends he embarks on a journey that takes him on adventures that result in him meeting the frost giant. I don't what to say much more about the story as it will spoil it. I recommend it for adults as well as young children either to free read or as a bed time story. Great little book for all ages worth five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd 23 Oct 2013
Odd and the Frost Giants began life as one of those slim World Book Day volumes (available for 1 or free with a voucher given out at school) designed to encourage children to read and if ever there was a mythical adventure sure to fire the imaginations of reluctant young readers it is this. In fact, the tales of Odd proved so popular that Neil Gaiman has expanded slightly the original story (from 112 to 144 pages) and re-released Odd and the Frost Giants as this smart little illustrated hardback.

Odd is a lonely, introverted young Viking struggling to fit in with his boisterous stepfamily (his mother having married Fat Elfred after Odd's father was killed during a raiding expedition) and to cope with his crippled leg. Not long after his father's death, Odd had attempted to fell a tree with his newly inherited axe only for the tree to fall awkwardly and crush his foot. In a Viking society obsessed with bravery, tall-tales and physical perfection, Odd's personality and disability have marked him out as an oddity (although, interestingly, the name Odd actually means `the tip of a blade').

As the harsh Norwegian winter stretches on and on, Odd decides that he can no longer cope with living in the oppressive environment of the village and so he runs away. Hiding out in an isolated, snow-bound cabin, Odd befriends a bear, a fox and an eagle. Each of these creatures is more than they seem and each has a story to tell. Rather than being regular forest animals, Odd's new friends are actually the mighty Norse gods Thor, Odin and Loki. Loki was tricked into handing over Thor's magical Hammer to one of the Frost Giants and all three gods were then exiled from Asgard and trapped in animal form.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Introduction to Norse Mythology
Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, both for his adult fiction and his books for children. His books for children however, delight me way more than any of the grown up... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun
A great story with some enjoyable characters... It has captured the imagination of our 8 y.o. who has found it difficult to stop reading. Read more
Published 3 months ago by M D McNicholas
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming, funny book
I love this book. Written for children it also holds charm for adults. The interprataions of the Norse Gods, rendered into animals, are delightful and funny. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Theresa Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd and the Frost Giants, a book i keep in my treasure chest!
Magical! Its'a brilliant book for all ages. When a book doesn't let me put it down, i know i've made a great discovery!
Published 7 months ago by Lazaros
4.0 out of 5 stars great
It's tricky taking on Norse Mythology because it is material that has been so heavily mined before and so avoiding clichés is not easy. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sean
4.0 out of 5 stars definitely odd
I think this was probably aimed at a younger audience, but it was amusing enough and has flashes of Gaiman's dark humour. Read more
Published 14 months ago by 60thenew40
4.0 out of 5 stars Being Odd.
A delightful little read from Neil Gaiman. Based on Norse mythology and written with children in mind it was thoroughly enjoyed by this grown up.
Published 14 months ago by leabhrach
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Gaiman
If you like your books about Norse myths, gods and a kid who's smarter than the average bear, this is the book for you. Read more
Published 14 months ago by jazzy pom
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern Norse classic
Odd and the Frost Giants was published for World Book Day in 2008, but it has the feel of the sort of classic, timeless fairy tale that's been around forever, whilst remaining... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Rowena
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic introduction to young readers about norse gods and vikings
This is a fantastic introduction for quite young readers into the world of Vikings and Norse mythology. It's only a little book so makes for easy and quick reading. Read more
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by valkyrie1008
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