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The Sleeping Army (Sleeping Army 1) [Hardcover]

Francesca Simon , Adam Stower
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Paperback 4.51  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 7.12  

Book Description

20 Oct 2011 Sleeping Army 1

Freya is an ordinary girl living in modern Britain, but with a twist: people still worship the Viking gods. She's caught in her parents' divorce, and shuttling between bickering adults is no fun. One evening, stuck with her dad on his night shift at the British Museum, she is drawn to the Lewis Chessmen and Heimdall's Horn. Unable to resist, she blows the horn, waking three chess pieces from their enchantment; the slaves Roskva and Alfi, and Snot the Berserk. They are all summoned to Asgard, land of the Viking gods, and told they must go on a perilous journey to restore the gods to youth.

If Freya refuses she will be turned into an ivory chess piece but, if she accepts her destiny and fails, the same terrible fate awaits her.

Brilliantly funny, original and a wholly new take on the Norse myths - and the travails of contemporary family life.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (20 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846682789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846682780
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Francesca Simon was born in the United States and attended both Yale and Oxford universities. For ten years she worked as a freelance journalist. She now writes full-time and has had many books published including the best-selling Horrid Henry series and many picture books. Francesca is constantly in demand at bookshops, schools and book festivals all over the country where she talks to children about her books. She lives in North London with her family.

Horrid Henry books and audio have sold over 15 million copies in the UK alone and CITV have made a hugely popular cartoon series based on the nation's favourite naughty boy. 2008 saw a Horrid Henry exhibition at Seven Stories, Newcastle called Up To Mischief With Horrid Henry.

Horrid Henry Robs the Bank was shortlisted for the Children's Book of the Year award at the 2009 British Book Awards, the third consecutive year of nomination, following a win in 2008.

Francesca Simon is the third most borrowed children's author from UK libraries and Horrid Henry and the Football Fiend was the most borrowed children's title in 2009!

Francesca Simon on Francesca Simon:

"I've always seen my Horrid Henry books as westerns for kids. Henry is an outlaw, who behaves dreadfully, yet often triumphs. Just as adults like reading about people on the edge, so kids get a thrill from a child who always acts on impulse and never worries about the consequences.

I got the idea for the books when a friend asked me to write a book about a horrid child. Horrid Henry was born on the spot. I immediately saw a truculent little boy, the despair of his well-meaning liberal parents. I was also interested in exploring sibling rivalry, which I know something about as the eldest of four, and families where the parents decide that one child is 'good' and the other 'bad', which is how Perfect Peter came about. Soon Henry took on a vigorous life of his own, aided by the bossy madam next door Moody Margaret, who is an amalgam of myself and how I imagine Margaret Thatcher might have been as a child.

I started writing children's books in 1989 after the birth of my son, Josh. Suddenly all I was reading was books for children, and I started, to my surprise, to get ideas. One day we'd been reading lots of animal noises books, and he asked me what noise a caterpillar made. I thought 'wouldn't it be great to do an animal noise voice of all the unusual animals kids see in books?' That became my first book - But What Does the Hippopotamus say?"

Here are the Horrid Henry books in order of publication:

Horrid Henry
Horrid Henry and the Secret Club
Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy
Horrid Henry's Nits
Horrid Henry Gets Rich Quick
Horrid Henry's Haunted House
Horrid Henry and the Mummy's Curse
Horrid Henry's Revenge
Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter
Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb
Horrid Henry's Underpants
Horrid Henry Meets the Queen
Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine
Horrid Henry and the Football Fiend
Horrid Henry's Christmas Cracker
Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman
Horrid Henry Robs the Bank
Horrid Henry Wakes the Dead
Horrid Henry Rocks (coming Sept 10)

Here are the joke books:

Horrid Henry's Joke Book
Horrid Henry's Jolly Joke Book
Horrid Henry's Mighty Joke Book
Horrid Henry Versus Moody Margaret
Horrid Henry's Hilariously Horrid Joke Book
Moody Margaret Strikes Back

The Early Reader Books:

Don't Be Horrid Henry
Horrid Henry's Birthday Party
Horrid Henry's Holiday
Horrid Henry's Underpants
Horrid Henry Gets Rich Quick
Horrid Henry and the Football Fiend
Horrid Henry's Nits
Horrid Henry and Moody Margaret

Colour Books:

Horrid Henry's Big Bad Book
Horrid Henry's Wicked Ways
Horrid Henry's Evil Enemies
Horrid Henry Rules the World
Horrid Henry's House of Horrors
Horrid Henry's Dreadful Deeds
Horrid Henry Shows Who's Boss (coming 7th October 2010)

Book & DVD packs

Horrid Henry tricks the tooth fairy
Horrid Henry and the mega-mean time machine

Activity Books:

Horrid Henry's Brainbusters
Horrid Henry's Headscratchers
Horrid Henry's Mindbenders
Horrid Henry's Colouring Book
Horrid Henry's Puzzle Book
Horrid Henry's Sticker Book
Horrid Henry's Mad Mazes
Horrid Henry's Wicked Wordsearches
Horrid Henry's Classroom Chaos
Horrid Henry's Holiday Havoc
Horrid Henry Runs Riot
Horrid Henry's Bumper Fun
Horrid Henry's Crazy Crosswords

Gift Packs:

Horrid Henry's Football Kit
Horrid Henry's Horrid Holidays
Horrid Henry's Christmas Present

Coming soon...

Horrid Henry's Annual 2011 - 5th August 2010
How to survive Christmas Chaos with Horrid Henry - 4th November 2010
Horrid Henry's Utterly Wicked Factbook: Bodies - F
eb 2011

Product Description


Children will love the banter, the darkness and physicality of the tale (Guardian)

A wildly original, rollicking twist on Norse mythology (Jacqueline Wilson)

Guaranteed to bring gales of laughter (The Times)

Breathtaking, magical storytelling. I loved this book (Eoin Colfer) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

One of the bestselling children's authors in the world, the creator of the Horrid Henry series, launches an exciting new novel for children aged 8+

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was a bedtime read with my 8 yr old which we both greatly enjoyed. The world of the novel is exactly like ours, but with the small detail that Christianity never caught on and the established religion is Norse. This shift was accomplished thoroughly and seemingly effortlessly with little details like the days being called 'Wodensday' and 'Thorsday' etc and people saying things like "oh my gods". The story begins in the British Museum, which (as well as being integral to the story of course) allows Francesca Simon to integrate details comparing the two religious systems without it ever feeling dry or lecturing. My sleepy 8 yr old happily accepted this world and learnt loads about Norse myth without getting bogged down, confused or losing sight of the story. I particularly enjoyed the idea that the Norse religion had reached the point that modern Christianity in Britain has with relatively few actual believers, but being embedded into the culture. The idea of Viking gods being seen as part of some dry, dull institution is somehow especially amusing!

Freya is a great character. A normal modern girl dragged into an adventure with children from the Dark Ages and a berserk, she's really out of her depth and seen as slightly pathetic by her co-adventurers. The narration focuses on her perspective, although it is third-person, allowing us insight into her thoughts and feelings as she undertakes the extremely daunting challenge set her by Woden.

Aspects of myth are used and incorporated extremely well - even to the point where it is clear which parts of the story deviate from the canon of Norse myth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Imagine a world where Christianity didn’t take off and the predominant religion in Britain was based on the Norse Gods. I must admit I’ve always enjoyed these parallel universe type of stories, and Francesca Simon cleverly works in the Norse concepts with UK religious governance. Freya is in the British Museum one evening, being looked after by her Dad who works there. By meddling in something she shouldn’t she is whisked off to the home of the Gods, to find she has nine days to solve their problem or be turned into a piece of an ivory chess set – the Sleeping Army.

This army was supposed to have woken with her, but only three turned up, so they accompany her on her quest. A modern girl, she’s pretty clueless about self-sufficiency and squeamish about what she eats. Her companions don’t think much of her either, but she proves she’s got more resources than she thinks she has and does a mean trick of using kindness and consideration to people that have never known it to get through some sticky situations.

I read this in one sitting and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I didn’t think I was going to when I started it! It’s a well constructed tale with lovely illustrations and delightful imagery. It’s writing that brings things to life in one’s imagination.

An excellent book for older children and teenagers who like adventure and fantastical beings or legends.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Gave up reading this 4 Jun 2014
I read my kids many books but this is the only one I've quit after half way. The often rude characters have no redeeming features and I failed to find any that I actually liked. The story was bland and often gross without need. Not even my kids wanted more of it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 8 year old loves it! 6 Mar 2014
By Julia
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought for my 8 year old niece who is a big fan of francesca simon! She loved it and so did her cousins and friends who saw the book. Would highly recommend it for any 8 year old book lover!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Chess 24 Mar 2013
By Soffia
Review by Steffan (Soffia's brother). 'The Sleeping Army' is a disappointing book. The main characters are Clara, Freya and Bob. It is a story about the Lewis chessmen (a little bit like 'Alice Through the Looking Glass', which I like better), and a horn. The story starts in the British Museum and it finishes in a volcano. I thought it would be a good book because I like 'Horrid Henry' (by the same author). I didn't like the book because the descriptions were horrible.
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