Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
‘There was a boy called Odd, and there was nothing unusual about that, not in that time or place. Odd meant the tip of a blade, and it was a lucky name.’ Except Odd wasn’t very lucky! This book details his troubles and adventures, and how he met the Norse Gods Odin, Thor and Loki.
Odd is an endearing character and an unlikely hero. As it turns out, those Norse Gods wouldn’t have been able to change their fate and that of Asgard without him. Although his own villagers didn’t have a lot of time for him, Odd did them a great service in the end: recapturing spring from the Frost Giants.
This book is a great read aloud for Y4 or Y5 as it is entertaining, fast-paced and Avengers fans will enjoy the link between the superheroes and the original Norse characters. It makes a great link to Vikings and their invasions of Scotland in key stage two history. If you haven’t read Norse mythology before, this is a snappy, digestible and engaging story to start you off. It has the usual charm that Neil Gaiman brings to the fairytales he writes – a balance between fantasy and reality.
We have chosen this book as part of our Pathways to Read programme for schools to run alongside the Y5 ‘Arthur and the Golden Rope’ unit from Pathways to Write. Y5 pupils will have the opportunity to explore the text in depth and become familiar with the elements of Norse mythology. Both heroes in these tales are similar and links between these two books can be easily made.
To find out more about Pathways to Read and how this text fits into the overview for schools, check out our website http://www.theliteracycompany.co.uk/pathways-literacy/ or join us at one of our introductory webinars https://www.theliteracycompany.co.uk/events/.