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Odd and the Frost Giants
First U.S. edition.
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016.
Physical Description:
119 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Odd -- The fox, the eagle and the bear -- The night conversation -- Making rainbows -- At Mimir's well -- The gates of Asgard -- Four transformations and a meal -- Afterwards.
An unlucky twelve-year-old Norwegian boy named Odd leads the Norse gods Loki, Thor, and Odin in an attempt to outwit evil Frost Giants who have taken over Asgard.
Added Author:


Call Number
J Gaiman, N.

On Order



A beautifully illustrated edition of the thrilling, wintry Nordic tale by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell, who together weave a truly magical story of legend and adventure that will grip and enchant readers from beginning to end.

Odd, a young Viking boy, is left fatherless following a raid. In his icy, ancient world there is no mercy for an unlucky soul with a crushed foot and no one to protect him. Fleeing to the woods, Odd stumbles upon and releases a trapped bear...and then Odd's destiny begins to change.

The eagle, bear, and fox Odd encounters are Norse gods, trapped in animal form by the evil frost giant who has conquered Asgard, the city of the gods. Now our hero must reclaim Thor's hammer, outwit the frost giants and release the gods...

First published in 2009, Odd and the Frost Giants has been reimagined by acclaimed artist Chris Riddell in the style of his epic black-and-white artwork from New York Times bestselling The Sleeper and the Spindle, enhanced here with metallic silver ink.

Author Notes

Neil Gaiman was born in Portchester, England on November 10, 1960. He worked as a journalist and freelance writer for a time, before deciding to try his hand at comic books. Some of his work has appeared in publications such as Time Out, The Sunday Times, Punch, and The Observer. His first comic endeavor was the graphic novel series The Sandman. The series has won every major industry award including nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, three Harvey Awards, and the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, making it the first comic ever to win a literary award.

He writes both children and adult books. His adult books include The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which won a British National Book Awards, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel for 2014; Stardust, which won the Mythopoeic Award as best novel for adults in 1999; American Gods, which won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX, and Locus awards; Anansi Boys; Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances; and The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction, which is a New York Times Bestseller. His children's books include The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish; Coraline, which won the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla, the BSFA, the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Bram Stoker awards; The Wolves in the Walls; Odd and the Frost Giants; The Graveyard Book, which won the Newbery Award in 2009 and The Sandman: Overture which won the 2016 Hugo Awards Best Graphic Story.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Using several figures from Norse mythology, Gaiman has written a thoughtful and quietly humorous fantasy that younger Percy Jackson fans will enjoy. Twelve-year-old Odd hasn't had a good couple of years: his father died rescuing a pony that fell overboard during a Viking raid, his leg was crippled during a tree-felling accident, and his mother married a man he dislikes. So, in the midst of what should be spring ("Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die"), he sets out for a cabin in the wilderness, figuring that anything will be better than home. Soon after arriving, a fox leads him to an enormous bear whose paw is caught in a tree; a large eagle circles overhead. Odd shows kindness and bravery when helping the bear, learning afterward that these three animals are gods who have been transformed by the Frost Giant. Odd is determined to help them, and his ultimate encounter with the Frost Giant is especially interesting, tweaking the tradition of small boys getting the better of giants. Readers will also enjoy Odd's interaction with the animals, Gaiman's simple and graceful writing, and the satisfying conclusion.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this simple but well-done tale, Newbery Medal-winner Gaiman (The Graveyard Book) introduces Odd, a boy with an injured leg whose Viking father died at sea. Odd befriends the Norse gods Odin, Thor and Loki, who have been transformed into animals and exiled from Asgard. The gods, having previously tricked and bested the Frost Giants, are now receiving some of their own medicine. Showing great ingenuity, Odd figures out how to reach Asgard and then convinces the Frost Giant that ruling Asgard isn't so great (after all, admits the giant, his prize, the beautiful goddess Freya, "only comes up to the top of my foot. She shouts louder than a giantess when she's angry. And she's always angry"). The gods and the giant, though powerful, come across as self-involved and vaguely simple-minded, clearly in need of a resourceful young fellow like Odd to help set things straight. Although less original than Coraline or The Wolves in the Walls, this enjoyable story should appeal to Gaiman's younger fans. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Intermediate) Odd, twelve, has run away from his dreary Viking settlement, seemingly trapped in desolate winter. After freeing a trapped bear, he learns that the bear and its companions -- a fox and a one-eyed eagle -- are really the Norse gods Thor, Loki, and Odin. A Frost Giant, coveting spring-goddess Freya, has done them this mischief, and blocked spring besides; only in Asgard can the gods regain their true shapes. Odd contrives a rainbow bridge to get them there, then reasons with the giant, who's finding his successful coup inconvenient: Freya, though lovely, is too small and feisty for him, and his brothers don't want to join his siege. There's an entertaining whiff of political commentary here, plus some effective conflict resolution: "I am trying...to allow you to go home with your honor intact and a whole skin," Odd points out, sweetening the deal with something beautiful for the grateful giant to take with him. Gaiman's narration is impeccable, with lots of monosyllables (the eagle utters nothing but: "Rage!" "Death!") and pithy descriptions ("Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die"). There's humor in many a turn of phrase. Even the most straightforward remarks are telling, while the framing story -- Odd's home life -- is resolved with a satisfying twist. Swift-moving yet thoughtful, a book to share aloud -- and then again. Helquist's eight full-page drawings, distinguished by their sturdy characterizations and angular drafting, deftly evoke Gaiman's wintry Norse world. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Gaiman does it again, this time featuring a lame young boy, talking animals and intrigue in Asgard. Originally written for World Book Day, this sweet, wistful, slyly funny novella also offers a crash course in ancient Norse mythology. Unlucky Odd lost his father during a Viking raid (but not to heroics) and then crushed his leg trying to be a man. When an endless winter descends, he leaves his stepfather's home and is recruited by talking animals who are actually Thor, Odin and Loki, exiled to earth by a Frost Giant. Odd ultimately outwits the giant in a way that upholds and yet totally subverts the trope, at the end returning home still humble but successful and clearly destined for more adventures. Like George R.R. Martin's The Ice Dragon (2006), this succeeds both as a delightful children's book and an adult collectible. Children will enjoy Odd's quiet heroism and the simple adventure; adults will love the squabbling gods and the strong women (and the Frost Giant's response to feisty Freya!). All in all, another winner. (final art not seen) (Fantasy. 8 up) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Not to be mistaken as a follow-up to this year's Newbery winner, The Graveyard Book, this thin novella was written for Britain's World Book Day, an event designed to get kids excited about reading, and is now being published in the U.S. It follows the adventures of a Viking lad named Odd, who grows weary of his little village and sets out on his own. He encounters a talking (and bickering) eagle, bear, and fox, who reveal themselves to be none other than Odin, Thor, and Loki, banished from Asgard by a monstrous frost giant. Odd takes it upon himself to help the trio return home, using his wits and sense of compassion to dispatch the giant. Along with Gaiman's deft humor, lively prose, and agile imagination, a few unexpected themes the double-edged allure of beauty, the value of family sneak into this slim tale with particular appeal to kids drawn to Norse mythology, but suitable for any readers of light fantasy. Yet more proof that there isn't much Gaiman can't write well, be it comics, picture books, or novels for any age. Final art not seen.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2009 Booklist