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Odd and the Frost Giants

Last updated Sunday, April 26, 2015

Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Brett Helquist
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 0061671738
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2015

Synopsis: In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father perished in a Viking expedition; a tree fell on and shattered his leg; the endless freezing winter is making villagers dangerously grumpy.

Out in the forest Odd encounters a bear, a fox, and an eagle—three creatures with a strange story to tell. Now Odd is forced on a stranger journey than he had imagined—a journey to save Asgard, city of the gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it.

It's going to take a very special kind of twelve-year-old boy to outwit the Frost Giants, restore peace to the city of gods, and end the long winter. Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever.... Someone just like Odd .

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you heard of or seen the movie Thor? Who are the Frost Giants? Are Thor and the Frost Giants real?
•  Are the stories of the Viking Gods or Greek Gods real or fantasy?
•  Can you name some of the Viking Gods or Greek Gods? (from Percy Jackson movies/books)
•  fjord (fee-ord) - a long narrow, deep inlet of sea between high cliffs
•  infuriating - making one extremely angry and impatient, very annoying
•  insolently - boldly rude or disrespectful
•  terrain - land
•  mournful bellow - a sad cry or roar
•  mead - an alcoholic drink made from honey and water
•  warily - with caution
•  clambered - climbed
•  lope - gallop, run
•  trivial - small
•  impregnable - strong enough to withstand attack

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why do you think the animals chose Odd to help them?
•  If you had to be turned into an animal, what animal would you want to be? Why?
•  Why is Odd a brave and noble boy? Give examples (helping his mom, saving the bear out of the tree, feeding the animals, helping the Gods turn back....)
•  Would you have listened to the pretty girl alone at night? Why or why not?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of what you think a Frost Giant looks like.
•  Make Two Character Stick Puppets: Take a piece of construction paper and fold it hamburger style (short way); lightly trace a large figure eight or acorn squash on the folded paper and cut; you should have two figure eight or squash images; draw THOR on one piece and the BEAR on the other sheet; glue the two images to a popsicle stick back to back. Try making ODIN and the EAGLE (remember the eagle on has one eye and Odin wore a patch over one eye); LOKI and FOX puppet; you can also make ODD and FROST GIANT puppet and put on a show!

Special activities:
•  Have the kids act out scene from the book using the Stick Puppets.
•  Have the kids transform into an animal and act out what type of animal they are. Have the other kids guess what animal they transformed into.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!