Book review: The Runaway, by Kate O’Hearn

O’Hearn. Kate. The Runaway. (Valkyrie series, book 2) Aladdin, 2014. 362 pgs. $17.99. ISBN: 978-1-4814-4740-9. Gr. 6+. P8 Q8

This is the second book in the Valkyrie series and what a book it is. Action from the get go and I was so absorbed in it I did not realize that it was the second book; it can definitely stand on its own merits. Set in the city of Asgard, where Odin is the ruler, Freya is a young reaper who is being punished for defying Odin. Her punishment is to clean the stables daily. A competition between the nine separate realms, sort of like the Olympics, is take place soon and Freya thinks she will not be allowed to attend. Odin does allow her to participate in the tug of war completion, where Dirian, a dark searcher, kills her. He loathes Freya for having shamed him in front of other dark searchers. Freya is a reaper and collects people as they die. A dark reaper is a winged man who pledges himself to to Odin and collects those who go astray. Freya returns to life and is ordered by Odin to bring a Valkyrie back to Asgard, as a war between the realms is rumored to take place.

Verdict: I cannot wait for the next book in this series; it is necessary read for all who love action packed mythology literature.

April 2017 review by Carol Bernardi.

Book review: Explore Norse Myths! With 25 Great Projects, by Anita Yasuda, illustrated by Bryan Stone

Yasuda, Anita. Explore Norse Myths! With 25 Great Projects. (Series: Explore Your World). Illus. Bryan Stone. Nomad, 2015. $14.95. 96p. 9781619303201. Ages 7-10. P6Q7

Yasuda Explore Norse MythsFollowing the pattern of this series with timeline, glossary, index, informational sidebars, and activities, the book presents information not only about the Scandinavian myths but also facts about the people and culture in the place before the 12th century. Activities are more entertaining that in some of the other books in the series, incorporating art, math, and science as well as literature. Although one of the cartoons shows a stereotypical view of Native Americans, the book is a welcome addition to curriculum.

April 2016 review by Nel Ward.