Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Farmer, Nancy.
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004.
IL 5-8, RL 4.2
ISBN 0689867441

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

In the year 793, eleven year old Jack must undertake a quest to drink from Mimir’s well to increase his powers and save his sister’s life.  She is the prisoner of a shape-shifting troll queen who will not release her until Jack has restored the queen’s beauty after his spell has gone awry. What he faces in troll country will test his bravery and whit, make him question his beliefs, and ultimately bring him home.  You will enjoy meeting Norse Jill, Ivar the Boneless, Queen Frith, and Olaf One-Brow, and you will cheer Jack on to the very end.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face committee, 2005-2006)

Bootkalk #2

Captured by the Northmen (Vikings), eleven-year-old Jack and his little sister, Lucy travel by sea to the home of Olaf One-Brow on the North Sea. Jack, an apprentice to a wizard, discovers that he needs more training when he causes the Viking Queen, Firth, to go bald. Along the journey to the Northland, the children and their kidnappers encounter dragons, trolls, giant owls, and a golden boar. Filled with Norse allusions, this book will appeal to die-hard fantasy fans.  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2006-2007)

Booktalk #3

Jack is 11 when he and his sister, Lucy are abducted by terrible berserkers, led by Olaf Onebrow. (read 90-91).  Berserkers murder innocent people and children, slaughter animals with no thought and to them this means they are great warriors.  The year is A.D. 793 and Jack is a young bard in training.  Jack is saved from being someone's dinner only by his gift of music and the little bit of magic the bard taught him before he was captured.  Jack and Lucy are destined to become slaves. Lucy's fate gets worse.  She is bound for the palace, to be given to the queen, who is an evil, hated, half-troll shape-shifter.  Even her own people loathe her but are afraid to confront her.  After months at sea, they land in the berserkers' village.  When things are settled, and Jack's slave collar is in place Olaf Onebrow and his crew are called to the castle.  Once great and mighty, King Ivar is now Boneless, as his people call him behind his back. Queen Frith has manipulated him until all that is left is a pile of flesh. Lucy is handed over, and Jack can do nothing.  Jack sings the praises for Olaf and things go well, until the queen requires him to sing a song for her.  Put on the spot Jack messes up, and messes up big.  During the song Jack is interrupted and Queen Frith's hair falls to the floor!  Enraged, the queen threatens to sacrifice Lucy in what would be a horrible death unless Jack can restore her hair.  This begins another adventure; filled with dragons, giant bears, trolls, poisonous flowers, giant spiders, and many other scary and dangerous creatures.  Will Jack save Lucy and will they ever make it back to their home?  Will Jack finish his bard training?  Is Jack's family still safe?  Read The Sea of Trolls to find out!  (Della Phipps, librarian,

SUBJECTS:     Mythology, Norse -- Fiction.
                        Druids and druidism -- Fiction.
                        Vikings -- Fiction.
                        Bards and bardism -- Fiction.
                        Saxons -- Fiction.
                        Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
                        Trolls -- Fiction.


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