Viking Adventure

Book cover: 'Viking Adventure'
Clyde Robert Bulla
Douglas Gorsline
Thomas Y. Crowell Company
Number of pages: 
117 pages
Grade / Age level: 

This book tells the story of Sigurd, a young Viking boy who hears his father tell tales of adventures sailing to far lands and longs for adventures of his own. It looks like his dreams may come true when his father's friend Gorm comes to his home and tells of his plan to sail for the legendary land of Wineland, west of Greenland.

The adventure soon takes an ominous turn as the ship encounters storms and the fears and dreams of the ship's owner, Halfred, who wants to turn back. The quarrel reaches a pitch between Gorm and Halfred, with murderous results that change Sigurd's life forever.

This book is one of many historical adventures written by Clyde Robert Bulla, and it is fast-paced and exciting like his others. Because of this, it might be a good book for an older reluctant reader. There is an interesting sub-plot about the value of the written word - at the beginning Sigurd refuses to learn to read and write because he doesn't see the point in his warrior culture, but in the end he changes his views when he has a valuable story to tell.

The terse style and fast pace is reminiscent of Norse sagas, and the lesson - that it takes hard work to become strong and skilled, and that even a warrior culture needs readers and writers - is a good one for a young person struggling to become literate. The reading level is probably about 2nd or early 3rd grade. I recommend this book for children ages 6 and up - a younger child could probably understand it, but might be upset by the fact that several main characters die during the course of the story.

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