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The Race of the Birkebeiners Hardcover – Sep 24 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; None edition (Sept. 24 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618103139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618103133
  • Product Dimensions: 28.9 x 23.9 x 0.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,041,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on Aug. 24 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a gorgeous book with illustrations that are breathtaking in their beauty. As for the content, it is a fascinating story. The Christian content of the book is not as inappropriate as a previous review made it seem. No more so than any of the other well-done books centered on other religions. The violence is not troublesome , either, unless one expects their children to be in a position to carry red hot irons at home or school! I would hope that when exposing children to the many facets and experiences the world has to offer, we don't deprive them of wonderful books such as these simply to conform to a contemporary politically correct outlook.
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Format: Hardcover
The Birkebeiners were peasants and fierce warriors in the Middle Ages whose King sat on the throne of Norway. Their rivals, the Baglers, were rich noblemen who wanted to claim the throne for themselves. In 1206, the King had died and left behind an infant son, Prince Hakon. His Queen, Inge, hid her baby for over a year to keep him safe, but as the Baglers became stronger, and threatened the life of the prince, she realized it was time to travel north to Nidaros where the Birkebeiners would protect them, and the prince could take his rightful place on the throne. She asked the priest, Sira Trond, for help, and he gathered the best and bravest men of his small village. To outwit the Baglers, this small band of Birkebeiners decided to ski over the mountains at the darkest, coldest, most dangerous time of the year, braving fierce storms to bring their Queen and baby Prince to safety..... Take a slice of engaging medieval history, add beautiful and evocative artwork, and you have The Race Of The Birkebeiners. Based on Sturla Tordsson's account of the escape and rescue of Norway's future King Hakon, written in 1264, Lise Lunge-Larsen has authored a compelling picture book that's sure to mesmerize youngsters with its powerful story. Her dramatic text is full of atmosphere and suspense, and begs to be read aloud. Mary Azarian's rich, bold and colorful woodcut illustrations transport the reader back to Medieval times, and on this long ago journey over mountains, through snowstorms, and darkness to safety. With an afterword detailing King Hakon's reign, Norway's Golden Years, and how the Birkebeiners are still honored today for their bravery and heroism, this is an exceptional and captivating story children 5-9 shouldn't miss.
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By A Customer on Nov. 1 2001
Format: Hardcover
We collect all books beautiful for our home education library,
this was another excellent find. Mary Azarian is an all-time favorite; Lise Lunge-Larsen tells the story with suspence and
wonder. Historical intrique for both boys & girls...a great example of Medieval times that take place somewhere other than
English countryside. This family appreciates the colorful text
that will surely enhance language skills. Holiday gift or for
home education, this one is a MUST HAVE!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "desertviking" on Feb. 4 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is beautifully illustrated and the language developmentally appropriate for children as young as four, but my six-year old niece was horrified when Queen Inga goes through the "Trial of Irons" (carrying red hot iron bars from one end of the church to the other). Also, we are not a Christian family, and I found the continual references to the Church and God and miracles overbearing and preachy, even if they are in keeping with the original saga. I would suggest parents use caution before ordering this book, as gorgeously done as it is.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Norwegian Miracle..... Jan. 22 2002
By Roz Levine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Birkebeiners were peasants and fierce warriors in the Middle Ages whose King sat on the throne of Norway. Their rivals, the Baglers, were rich noblemen who wanted to claim the throne for themselves. In 1206, the King had died and left behind an infant son, Prince Hakon. His Queen, Inge, hid her baby for over a year to keep him safe, but as the Baglers became stronger, and threatened the life of the prince, she realized it was time to travel north to Nidaros where the Birkebeiners would protect them, and the prince could take his rightful place on the throne. She asked the priest, Sira Trond, for help, and he gathered the best and bravest men of his small village. To outwit the Baglers, this small band of Birkebeiners decided to ski over the mountains at the darkest, coldest, most dangerous time of the year, braving fierce storms to bring their Queen and baby Prince to safety..... Take a slice of engaging medieval history, add beautiful and evocative artwork, and you have The Race Of The Birkebeiners. Based on Sturla Tordsson's account of the escape and rescue of Norway's future King Hakon, written in 1264, Lise Lunge-Larsen has authored a compelling picture book that's sure to mesmerize youngsters with its powerful story. Her dramatic text is full of atmosphere and suspense, and begs to be read aloud. Mary Azarian's rich, bold and colorful woodcut illustrations transport the reader back to Medieval times, and on this long ago journey over mountains, through snowstorms, and darkness to safety. With an afterword detailing King Hakon's reign, Norway's Golden Years, and how the Birkebeiners are still honored today for their bravery and heroism, this is an exceptional and captivating story children 5-9 shouldn't miss.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Winter Wonderful Nov. 1 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We collect all books beautiful for our home education library,
this was another excellent find. Mary Azarian is an all-time favorite; Lise Lunge-Larsen tells the story with suspence and
wonder. Historical intrique for both boys & girls...a great example of Medieval times that take place somewhere other than
English countryside. This family appreciates the colorful text
that will surely enhance language skills. Holiday gift or for
home education, this one is a MUST HAVE!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Book Aug. 23 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a gorgeous book with illustrations that are breathtaking in their beauty. As for the content, it is a fascinating story. The Christian content of the book is not as inappropriate as a previous review made it seem. No more so than any of the other well-done books centered on other religions. The violence is not troublesome , either, unless one expects their children to be in a position to carry red hot irons at home or school! I would hope that when exposing children to the many facets and experiences the world has to offer, we don't deprive them of wonderful books such as these simply to conform to a contemporary politically correct outlook.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Traditional Story and Artwork Jan. 20 2007
By J. Ireland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What a joy it was to read this book beside the fire with my friends and family. A unique and wonderful story of Christmas from a distant place in history.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful!!!! May 18 2006
By An avid reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. Having lived and traveled in Norway, this book brought that special feeling of the lonely Hytter on the Fjell back. I am not a child but I still love the beautiful illustrations and historically accurate portrayals of medieval Norwegian life including the deep faith of the people.

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