MG Takes on Thursday

This is my new weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books. I hope others will enjoy taking part in this too!

How to take part:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence. 
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I’m celebrating …

Written by Cat Weldon
Illustrated by Katie Kear
Published by MacMillan

Favourite Sentence from Page 11:

They might be loud, they might be enthusiastic, but they were not in tune.

This book in three words:

VIKINGS, ADVENTURE, HILARIOUS

How to be a Hero is a brilliantly fun, action-packed fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse mythology, that kept me giggling throughout.  I just know that my class will love this and, as a Year 4 teacher who teaches about the Vikings, it will be brilliant as a class read to accompany our topic.

Whetstone wants to make something of himself in life, and has decided that being a thief is better than being a nobody.  Surrounded by singing Vikings, he manages to steal a magical cup, but it is not long before he is being chased by irate Vikings!  It doesn’t help that the cup likes reciting poetry – rather bad, but brilliantly funny poetry!  In a desperate bid to escape his pursuers, he buries the cup and hides in a barn … 

Meanwhile, Valkyrie-in-training Lotta’s training is not going quite as well as she had hoped, but she is determined to improve.  She must go on a mission to Midgard (Earth) to bring back a fallen hero to Valhalla, but her flying horse Thighbiter has other ideas …

Through a desperate need to fulfil her mission, Lotta and Whetstone meet … and so begins an hilarious, warm-hearted adventure filled with mishaps, discoveries, mean girls, a trickster and a dragon, not to mention the Norse Gods.  I loved how much I discovered about Norse mythology wrapped up in a brilliant bundle of fun – the perfect way to learn!  At the heart of the story, there is an intriguing mystery to solve which kept me turning page after page. 

Both Lotta and Whetstone are incredibly endearing characters:  unlikely heroes who find friendship, and the courage to overcome obstacles through quick-wit, determination and teamwork.  Through selfless acts, standing up for themselves and facing peril, they show true heroic qualities.

The illustrations that are included in the proof are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly, showing a real sense of fun and character. I’m definitely looking forward to buying a final copy and seeing all of the illustrations.

This is a perfect read for fans of the How to Train your Dragon series, and is one I have no doubt will become a firm favourite of young fans of rib-tickling, action-packed fantasy adventures.  I’m so looking forward to sharing this with my class when we start our Viking topic.

Thank you to MacMillan for a proof copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

I’d love if anyone who wants to give this meme a go would comment in the comments box and include a link to your post so I can visit, comment and find some great middle-grade recommendations. If you do create a post and are on Twitter, and would like to share your post, please use the hashtag  #MGTakesOnThursday so I can find it, read it and share it!

8 thoughts on “MG Takes on Thursday

    1. It’s such a fun read and I think there will be two more! I’m doing well – have settled to the new routine – really enjoying reading to the children at home and connecting with them through live catch-ups. Bi-weekly testing should start next week. How are you? 💚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m well thanks Mary. Just finishing my second week as a clinical outreach librarian with NHS, so on a very steep learning curve! Keeping in touch with my old school & retaining my love of children’s books too 😊 When life settles into a more normal pattern I hope to be doing some health literacy for schools outreach 🤞

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! That sounds like a wonderful and very important role Veronica – congratulations! I hope it’s going well for you. I’m glad you’re still managing to read and love children’s books. I think there’s a new Emma Carroll one coming out which looks great!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am lucky to have joined an absolutely wonderful team and I’ll be able to use all my school experience in the health literacy part of my role. I can’t wait for the new Emma Carroll, I believe it’s set in the 1960s, so positively modern by her standards! Hope you have a lovely weekend 😊💚

        Liked by 1 person

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