The Last Viking by Norman Jorgensen and illustrated James Foley. Published by Fremantle Press, ISBN 971921888106.
(A review copy of this book was sent to us by the publisher.)
Josh’s pop is always talking about ‘exciting stuff like Vikings, and Spitfires and Redcoats, though not usually when Nan’s around.’ Josh is staying with Nan and Pop for the holidays and that’s when he decides to become a Viking, and change his name to Knut. Although he’s not very brave, when trouble arrives, Josh summons up some Viking courage and discovers just how brave he really is.
If you don’t know anything about Vikings yet, you’ll know heaps about them by the time you finish The Last Viking. The illustrations are fun and cartoon-like and if you’re a super sleuth, you’ll notice that on some of the pages there are messages written in code—rune carvings. At the back of the book (on the endpapers) you’ll find the key to crack the code.
Keep an eye out for the ravens in the book, too. In Norse mythology they are Odin’s messengers, and in The Last Viking, they keep the Viking gods updated on Josh/Knut’s progress.
The Last Viking is an exciting adventure about courage, imagination and dealing with bullies.
Time to go a-viking!