Reviews for Heroes of the Valley : Library Edition


School Library Journal Reviews 2009 June

Gr 5 Up--Jonathan Stroud's fantasy (Hyperion, 2009) tells of young Halli Sveinsson who longs for the heroic life he hears about in sagas. Short, homely, and a misfit in his well-ordered society, Halli takes revenge for his uncle's murder. Then, with the help of Aud, a girl who is equally out of place but who doubts the old legends, tests and ultimately confronts the truth about the heroic exploits of his ancestor, Sven, who defeated the flesh-eating Trows. British narrator David Thorn makes clear the distinction between the introductory passages which recount the ancient saga of Sven and Halli's story by using distinct pitch, cadence, and tone. However, Thorn does not clearly distinguish the voices of Halli and Aud as well as those of some of the minor characters so that it is often difficult to know who is speaking. There are a few sentences in the audiobook version that differ slightly from the print version. Stroud's many fans will enjoy this tale.--Louise L. Sherman, formerly Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ

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