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Rover by Jackie French
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403285,656 (3.85)1
(1) 2007 (1) adventure (1) CF (1) children's fiction (1) collection (1) dog (1) dogs (4) fantasy (2) fiction (1) grade 7 (2) grade 8 (2) HC (1) historical fiction (3) J Fiction (2) library (1) medieval (1) middle school (1) mmscl (1) mythology (2) nordic (1) novel (1) Scotland (1) ships (1) slavery (1) slaves (3) to-read (4) Vikings (8) witches (1) YA (5)

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This is one of the nominees for the Maine Student Book Award. It was a okay book. I prefer her one of her picture books, Diary of a Wombat. The author also uses footnotes throughout the book to clarify certain Viking terms that might be confusing. I could see why maybe teachers would really like this, but I found it to be a bit distracting.

The book is called Rover, which is the name of the dog. The main character is Hekja, the dog's owner. She lives a quiet life on an island until it is attacked by Vikings. She manages to outrun almost everyone but is captured by Freja and taken as a thrall. What happens to her after she is captured is the basis of the rest of the book. There is some mild romance at the end, which I sort of knew was going to happen the second the male character was introduced. There is sort of a romantic rival, and he is really easily done away with.

I do not think this book will win at all. ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is a story about a young Scottish girl, Hekja and her dog, Rikki Snarfari who are kidnapped by Vikings and taken with them on long voyages to Iceland and beyond to Vinland. It is based on real people and events that happened around 1000 A.D. that are told in the famous Icelandic sagas. Even though I read this book to review it for Young Adult readers, I really enjoyed reading it because I love to read Nordic and European tales set in this era. The author does an excellent job of bringing that era to life for the younger reader. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in strong female characters and adventure. However, the author doesn’t hold back on realistic depictions of violence and the harsh realities of life during that time. I found that I was a bit squeamish at some points in the book and think because of those I would recommend that this book be read by kids older than 13. ( )
  Heidi001 | Aug 7, 2009 |
As an adult, I enjoyed this story, but the part of the book when Hekja is captured (instead of killed) by the Vikings is very gruesome and it includes seeing her own mother killed. There's a lot of blood in that part of the book. There's also another battle scene toward the end of the book, as well as inferences to other more mature themes. I wouldn't reccomend this book to anyone younger than 13. ( )
  jnogal | May 8, 2008 |
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To Lily, a dog of total loyalty and perfect manners
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060850787, Hardcover)

He was just a fat runt of a puppy. He didn't look much like his namesake, Mighty Rover, but when the witch gave Riki Snarfari his True Name, it stuck.

She was just a poor farm girl. She lived alone with her mother in a quiet seaside village and spent her days running after the cows.

When Viking raiders attack, both are taken as prisoners. The Viking ways are strange: their huts grander, their food richer, their dreams bigger. Freydis, their leader, is a bold Viking woman who bows before no man. Like her people, she can be intelligent and shockingly brave one minute, then heartlessly brutal the next.

Behind Hekja there is pain, but ahead is an open sea, and a remarkable adventure for one girl and her dog. As they sail on to Iceland, Greenland, and beyond, a runner and a rover must finally find their home.

Vividly real, masterfully conceived, and rich with larger-than-life characters, Jackie French's rover is a voyage to a world of intrigue, discovery, and surprise.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)

Captured by Vikings, young Hekja is taken as a slave to Greenland by the daughter of Erik the Red, and accompanied by no one from her homeland but her loyal dog, shares adventures with her new mistress, who is determined to make a name for herself as her father and brother have.… (more)

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