This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise…

The Race of the Birkebeiners

by Lise Lunge-Larsen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
894198,223 (3.86)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 4 of 4
This story is about the legend of the King of Norway and the ski race that is held each year in remembrance of his reign. The legend is important because of the great sacrifice and risk a group of men and women took to save the king from the Bagelers when he was just a baby. It is set in the year of 1206.
  wunderlong88 | Sep 3, 2018 |
Genre: Folklore, Legends
THis story is about the legend of the King of Norway and the ski race that is held each year in remembrance of his reign. The legend is important because of the great sacrifice and risk a group of men and omen took to save the king from the Bagelers when he was just a baby. It is set in the year of 1206 and the vocabulary is fairly difficult for young readers. It teaches a few Norwegian words, but it also uses English words that students would need to look up or look for contextual clues to figure out. The media is wood carving with acrylic painting over it. ( )
  gmorgan14 | Feb 24, 2016 |
I loved this book and think it is an important read for both children and adults due to its tale of self-sacrifice for the greater good. In this story, many brave and noble warriors risk their lives and the lives of their immediate and future families to save the one life that had the potential to rescue all lives. Lunge-Larsen’s retelling of this honorable historic event reopened my eyes to the possibilities of mankind once our objectives and minds become one. I absolutely adore how this book could expose children to what it means to act as one unit and to become a part of a family other than their immediate families. I also love how the author places nobility, humility, love, and service over wealth and greed, which is evident when Lunge-Larsen explains how the king’s loyal men (the birkebeiners) “despised the Baglers, those rich nobles and false bishops who wanted to line their pockets with the peasants’ money.” Wait, it gets even better. The illustrations are child-friendly; yet portray elements of reality such as snowstorms, the ambiance of the situation, and even the temperature of a cozy barn. ( )
  Amy_Ko | Sep 2, 2015 |
Since the death of their king, Baglers, men who wanted wealth through greed, were on the lookout for the former king’s son. Now, the men who were loyal to the king, birkebeiners, needed to protect their prince and keep him safe. They must fight the fierce winter snowstorm and save the baby prince. However, even after the storm ended, Baglers spread rumors about the prince was not real. The prince’s mother, Igna goes through religious trial to prove that he is the rightful king.

The story teaches the readers about birkebeiners and their heroic actions as well as what a mother can go through to save her son. It uses relatively simple vocabulary, mixed with some Norwegian words. Some of these words have pronunciations written next to them and it will be easy for readers to sound out these words.

The unique illustrations are done with woodcuts and watercolors. The illustrator uses different symbols and knots for borders that reflect the Norwegian culture. The illustrations follow the flow of the story and through it, the readers will know of the difficult journey through the snowstorm. Also, the illustrations portray what Norway would have looked like when Prince Hakon was alive.

This is a great book for young and old readers to learn about the history of Prince Hakon and the tales of his escape. ( )
  jinmoon | Oct 7, 2012 |
Showing 4 of 4
An infant prince whose life is sought by enemies of the king, a dangerous rescue mission over the mountains on skis, a blizzard, nothing to eat but snow .... This true 13th-century story is sure to captivate young readers. ... The drama of this carefully told tale and its setting in the Middle Ages are powerfully rendered in Azarian's striking woodcuts. ... Adults may be more disturbed than children by the Ordeal of the Burning Irons that Inga must endure to prove her son's royalty, but all readers will be fascinated by the details of this gratifying story.
added by CourtyardSchool | editLibrary Talk, Jan Aldrich Solow (Mar 1, 2002)
[Starred Review] ... Caldecott winner Azarian's (Snowflake Bentley) finely detailed woodcut illustrations, hand-tinted with watercolors, capture the serene snow-covered landscape as well as the driving snowstorm that impedes the travelers' progress. In direct and compelling prose, Lunge-Larsen recounts how the two Birkebeiners most renowned for their skiing ability forge ahead with the prince, fortuitously happen upon a barn buried under a snowdrift and manage to keep the baby alive by feeding him snow. In a concluding note, the author explains that Håkon became Norway's most powerful king during the Middle Ages and brought peace and prosperity to the country, making this rescue tale all the more gratifying. ...
added by CourtyardSchool | editPublishers Weekly (Sep 3, 2001)
K-Gr 5 --This Norwegian legend, based on an actual event from the 13th century, has it all: an infant prince in peril, loyal Birkebeiners out to save him from the enemy Baglers, blizzard conditions and an escape on skis, and potential starvation. ... Despite some hard-to-pronounce names (Skervald Skrukka, Torstein Skevla), the prose is clear and the story is engaging. The saga is exciting but the illustrations truly make this book stand out. ... This adventure is a worthy selection for all folklore collections.
added by CourtyardSchool | editSchool Library Journal, Anne Chapman Callaghan (Sep 1, 2001)
... [The author and illustrator] combine their considerable talents to retell a dramatic true story of the Norwegian Birkebeiners (“Birchleggers”), a group of medieval peasant warriors who wrapped birchbark around their legs in lieu of armor before going into battle. In 1206, two of the Birkebeiners saved the infant Prince Hakon by skiing across the mountains in a blizzard.... The baby became one of Norway’s most famous kings, and the Birkebeiner ski race is still reenacted annually in both Norway and the US. Lunge-Larsen relates the story with the dramatic flair of a professional storyteller, and Azarian’s dazzling handtinted woodcuts provide a natural artistic accompaniment to a story set in the Middle Ages. ...
added by CourtyardSchool | editKirkus Reviews (Sep 1, 2001)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0618103139, Hardcover)

Imagine the bravest, fiercest Norwegian warriors that ever lived, carrying a baby prince across blizzard-wracked mountains to save his life. Picture the babe's mother undergoing a cruel, brutal test to prove her son is indeed the bona fide prince of Norway. A fairy tale? No, this is a true story, based on the account written in 1264 by Sturla Tordsson, about the Middle Ages' most powerful king during what are known as Norway's Golden Years. Norwegian-born author Lise Lunge-Larsen tells the story of this king's miraculous adventure in infancy, while woodcut artist Mary Azarian stunningly depicts the heroism of the birch-bark armored peasant warriors, the Birkebeiners.

Mary Azarian was awarded the Caldecott Medal for her lovely woodcut illustrations in Snowflake Bentley. Lunge-Larsen is the award-winning author of The Troll with No Heart in His Body and The Legend of the Lady Slipper. (Ages 4 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Tells how the infant Prince Hakon is rescued by men fiercely loyal to his dead father, who ski across the rugged mountains in blizzard conditions to save him from his enemies, the Baglers.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.86)
2 1
3 1
4 3
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 132,658,104 books! | Top bar: Always visible