After a couple of disappointing reads I had to go with someone I can trust and so I turned to Neil Gaiman. I picked up his latest kids book Odd And The Frost Giants.
In it the titular Odd, his name means edge of a blade in old Norse, is a 12 year old boy with a gimpy leg. He lives with his mother, step-father and step siblings in a Norse village. Odd feels out of place in his step-father's house so he decides to leave home. On his journey he encounters three talking animals, a fox, bear and eagle who involve him in an epic adventure in which he will have to travel to Asgard, the home of the Norse gods and defeat the Frost Giants so that Spring will return to Midgard (Earth).
As this is a book targeted towards kids it weighs in at a mere 128 pages which makes it a quick, albeit enjoyable read. The moral of the story is quite excellent as it shows young children that regardless of the fact they are young/small/weak they can still make a difference. The juxtaposition of the young child's feeling of weakness is exacerbated by the fact that the villain is a giant. To resolve the conflict Odd has to rely on his wits instead of physical strength.
I really did enjoy this book and I rate it as a buy for folks with young kids. I have to work on my voices a bit more before I read it to Anna. I have a pretty good handle on the bear, eagle and frost giant but my fox sure needs some work.