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Book Details

How to Be a Hero How to Be a Hero
Cat Weldon

Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 9781529045031
Published: 01/21/2021
Price: £6.99

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'Genuinely funny and thrilling' - Amanda Craig A no-good viking thief. The worst-ever trainee valkyrie. An ungodly case of mistaken identity. When failing trainee valkyrie Lotta mistakes an unconscious viking thief, Whetstone, for a fallen hero and takes him triumphantly to Valhalla, things are definitely not turning out to be epic or glorious. Having lost a precious talking cup, Whetstone is also desperate to cover up his mistake and the two embark on a quarrelsome journey to find it and regain their heroic status. But Loki the trickster God is desperate to get his hands on the cup with a plan to unleash chaos across the nine worlds. Can Whetstone prove himself a hero after all when it matters most? The first in a hilarious and fast-paced trilogy about how to be brave, what it means to be a hero and just how confusing the Norse Gods really are. Fully illustrated throughout, Cat Weldon's How to Be a Hero is perfect for fans of How to Train Your Dragon and Who Let the Gods Out.

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Lotta is not finding it easy training to be a Valkyrie. She knows the challenge of capturing a fallen hero among the Vikings will be difficult. Meanwhile, Whetstone, a human who feels invisible down in Krud, has had his head turned by the promise of fame and fortune if he steals a jewelled cup in the Viking Great Hall during a feast.
But both mess up their tasks, with Lotta bring Whetstone into Asgard thinking he was dead. When it is discovered that he was only asleep and that Lotta had almost broken the Valkyrie rule of bringing a live human into Valhalla, both are in trouble.

This trouble isn't lessened when, working together in an attempt to retrieve the jeweled cup - which turns out is magic - they lose a vital Dwarf harp, wake up a bored dragon and anger Loki, the trickster, who wants the cup for himself. How can they get out of this misfortune if Whetstone is not the hero Lotta thought him to be?

Lotta and Whetstone are both striving to be better than they feel they are. They crave being recognised and praised as neither have experienced much of this. The other characters involve well known mythological Gods and their followers, the action fast-paced, so will Whetstone save the day?

This is the first in a trilogy. So just when the reader thinks Whetstone has succeeded, his task gets bigger and we can expect more trouble from Loki. But there's humour and suspense and Katie Kear's fabulous line drawings add to that enjoyment.

This will attract KS2 readers who enjoy adventure stories with a purpose and appreciate the intricacies of the Norse Gods of the Viking era. So it's great for school project work, but a laugh-out-loud adventure in its own right.

256 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Dawn Woods, school librarian
Dawn Woods

I would rate this book 5/5 because it's one of those comedy books: I LOVE THEM and the illustrations are extraordinary! It's like How to Train Your Dragon but more comedic. I would recommend this book and want more people to experience Cat Weldon's writing. If you like funny books, or adventure stories, then you would like this.

I was reading How to be A Hero by Cat Weldon. It's a beautifully told story by a wonderful author. I loved this book and I couldn't put it down! I felt like I was on a journey with Lotta and Whetstone (the protagonist). I rated this book 4.75 out of 5 - it was really close to a 5! It is a mythological fantasy adventure. I would recommend it to people who love mythology and want to learn more about it, or people who like fantasy. It's not a book I would normally read but I really enjoyed it.

I would rate this book 4.5/5 because it is adventurous and different to other books. I would recommend this book to my friends because I feel like they would like it. My favourite part was when Flee and Flay got in trouble at the end and my favourite character was Lotta.

I love this book. I would give it five stars. Whetstone and a trainee Valkyrie called Lotta go on a quest to get the golden cup. It is a Viking book that I really enjoyed. I would recommend it for How to Train your Dragon lovers.

This book is an amazing book about Vikings, Gods and lots more. It is about a boy called Whetstone and a companion (a trainee Valkyrie called Lotta). They embark on an adventure through different worlds. I would recommend this to people age 8 or over, who are fans of How to Train Your Dragon. This book was adventure-packed and pretty satisfying.

If you enjoy stories such as How to Train your Dragon and Who let the Gods out?, then this is a book for you! A story of a Viking 'would-be' thief / hero.

Whetstone (it's all in the name!), who hails from the village of Drott, is an orphan who has been 'cared for' by Angrboda (referred to, by Whetstone, as 'The Angry Bogey'), and who is unsure of what happened to his parents. He wants fame, fortune and minstrels to sing songs about him, so he comes under the influence of Light Finger and the boy Vali. They promise that by stealing the Cup from Awfulrik - the Chief of Krud - Whetstone's dreams will come true.

Lotta is a trainee Valkyrie (third class), who carries Whetstone to Asgard, mistaking him for being dead and desperately needing to take a hero back with her to Valhalla. Their encounter with Nidhogg, the dragon from the Land of Niflheim (the lowest and darkest of the 9 worlds supported by Yggdrasil, and the final destination of Vikings who have died in embarrassing or cowardly ways), is just the beginning of their problems.

There are many Viking Gods to meet along the way - Odin and Loki to name but two - some troublesome twins (Flee and Flay), not to mention strange Vikings with names to match their appearance.

A lively read from Cat Weldon, with many names and references that children will love. Possibility of a sequel, or maybe a series?

256 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Donna Ritchie, teacher
Donna Ritchie

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