Books

The Stranger's grave

Author
Widmark, Martin
Illustrator
Vänehem, Mats
Swedish title
Främlingens grav
Series
Halvdan the viking
Category
Children \ Fiction 6-9
Pub Date
Jun 18, 2012
Format
128 pages, 148 x 210 mm, b/w illustrations

Martin Widmark has piled on the action in a series of thrilling tall stories about the young boy who lands in one adventure after another, together with his friend Meia.

The stranger’s grave is the second part of the series Halvdan the Viking. Halvdan has been living in Östbyn for a few years. He was actually supposed to have gone with his dad on a Viking voyage, but a serious injury to his foot meant that he was left behind in the village, with the smith Björn. Halvdan is not very big and walks with a limp but he is brilliant at writing poetry. Which is something he has a lot of scope for on his many adventures, where he has to win the trust of some brutish Vikings.

In The stranger’s grave Halvdan hears talk of the Stranger who came to Östbyn one blustery autumn day a long time ago. And who left behind a treasure that was buried somewhere in the graveyard but nobody knows where. Halvdan sneaks out there one night but he is not alone...

Halvdan is taken prisoner and when he finds out who is behind it - and why - he needs to save the village from devastation. And in order to do that he first has to find the Stranger’s grave. And fast!

This is what Martin Widmark himself says about writing about the Viking era: "Writing for children about our sometimes violent and greedy ancestors involves wavering between respect and disgust. Respect for their courage and boatbuilding skills for example and disgust at their blood sacrifices, raiding and slave trading. But trying to avoid these components was not an option.