post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Viking Adventure
Author: Clyde Robert Bulla
Major Themes: Easy Readers, Exploration, Vikings, Vineland
Synopsis: Sigurd, a young Viking boy, goes on a voyage of exploration to find the land that Leif Ericson had discovered a hundred years earlier.
My oldest memory of Viking Adventure is from well over 30 years ago. My younger sister found this book in our local public library, and read it. She checked it out many times after that, and read it again each time—apparently, she really liked this book!
Sigurd is a young Viking boy living in Norway. His father teaches him all the things a Viking boy must learn—how to swim, how to shoot a bow and arrow, how to climb a rope…. He can’t teach him how to fight, though, until he fetches a slightly older cousin to their home to fight Sigurd.
One day, Sigurd’s father’s friend Gorm, who saved his father’s life once, came to their home. Gorm was making preparations to go on a voyage to the land across the sea which Leif Ericson had discovered a hundred years before. He wants Sigurd’s father to go along, but he refuses. Sigurd begs to go in his stead, and finally receives permission. Will Sigurd be able to return home, though, after there is treachery and betrayal on the ship?
Although I like the way Viking life and exploration are made memorable in this story, I don’t like the violence. Sigurd was taught to fight; later in the story there is a murder. One thing I did appreciate was the way Sigurd learned there is value in knowing how to read and write. So, I recommend this story for young readers—but with caution and discussion of Jesus’ teachings about violence and fighting.