|Legend of the dream giants
Author: Hansen, Dustin
An orphaned giant named Berg is in search of just one person he can call friend. But with every attempt he makes, people only see his massive size and cruelly chase him away, thinking he is Unhold--a giant and a monster. Whoever this Unhold is, Berg also fears him and hopes they never meet.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/01/22)
School Library Journal (03/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2022 Gr 4–7—Berg is a young giant living in a world where giants and trolls are feared and hunted by humans. He spends his days wandering the woods and into farmsteads, and trading forest-jewels and sometimes unsolicited favors in exchange for vegetables scavenged from gardens. One day, Berg is attacked by a group of humans and suffers a gunshot wound; he is saved from drowning by a mysterious older giant. Thinking that his rescuer is the infamous Ünhold, who is greatly feared by the humans, Berg flees to a new, walled town. There he meets a young girl named Anya who teaches him about the star-blue-sand he discovered in his rescuer's cave. Thinking that her welcome extends to all people in the town, Berg returns in the daylight only to be bound and chained, then pressed into service for Eisenstadt. This unique novel centers a young boy trying to navigate the world all on his own, not knowing the shifting rules of society or who can be trusted. The story takes the classic coming-of-age trope and transforms it into an untold fairytale. The secret of the star-blue-sand is slowly revealed alongside Berg's mysterious origins. Interspersed throughout the book are wordless comic panels depicting Berg's dreams of wolves/humans and their hunt and mistreatment of bears/giants. VERDICT A beautiful and minimalist depiction of growing up and overcoming naivety. Put this into the hands of readers who enjoyed Ryan Andrews's This Was Our Pact or Sarah Pennypacker's Pax.—Sara Brunkhorst - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2022 Author-illustrator Hansen has crafted a poignant work that speaks to fans of folklore and fairy tales while remaining wholly original. Berg, an orphaned giant, is used to his solitary life but longs for company—other than in his dreams. When, in search of friendship, he tries to interact with other creatures, they are frightened or distrusting of him, thanks to stereotypes of giants and monsters based in tales. Berg finally reaches a city where two very different individuals offer their friendship—a little girl named Anya, who shares dream-visions with Berg, and a mayor who applauds him for his strength and size—and Berg couldn’t be happier. But with an actual giant monster on the prowl, he must decide his own future and whom he surrounds himself with. Hansen’s evocative artwork and gorgeous, illustrative prose hearken back to epic fantasies with beautiful world building and many-faceted characters. Readers will feel empathy and affection for the lonely Berg, while also hoping he can pursue the relationships that seem safest and healthiest to him and his identity. Berg’s dreams appear in illustrated panels that feel otherworldly and ethereal, an effective pairing with this story of a fantastical realm. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.