When I first read about I Kill Giants at Nymeth’s and Amanda’s blogs, I thought it was a fantasy. Actually, fifth-grader Barbara Thorson is the only one living in a fantasy world. Barbara wears animal-ear headbands so she looks like a rabbit or a mouse in the illustrations. Playing Dungeons and Dragons is a escape from life for her, and when she says “I kill giants,” she means it, for in her imagination, her giants are fantastic wild creatures that must be overcome.
Her role as giant killer is quite apropos, given her surname. Thor was the god of thunder, wielding a giant hammer in his fight against giants. Barbara’s giants exist in real life, but they are genuine problems, and ones we can all relate to.
I love this blend of fantasy and realism. Barbara’s story of learning to fight her giants is both entertaining and emotionally draining. We cheer for this sarcastic yet zesty young girl because we can relate to both her imaginary world and her realistic world.Continue Reading