Two Terrible Vikings and Grunt the Berserker


Hack gets a first glimpse of Grunt the Berserker when she attends the market. Although she does not want to go, neither does she want to stay behind and deal with chores, which is Whack’s preference. However trading cheese for salt and bowls is boring. She’s charged to trade or raid, but somehow the items on offer are so tempting. Then again, there’s honey cake, alongside the company of Twisty Pants and Dirty Ulf. However, only one of the young Vikings exchanges a cow for magic beans…

Then again, it seems Grunt the Berserker has inspired Thorkel the Stout to travel far away and open a school in Hack and Whack’s village. Although there are opinions that school is not necessary, the opportunity to have some time away from Two Terrible Vikings is too tempting for Hack and Whack’s parents. Despite his efforts Thorkel finds it hard to take any control of his classroom, until curses’ lessons begin. However they don’t last very long when there’s a bear man hammering at the classroom wall…

It’s another wall that causes Hack and Whack’s family distress, that’s their neighbour’s newly built privy backing right against their long house. Although Hack and Whack’s parents seek advice from the village chief, it seems the problem is their own. After all, nobody is willing or able to take on Grunt the Berserker. It seems he can rock up anywhere he wants. Even Bitey- Bitey is overwhelmed by Grunt’s dog, the fearsome Muddy Butt. However, everyone has something about which they’re scared. Might it be that Elsa Gold- Hair has an idea?

Bookwagon loves Two Terrible Vikings and Grunt the Berserker, a welcome sequel to Two Terrible Vikings and recommends it highly as a laugh-out-loud, entertaining reading choice for newer chapter book readers.

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Two Terrible Vikings and Grunt the Berserker

Francesca Simon, illustrated by Steve May

(Faber & Faber)

While Whack opts to stay at home and avoid chores, Hack heads to market with Bitey-Bitey. It seems she has cheese to trade for bowls and salt. However, Hack met up with Dirty Ulf and Twisty Pants and somehow the task changed. Not only were there honey cakes but it seems a trader offered Dirty Ulf magic beans for his mangy cow…
This is the first story in Two Terrible Vikings and Grunt the Berserker. However we are introduced to the unwanted neighbour who will shortly build his privy next to Hack and Whack’s longhouse. It seems this bear- man is the bane of Thorkel the Stout. Therefore he’s relieved to move villages and start a school well away from his nemesis. Although his new charges are ‘hooligans’, only stopping their ‘shouting and screaming and kicking and hitting’ when it’s time to learn curses. However a loud charge signals the unexpected arrival of Thorkel’s nemesis. Could it be Grunt the Berserker? Will Hack and Whack attend school again?
Bookwagon would go as far to say that this sequel to Two Terrible Vikings from Francesca Simon is almost more enjoyable than the opening book! It seems to have so many links to its setting, while the characters are as wild, selfish, greedy and plotting as ever. Bookwagon loves and recommends this very satisfying chapter book for newer readers.


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