The Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise Lunge-Larsen

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When they went into battle they wore no costly armor, just birchbark wrapped around their legs, and so they were called Birkebeiners, which means “Birchleggers.” It is the year 1206, and deep in the snow-covered mountains and valleys of Norway the fiercest warriors in the land struggle to ski a baby to safety. They race against the greed and inequity of the rich, against the very weather of Norway. They race as the only way to save a child prince and bring peace to their country.
Here is a true, untold story of both bravery and tenderness. Mary Azarian’s strong, sure woodcuts capture the warmth and ruggedness of medieval life, while Lise Lunge-Larsen’s dramatic telling is direct and mesmerizing.

About Lise Lunge-Larsen

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Lise Lunge-Larsen is an award-winning author and a professional storyteller. Born and raised in Norway, she lives with her family in the hills of Duluth, Minnesota. Caldecott Medalist Mary Azarian is a consummate gardener and a skilled and original woodblock artist. Many of her prints are heavily influenced by her love of gardening, and her turn-of-the-century farmhouse is surrounded by gardens that reveal an artist's vision. Mary Azarian received the 1999 Caldecott Medal for SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. She lives, skis, and gardens in Vermont.
Published September 24, 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Norwegian-born storyteller Lunge-Larsen (The Troll With No Heart in His Body, 1999, etc.) and Caldecott Medalist Azarian (A Gardener’s Alphabet, 2000, etc.) combine their considerable talents to retell a dramatic true story of the Norwegian Birkebeiners (“Birchleggers”), a group of medieval peasa...

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Publishers Weekly

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In direct and compelling prose, Lunge-Larsen recounts how the two Birkebeiners most renowned for their skiing ability forge ahead with the prince, fortuitously happen upon a barn buried under a snowdrift and manage to keep the baby alive by feeding him snow.

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