|That's me holding the Viking shield with Marr on the left and Armstrong on the right|
On Monday, May 19th, we were treated to a visit by authors, Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong. They are friends and co-authors of the series, Blackwell Pages, which is a trilogy telling a fast-paced adventure story about some kids who are descendants of the Norse gods. The story explains how these descendants of Thor and Loki join together to find a way to save the world from destruction during Ragnarok. The authors spoke to the entire sixth grade and seventh grade classes in two presentations. That made it easy for me because I could take lots of pictures during the first presentation, and then concentrate on what they were saying the second time around. I am not always the best multi-tasker.
|Seventh graders listen intently|
Both authors have many books for older teens, but this series is designed for the middle grades. The impetus of these books was threefold. First was their own children--their sons wanted them to write books with great adventures that have a connection to mythology. The two authors have been friends for a long time and wanted a chance to work together. Thirdly, both of these women love monsters. So they put their brains together to come up with a story that would appeal to boys, have lots of action and would play on their interest in Scandinavian folklore.
|Kelley explains how monsters were created from found bones|
Armstrong and Marr also spoke about Norse mythology and Viking lore. Do you see the boy in the helmet in the picture above? Vikings never had horns on their helmets. They looked much like what you see above made of leather or metal. Also, the shield that you see above was commissioned by the authors to be made in the style of a true Viking shield. This particular one is child-sized. Marr said that the adult-sized one that they also had commissioned is almost too heavy for her to even lift. The metal plate that you see in the center can be used for either offense or defense. Check out the pictures below where Marr spars with several students to show just how the shield could be used in battle.
|See how the shield protects your mid-section and organs|
|The shield could be used to break the arm of your enemy|
|That shield is pretty cool|
|The size of the shield helps to protect your body|
|Showing how the shield can be a weapon|
|Defending oneself from stabbing|