The Norse pagan religion has some of the most captivating stories out there. Nordic gods are mortal and they have a wide range of emotions and real-life adventures. One of their most appealing qualities is they can be screw-ups!
I have been a parent for 38 years, an auntie, a homeschool mom, and public school teacher. Books are a part of my life. Learning about the Norse gods not only gives us a glimpse of their world but teaches us many life lessons.
The following is a list of books I have read with children and my pagan perspective on them. Hopefully, you can use the information to decide which books are right for the children in your family. Books are in alphabetical order by author just to simplify matters.
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D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths
by Ingri d'Aulaire & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
This book and others from the authors are famously popular with classical homeschoolers and traditional educators. I can remember devouring it when I was young - it was first published in 1967. Overall a decent book but somewhat stylistically outdated.
Written at a 3rd -4th-grade independent reading level D’Aulaires Book of Norse Myths is a good introduction to Norse Mythology. They don’t remove all the violence so the tales are for the most part true to their origins. However, they are scaled back for younger readers.
As a pagan parent, the seeping in of a Christian worldview is clear. This is very marked in the last chapter entitled “A New World” which ends with a one god, Adam & Eve style of a new beginning. There is also a subtle attitude of sexism in some chapters which you may wish to counter.
Interested in learning more about Norse Paganism? Read our article Simple Guide To Become A Norse Pagan
Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge
By Donna Napoli and Illustrated by Christina Balit
This book is published by National Geographic so as you might guess it is a mix of lore and factual information. There are several boxes with pictures of artifacts and information about the ancient Nordic culture.
The illustrations in Treasury of Norse Mythology are excellent. Colorful but with almost a primitive feel (in my opinion). However, there is quite a bit of commentary by the author which sometimes I found distracting to the stories.
In addition, you may not agree with her comments and I found her tone somewhat condescending.
Written at a 3rd - 6th-grade independent level it would also be a great read-aloud for families. That way you could omit or offer your own perspective on her comments.
Don't have time or like to read? There are lots of wonderful books on Audible including Norse Mythology for kids and Neil Gaiman's books!
By Matt Ralphs Illustrated by Katie Ponder
I love the visuals in this book which not only illustrate the characters but the home of the gods. For instance, there is a full-spread drawing of the nine worlds of Yggdrasil and illustrations of the gods describing their correspondences.
I also appreciate the female positivity and insight into mythological creatures. It includes a pronunciation guide in the back which will be helpful to young readers. The grade level given by the publisher is 2-4 but I would err on the higher end.
Norse Myths came out last year and I am excited to read it with my students this year and my young family members during the Yule Holidays.
DK is a solid quality publisher and the author has several middle school books based on a young fire witch.
Explore Norse Myths: With 25 Great Projects
By Anita Yasuda Illustrated by Bryan Stone
This book has a unique format. It contains stories, projects, key vocabulary words, and fun facts. Explore Norse Myths would be great for a homeschooling family or a family wanting to explore their Norse pagan roots. This book is part of a larger series on “Explore Your World”.
Much of the book talks about the myths and then relates that to Scandinavia. For instance, a summary of the Norse Creation Myth leads to a discussion of the weather and geology of the Nordic countries.
I think it is well-written and engaging. However, the writing is a bit generic and Christianized. Comments referring to the Vikings becoming Christian somewhat mollifies the fact that their culture was often forcibly destroyed.
Some of the projects are quite interesting however on a couple I would have really liked more instructions and better visuals to show the steps.
Author Ame Vanorio is a pagan, a mom , and a teacher.
New clothes, backpack, and notebooks. Some things are the same for all children at the end of the summer.
Your pagan child may feel anxious about starting a new school year with a new teacher and more advanced coursework.
Pagan children sometimes face challenges brought on by their lifestyle and/or religious life. They may face discrimination from other students or sadly even the teacher.