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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

An orphaned giant named Berg is hoping to find just one person he can call friend. For many years, Berg has lived alone; the only reminders of his family are his mother's satchel and his recurring dreams of a white bear who shares a magical sand from a fallen star. Sometimes, when Berg feels lonely, he will risk entering a village to trade a smooth river rock or a feather for food. He's really searching for kindness and companionship; but with every attempt he makes, people chase him away, thinking he is Ünhold―a giant and a monster. In his travels, Berg comes upon a city made of iron, where he meets a little girl, Anya. To his amazement and delight, Anya knows about the magical dream-sand, too, and says she wants to be his friend. The mayor also befriends Berg and enlists him to guard the city from the dangerous Ünhold. But Anya suspects the mayor has other plans for the young giant. Fearing the city isn't safe, she warns Berg to flee. Confused and torn between his two fri…

Overall Book Review:

Berg is a young, lonely giant whose greatest desire is to belong. However, town people are afraid of him and threaten him whenever they come in contact. All of that changes when he meets Anya, a young girl in a city of iron. A friendship forms as they deliver good dreams to the town’s people via a magical blue star dust. All the same, Berg is still a giant. Twists and turns occur as Berg determines how to interact with others, whom can he really trust, and what kind of giant he wants to be.

In this debut middle grade novel, Dustin Hansen eloquently creates a fairy-tale legend about giants with many talking points on deeper meanings. Text is broken up with graphics periodically that tell Berg’s dreams which parallel his real-life experiences. It is recommended for those who like legends, fantasy, books that erase misconceptions, or The BFG by Roald Dahl.

Review of an Advanced Reader’s Copy sent by Shadow Mountain

Content Review:

Profanity/Language: None

Violence/Gore: There are many violent incidents throughout the book, but mostly towards the end.

Several threats of pitchforks, ropes with metal hooks, rocks, sticks with metal points, etc. Several references to pain from said objects and wounds from said objects. Blood from giant runs like river. Several instances of men being pulled up or thrown down while attached to ropes; Swarm of wasps leading to several wasp stings and accompanying pain; A few gunshots fired. One event of a gunshot wound and accompanying blood. Pain from retrieval of bullet with red hot pliers and accompanying blood; Destruction of gates, barns, metal cages, fences; Reference to people having seen terrible things, heard terrible things, and having bad dreams as a result; Reports of being chased by men with weapons and dogs with sharp teeth. Reports of being called names and having rocks and objects thrown at him; A drawn image of wolves attaching a bear. A drawn image of the bear dead in the snow; Report of the death of a parent. A few reports of men (trackers, soldiers, etc.) disappearing and their bones found. A few reports of children being stolen, sometimes being eaten or roasted over fires. One report of giants having bones of humans in stew. A few references of roasted animals that are eaten – rabbits, goats, etc. Implied report of giants setting fire to towns and destroying villages.

One extended scene involving threat to a minor, threat to giant, threat to other people. Hot coals being thrown at giant. Fire engulfing a circus tent with humans inside. Implied death of one main character via flames. Kicking, stabbing, strangling, picking up and throwing of people, digging through men, sharp hooked ropes digging into skin, spears, wounds, etc. Blast/explosion of fire. Report of another main character death due to wounds.

Sex/Nudity: None

Mature Themes:

Death, abandonment of minor, death of parent, threat of life.

Alcohol/Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My favorite books are ones that change me and my perceptions of the world in a significant way. My favorite genre is probably historical fiction with biographies as a close second.