Helga Makes a Name for Herself

Written by Megan Maynor
Review by Cindy Vallar

Helga may be young, but she has one ambition—to be a warrior just like Ingrid the Axe. Although her parents downplay her dream, she refuses to abandon her goal. Every day she practices being a warrior, even while doing chores. One day, news arrives that her idol seeks new crewmembers. “Holy Valhalla!” Here’s her chance. Before her parents can say no, Helga rushes to find Ingrid the Axe. Yet Helga isn’t the only young Viking with dreams of raiding with this legendary warrior. Does Helga have what it takes to join Ingrid’s crew? If so, what will her warrior name be?

Written for children aged 4 to 7, this picture book recounts a tale of perseverance, practice, and the passionate pursuit of a dream. The idea behind the story stems from recent archaeological findings of a female Viking warrior. Girls may enjoy this tale more than boys, but both will find it inspiring. It invites participation when read aloud, though parents may find youngsters become too riled up just before bedtime. Some dialogue and artwork have a modern feel, yet this book is a good introduction to Viking culture without preconceived notions about who can do what.