Book Sharing Monday :: The Race of the Birkebeiners

The Race of the Birkebeiners is written by Lise Lunge-Larsen and illustrated by Mary Azarian. We have been studying the Vikings in history and I thought this would  be a nice addition to our reading list. The time period is a little bit later than where we are at at the moment, by about 200 years, but it was still relevant.
The story is based on real events, the rescue of young Prince Hakon of Norway. The Birkebeiners were brave warriors from Norway, there were not rich but they were loyal to their king. The name came from the birchbark that they wrapped around their legs for protection. They helped bring the Prince to Nidaros by traveling on cross-coutry skis in very rough winter weather. They had nothing to eat, only snow, which is what they gave to the baby.

Every year, in Norway and in the United States, there are cross-country ski races, "Birkebeiner",  that commemorate this rescue. They even carry a eight pound pack to symbolise the weight of the baby.


  1. This sounds like a great book! I just shared a book on my blog -

  2. We have this wonderful book, but I haven't read it to the boys since they were younger. Thanks for the reminder - I just pulled it off the shelf :)

    My dad has done the Berkeiner in Wisconsin several times, so he bought the book for us. Also - my son's name is Hawken, so we think Prince Hakon is a pretty special character.


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