About Odin’s Promise

Odin's Promise, by Sandy Brehl

Odin’s Promise
A Novel of Norway
by Sandy Brehl

Crispin Books • May 17, 2014
Juvenile Fiction /Historical / World War II
Ages 8-12
Trade Softcover • 236 pages  • 5.5″ x 8.5″
$13.95 • ISBN 978-1-883953-65-2
(Kindle edition • $4.99)

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of Crickhollow Books, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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ODIN’S PROMISE: A Novel of Norway
by Sandy Brehl
Crispin Books

“It is spring of 1940, and 11-year-old Mari should be celebrating the long summer days that have finally reached her rural Norwegian village. Instead, she and her family are trying to cope with the recent occupation by Nazi soldiers. . . . . [as] Mari finds an inner strength she never knew she had. Brehl offers a seldom-seen slice of daily life during WWII in this compelling tale of growing up. Strength of family, community, and cultural heritage are prominent themes, and the author does a commendable job illustrating the complex motivations of people on both sides of the war. . . . Recommended for historical-fiction fans and animal lovers alike.” – ALA Booklist

Winner of 2014 Midwest Book Award
for Children’s Fiction!

“Mari, a Norwegian girl, is forced to grow up fast when Nazi soldiers occupy her village in 1940. Readers will cheer for Mari as she discovers her inner strength – and the courage to help celebrate Norway’s spirit of resistance.”
–Kathleen Ernst, author of the Caroline Abbott series from American Girl

“Not since Marie McSwigan’s Snow Treasure have I read such a book about the heroic roles children played in the resistance movement in Norway during WWII.”
– Carole Estby Dagg, author of The Year We Were Famous

“Love of dog, love of family, and love of country – all are woven together in this beautifully written, emotionally taut novel of one girl’s coming of age during war time. Realistic yet hopeful.”
– Gayle Rosengren, author of What the Moon Said

This book is brilliant, and I can say without hesitation that it is one of the best middle grade books I have read this year.” – MotherDaughterBookReviews.com

Best Girl-Empowering Books of 2014 (Ages 9–12)
A Mighty Girl

Ten Best Indie Middle-Grade Novels of 2014
ForeWord Magazine


Odin’s Promise is historical fiction for middle-grade readers, a novel depicting the first year of German occupation of Norway as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

Eleven-year-old Mari grew up tucked safely under the wings of her parents, grandma, and her older siblings. When Hitler’s troops invaded Norway under the guise of “occupying a friendly country,” she is forced to grow beyond her “little girl” nickname and comfortable patterns to deal with harsh new realities.

At her side for support and protection is Odin, her faithful elkhound.

After she witnesses a terrifying event on the mountainside, truths are revealed: the involvement of her family and friends in the resistance; the value of humor in surviving hard times; the hidden radio in her grandma’s cottage.

Odin, not one for quiet resistance, makes an enemy of soldiers who patrol the area.

The year will bring many challenges, as Mari confronts danger, develops her inner strength and voice, and finds she is able to endure hardship and heartache.

46 Comments on “About Odin’s Promise

    • Jenny, that makes two of us. Your recent publishing experience was fun for me vicariously, and now I get to find out for myself! Thanks for stopping by and all the hours and hours of writing support, too!

    • Dogs, as you well know, leave their love with us long after they’re gone.

  1. Quote of the Day: “There is real magic in enthusiasm. it spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment” …Norman vincent Peale

    You are are an accomplished author….Bravo!

    • Cathie, it’s great you stopped by, especially with such a wonderful quotation. Enthusiasm truly is magic, and you’re one who knows the truth of that so well.

    • Greg, thanks for the good wishes, especially on this most important day for you! Happy book birthday to you and The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.!

  2. Hi Sandy, this is great news! As an aspiring author I am always thrilled to hear of a new book! And I love reading WW II books. Keep us posted on Kidlitosphere.
    Lindsey McDivitt

    • Will do. Thanks for stopping by, Lindsey, and for sharing the excitement.

  3. I’ll wait for a chance to read this, Sandy, and to get my children to read it. It promises to be a refreshing and welcome change from the line up of the usual diaries or fantasies that most middle graders end up with.

    And now, I’ll stop being proper, and bring in all the exclamation marks which I so desperately want to use – so so so happy to know about Odin’s Promise, Sandy!!!!!! Congratulations and a big hug!!!

    • Richa, your thoughts on anything to do with kids’ literature are worth hearing, so your enthusiasm for the topic and for my good news are equally exciting. (Love those exclamations marks, I should have a year’s supply now.) Hugs back, too.

  4. Dear Sandy, I am so thrilled to hear the good news about my best friend in the world. I am Norwegian and grew up during World War II so this will be exciting to read. Reading is a great part of my life and knowing an author is fabulous.
    Love Gerri

    • Gerri, how sweet of you to come by to celebrate the news. Since you’ve been to this area of Norway, I’ll be especially interested in your reaction to the story.
      Having you and Johnny as friends means the world to me, and so does your support.

    • Kate, it’s the kind of news I know your projects will have some day, too. Thanks for the enthusiasm and your support.

  5. Congrats on your upcoming book….I am looking forward to reading it! Hope you enjoy you MGlit journey…it is a rather wonderful place to be.

    • I’m enjoying it immensely, so far, and the good wishes coming in make it all the better. Thanks so much for stopping by, Deb.

    • Thanks, Kenda, for the good wishes and for stopping by. Hope you follow along on the journey now and then.

    • Janet, your titles and the success you’ve had in creating books that kids love and learn from are an inspiration. Thanks for your enthusiastic comments.

    • Lori, you share in the success of this story. Your insights (and Dawn’s, Christa’s and Jenny’s) made a huge difference in improving the initial drafts. Can never thank you writing sisters enough.

  6. WOW!!! Congratulations. I can’t wait to read the entire book. You are amazing…

    Kathi Glick

    • Thanks for the kind comments, Kathi, and for stopping by to check things out. I’m really excited, too, to have it released and see if it connects with others the way it did with me.

      • Congratulations, Sandy! I am so pleased and happy that “Odin’s Promise” is being published. It’s a wonderful story, and I feel privileged to have watched the progress as you worked on this. I love your site–it’s lovely!
        Best Wishes!

        • Jan, your notes and reactions to this story along its extended journey to becoming Odin’s Promise, along with Marjorie’s, not only helped to shape it but also encouraged me to believe that somewhere inside was a story, and storytelling, with value. Can’t thank you both enough, along with my SCBWI team, Jenny, Christa, Dawn, and Lori.

    • Thanks for stopping by, and for the good wishes, Cathy. Since I didn’t design it, I’m happy to join you with praise for the website (and gratitude to my editor!).

  7. Great news, Sandy. I finally have looked over the site and can’t waiot now until the book is published and I can read it myself. It sounds just right for me. First a topic of interest – WWII – and second a middle-school target – just right for me.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Allyn. Philip Pullman has said, “There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book.” You’re in good company when you read a middle grade book!
      I’m anxious for you to have a chance to read it, too, and looking forward to working out the many details to get it there.

  8. Congrats Sandy. So exciting! Can’t wait to read it and share with our grandkids.

    Keep us posted on when Odin’s Promise will be available or better yet when you’ll have a book signing.

  9. So exciting Sandy–I can’t wait to read it! Lately my preferred genre of books seems to be historical fiction taking place either during WWI or WWII and now along comes your book–how coincidental! I’ll keep checking your website for updates. And I love your website– so full of interesting info.

    • Diane, so nice of you come by to check things out. Hours and hours of working together and you were able to learn things about me here you didn’t know, right?
      It makes me smile to think how much time you have to read now (since it’s too cold to golf), and I’ll be honored to have you read Odin’s Promise in the spring.Thanks for the support and kind words.

  10. Sandy:
    Congratulations! Rebecca and I are looking forward to reading Odin’s Promise in spring. Thank you for sharing your love of the written word with all of us. We are lucky to know you.

    • Stephanie and Rebecca, how kind of you to stop by with such encouraging words. Once the new year comes I’ll be able to announce a release date and start planning launch events. Hope that means I might see you both again in 2014!

  11. Hi my name is Caden. My mom and I are reading your book. I like how you have a glossary in the back of the book to help me understand the Norwegian/German words used in the story. You are a fantastic author and I am grateful that you let us borrow an advance copy of the book. I’m excited to meet you at the Book Birthday Party!


    • Caden,
      I’m going to reply here, but also contact you directly. Somehow your comment did not send me a “notice” in email and I never caught it here. It was wonderful to meet you at the party, and I’m proud to know you are enjoying the book. I hope you’ll forgive me for the delay saying that, and I hope you won’t hold a grudge that I didn’t answer your kind note sooner!

  12. I love this book! I finished the easy read and now I miss Mari! This journey of watching you get your book published and then getting my hands on a copy to read has been so fun! I appreciate that you have shared the publishing journey on your blog and your facebook page because it has allowed me to feel more involved.

    “The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. ”
    ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    • Tammie, what a warm and encouraging person you are, and it means even more that you’ve explored the website, too. Long distance family and friends can feel a bit distant, but you never feel far from my heart. We (Odin, Mari and I) thank you so much.

  13. I learned about your book through the WISCBWI listerve and enjoyed listening to your interview on Public Radio. I will ask my library to get a copy of Odin’s Promise so i can read it! As an aspiring children’s PB author I especially enjoyed hearing about your process.

    • Sue, Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to meet you at some SCBWI events in the future. When my critique group began we were all aspiring picture book writers. Along the way (there’s that process-thing again) we’ve each attempted other work as well. Each requires an entirely different frame of mind, and we’re all still pursuing picture books, too. Thanks for your interest in the book, for listening to the interview, and especially for asking about it at the library. Hope you enjoy it.

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