Significant Others III: (Voices of Young Adults from Northeast Iowa) (Winter 2015)

Farrey, Brian. 2013. The vengekeep prophecies. HarperCollins Publishers. 416pp. $7.99. ISBN 978-0-06-2049292. Illustrated by Brian Helquist.

Brian Farrey beautifully writes this creative book full of intriguing characters in a fictional country. You will enjoy the twists and turns in this action packed adventure about the magical thieving Grimjinx family. We thought this book was a fun read aloud with the creative names. Though it took a little bit for us to get into the book, once we neared the first of three sections we were hooked and did not want to put it down—we just had to know what was to happen next and how Jaxter would discover his place in his world. (HF)

Katz, Karen. 2013. Now I’m big!. Simon and Schuster (Margaret K. McElderry Books). 32pp. $15.99. ISBN 978-1416935476

Karen Katz authored many of my children’s favorite books and introduced them to a love of reading at a very early age. Now I’m Big continues to deliver and is a must read for any toddler or preschool child with a new baby brother or sister. My nephew loved reading this book and thinking about his own skills and his baby brother’s needs. He grew with pride as he recognized how capable he is, and how much he can do—so much more than he could as a baby and much more than his baby brother. The simple clear language and lovable pictures speak beautifully to young children. (HF) 

Kuhlman, Evan. 2013. Brother from a box. Simon and Schuster (Atheneum Books for Young Readers). 288pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-1442426580. Illustrated by Icapo Bruno.

Evan Kuhlman’s Brother From a Box captured the imaginations of my children, and myself with this heart warming, action packed, creative story. This was by far the best read of the summer! This adventure is a must read which will appeal to everyone in the family. It had heart and compassion, mystery and suspense for my son, and robots who can capture anyone’s imagination. This loving family, including Norman, will captivate you from the very beginning of this book! (HF) 

Prelutsky, Jack. 2013. Stardines swim high across the sky and other poems. HarperCollins Publishers (Greenwillow Books). 40pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-201464-1. Illustrated by Carin Berger.

Jack Prelutsky is author to many exciting and inventive poems and these are no exceptions. We liked the funny collages by Carin Berger accompanying the poems, especially “Fountain Lions.” We also pondered and appreciated talking about “Braindeer.” Budding authors will love this book! (HF)