Posted in Uncategorized

The Tale of the Mighty Brobarians!

Brobarians, by Lindsay Ward, (March 2017, Two Lions/Amazon Publishing), $17.99, ISBN: 978-15039-6167-0

Recommended for readers 3-7

“Two barbarians, once at peace – Uh-Oh! – were now at odds.” Otto and Iggy are brothers and barbarians, but when Iggy stages a takeover of the land, Otto fights back and the two go to war. Told as an epic tale, Brobarians is the adorably fun story of two brothers and their disagreement, resolved only when a higher power interferes.

This book is adorable. The endpaper maps that depict Otto’s (he’s the bigger brother, so I assume he created them) layout of his and Iggy’s territory, the illuminated manuscript-like exposition that leads into the tale and the epic storytelling style are wonderful. If you’re a fan of sword and sorcery movies like I am, then you’ll hear the Conan the Barbarian-like narration in your head and squeal with joy.

The art – cut paper, pencil, and crayon on chipboard – escalates, dipping into the brobarians’ imaginations to render them as fierce (but still really cute) brothers on wild steeds. The fonts are exaggerated, colorful, providing readers with a wholly fun storytime experience. You can’t read this in a monotone, you just can’t. I read it to my little guy and immediately slipped into epic narrator mode, with mock gravity and urgency at different points of the story. I was rewarded with belly laughs, which are wonderfully contagious.

You need this book for the kids you love. Heck, you need this book for yourself. Let’s try and see my kid get this off my bookshelf, where it lives next to my Red Sonja comics!

About the Author
Lindsay Ward would never have written this book if she hadn’t stayed up late one night watching Conan the Barbarian. She finds the idea of baby barbarians to be very funny . . . and hopes you do too. Lindsay’s recent books include Rosco vs. the Baby and The Importance of Being 3. Most days you can find her writing and sketching at home in Ohio with her family. Learn more about her at www.lindsaymward.com or on Twitter: @lindsaymward. She’s got Brobarians activities coming soon, too – keep an eye on the website!

Praise for BROBARIANS:

“Highly cinematic, both in imagery and narrative soundtrack…Good and campy and a fine opportunity for vocabulary building.”—Kirkus Reviews

“As readalouds go, it’s pretty epic.” – Publishers Weekly

 

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of BROBARIANS courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway here!

Posted in Fantasy, Tween Reads, Uncategorized

Frostborn – Family Intrigue, Frost Giants, and Dragons!

frostbornFrostborn, by Lou Anders, (Aug. 2014, Random House Children’s). $16.99, ISBN: 978-0385387781

Recommended for ages 10-13

Take one firstborn son, heir to a large, multi-generational family farm. Add one half frost giant-half human girl, whose mother’s past is shrouded in mystery. Place in a backdrop of a Norse mythological world, and add dragons, and you have the potential for a fantastic adventure. This is the world of Lou Anders’ Frostborn.

Karn is the son of a landowner, expected to take over the family farm one day. He’d rather just play Thrones and Bones, a board game of strategy. Thianna is a half-human frost giant, an outcast of sorts, never quite belonging to their world; her human mother’s origins lay wreathed in mystery. When the frost giants and the humans in Karn’s father’s tribe gather for their annual trading meeting, Karn’s traitorous uncle sets plans into motion that send Karn and Thianna on the run for their lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; fans of mythology-based fantasy will, too. Anders is a Hugo Award-winning editor; this is his first book, and kicks off a promising fantasy series that will appeal to boys and girls alike. I love that Karn is a “gamer” – and so are other characters in the book, which will appeal to gamer boys and girls out there, who try to explain to their disapproving parents that games help sharpen their mental acuity. The characters have rich backgrounds, with the promise of more to be revealed in future books, and Anders’ description of various terrain is so vivid, I could feel the chill of the frozen land of the frost giants.

If you’ve got middle graders looking for a fantasy series along the lines of Kelley Armstrong’s Blackwell Pages, this is a great place to steer them. The book hits stores today – go get your copy!