|Vengekeep prophecies (Vengekeep prophecies)|
Author: Farrey, Brian
A magical tapestry prophesies doom for the town of Vengekeep, and to everyone's surprise twelve-year-old Jaxter Grimjinx and his family of con artists appear to be the town's saviors.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 154847
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 59395
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (09/15/12)
School Library Journal (03/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (12/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2012 Born into a family of talented burglars, forgers, and pickpockets, twelve-year-old Jaxter Grimjinx is horrified when his first solo attempt at burglary results in a disastrous fire and the arrest of his family; worse still, he’s now involved in a prophecy that places the entire village of Vengekeep in danger and casts his family in the unwanted role of town saviors. Given the chance to test his own gifts out of the shadow of his family, Jaxter sets off with new friend Callie at his side. Together they tackle errant sages and spiderbats, and they engage in an intricate con of their own in an effort to save their town and their loved ones before the worst parts of the prophecy come true. The result is a charming story that’s at times laugh-out-loud funny but also a satisfying fantasy, offering a magical world and sometimes hapless hero that will strike a chord with fans of the first volumes of the Harry Potter series. Jaxter’s honest, self-deprecating narration draws readers into his personal journey, keeping them at the edge of their seats while lending the story emotional heft. Callie is a daring heroine in her own right, the perfect partner in crime and valor for the sometimes-timid Jaxter. A vast network of well-drawn characters, including Jaxter’s endearing family, quirky townspeople, and multiple allies and villains, augment the imaginative world-building. The first in a series, this novel works as a successful stand-alone but sets up the possibility for further adventures that readers will be excited to join. AM - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 12/01/2012 In a nice twist on Harry Potterlike fantasies of wizards in school, Farrey launches a rollicking saga of life among the Grimjinx, a clan of petty thieves, fortune-tellers, and the ultimate saviors of their Middle Ages–esque world. Twelve-year-old Jaxter recounts this first wild adventure, which begins when he, a clumsy thief but a talented potion maker, must leave the village to find a way to save it. Brief chapters, illustrated with spirited pencil drawings and epigraphs quoting “par-Goblin” sources, take readers on a humorous ride during which Jaxter avoids doom multiple times and makes good friends, including a girl named Callie. The language, which has an Irish flavor, is highly accessible, and Jaxter’s own self-deprecations are balanced with his very keen ability to outthink most of his opponents. Jaxter is as heroic as the early Harry, but he has a loving family, which makes a big difference in his ability to trust his own instincts as he works for the community’s greater good. Readers will hope for a continuation of the story. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2013 Gr 4–8—Jaxter Grimjinx was born into a family of thieves, but he's so clumsy that his first big robbery lands his whole family in jail. The Grimjinxes are released when a prophecy woven into a tapestry predicts that they will save the city of Vengekeep from a variety of disasters. The tapestry is revealed to have been planted by Jaxter's parents, but soon all of the predicted disasters start happening. The family discovers that the false tapestry was inadvertently woven out of fateskin, a magical substance that will make all of the false predictions come true and is almost impossible to destroy. Jaxter's interest in herbal remedies to counter magic might hold an answer for how to destroy the fateskin, so he and his friend Callie set off on a quest to find the exotic and magical ingredients and save Vengekeep, meeting both allies and enemies as they race against time to save their city. Farrey creates a world filled with interesting characters and a detailed background culture, including sayings and words in the ancient par-Goblin language now used by thieves, including the Grimjinxes. Jaxter's parents, grandmother, and sister are fully realized and entertaining characters who have many illegal talents. The nonstop action and danger will draw in fantasy and adventure fans and may appeal to reluctant readers as well. While this is the first volume in a trilogy, all immediate action is nicely resolved, making it a satisfying and fun read.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.