Editor's note: This is one of several recent adventure novels by local authors for middle grade readers.

GIANTS IN THE LAND, Book 2: The Prodigals,” by Clark Rich Burbidge, Wine Press Publishing, 220 pages, $12.99 (f) (ages 8-11)

In, "The Way of Things," the first book of Giants in the Land series, the townfolks and giants have always lived together in peace and harmony. But suddenly the giants leave. Thomas’ quest is to find out why with the giant’s help, they had become so dependent on others.

In book two, “The Prodigals,” 12 years have passed since townfolks have been on their own. Thomas becomes a Forest Ward and learns every role and resource of the giant people. But evil desires exceed the goodness of the land and lawlessness begins to rule as villages are plundered and burned.

The series is clearly meant to inspire family discussions about facing impossible goals. There is some violence and the plot sometimes falters with many sub-plots and homilies sprinkled throughout, such as never giving up and “giants are nothing without their purpose.”

With a theme of “the importance of living with the heart of a giant,” local author Clark Rich Burbidge’s story may encourage young readers who can attend to longer text and moral lessons as they face difficulties in life.

The author has added a sneak peek to the third book, “Cavern of Promise,” due out in early 2014.

Email: marilousorensen@ymail.com