*Prime Numbers, Friends Who Give Problems* is a charming book, written as a conversation between mathematician Papa Paulo and his grandsons. Papa Paulo begins their conversation by defining prime numbers, and works up to well-known conjectures such as the Twin Primes Conjecture. Along the way, he gives an overview of what is known about prime numbers, including tests for primality, the use of primes in cryptography, the Prime Number Theorem, and the search for ever-larger prime numbers. The book also includes brief biographies of some of the mathematicians whose work on prime numbers is discussed in the conversations.

Ribenboim doesn’t shy away from including proofs and fairly technical computations, so a reader does need to have some mathematics background (at the level of an advanced high school student or beginning math major) and a strong interest in mathematics to enjoy the book. The conversation format lessens the intimidation-factor of the early proofs, since Papa Paulo and his grandsons develop them through discussion. Throughout the book, Papa Paulo encourages his young conversation partners to ask questions and think for themselves. A motivated reader can learn not only about prime numbers, but also something about how mathematicians think, work, and ask questions from reading this book.

Megan Patnott is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Regis University in Denver, CO. Her training is in algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.