Richly detailed and satisfying

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BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH

From the Seven (The Series) series

Seventeen-year-old DJ attempts to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in fulfillment of his grandfather’s final wish to have his ashes spread at the summit.

Accustomed to succeeding at everything he does, DJ mistakenly believes that he can travel to Africa, climb the mountain and be home in a matter of days. Tricked into taking on the first female porter, he finds himself set to climb with a 67-year-old woman; nevertheless, DJ believes that his fitness and youth will be enough to get him to the top. However, if pride comes before the fall, then perhaps humility comes before the ascent. He learns that to travel quickly, one must travel alone, but to travel far, one must go with others. The rich setting and the thrilling details of the climb will make readers yearn for their own adventure. However, graphic descriptions of altitude sickness and stomach-twisting trail food leave no false illusions that the journey will be an easy one. This exciting adventure is only slightly marred by obvious foreshadowing and a predictable ending. DJ’s tale is the first of seven books in this series, all publishing simultaneously. Each, written by a different author, will focus on one of the six other grandsons following their grandfather’s will.

Richly detailed and satisfying . (Adventure. 10-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55469-941-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula.

HOCUS POCUS AND THE ALL-NEW SEQUEL

In honor of its 25th anniversary, a Disney Halloween horror/comedy film gets a sequel to go with its original novelization.

Three Salem witches hanged in 1693 for stealing a child’s life force are revived in 1993 when 16-year-old new kid Max completes a spell by lighting a magical candle (which has to be kindled by a virgin to work). Max and dazzling, popular classmate Allison have to keep said witches at bay until dawn to save all of the local children from a similar fate. Fast-forward to 2018: Poppy, daughter of Max and Allison, inadvertently works a spell that sends her parents and an aunt to hell in exchange for the gleeful witches. With help from her best friend, Travis, and classmate Isabella, on whom she has a major crush, Poppy has only hours to keep the weird sisters from working more evil. The witches, each daffier than the last, supply most of the comedy as well as plenty of menace but end up back in the infernal regions. There’s also a talking cat, a talking dog, a gaggle of costumed heroines, and an oblique reference to a certain beloved Halloween movie. Traditional Disney wholesomeness is spiced, not soured, by occasional innuendo and a big twist in the sequel. Poppy and her family are white, while Travis and Isabella are both African-American.

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02003-9

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Freeform/Disney

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else.

ALL THIS TIME

A modern-day fairy tale about two teenagers suffering from loss who find healing in one another.

Despite the ups and downs in their relationship, Kyle and Kimberly have always made up, and Kyle looks forward to attending college together after graduation. But on the night they should be celebrating, Kimberly confesses that she has committed to a different college and breaks up with him. As they argue, their car crashes, and Kyle later wakes up in the hospital and learns that Kimberly is dead. In his grief, Kyle blames himself for her death. He struggles to leave his bed most days, ignores calls from his and Kimberly’s best friend, Sam, and has visions of Kimberly and life before the accident. One day, while visiting Kimberly’s grave, he meets Marley, a girl who likes telling stories and is mourning the death of her twin sister. Predictably, their natural affinity for one another evolves into romance. It is unfortunate that Kyle essentially moves from one romantic relationship to another on his journey to better understanding himself and his co-dependence on those closest to him, although his gradual development into a more considerate person redeems him. The pacing remains even until the critical plot disruption, resulting in the rest of the story feeling disjointed and rushed. All characters are White.

For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6634-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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