Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Kingdom Keepers

Are you sick of winter yet? I know I am. February is probably my least favorite month of the year. I'm ready for winter be over, but it isn't. At least February is short and March always holds the promise of spring even if there's a snowstorm or two.

To distract me from my February blues I read Ridley Pearson's The Kingdom Keepers over the past week. The Kingdom Keepers took me right out of the cold and into the warmth of a deserted Disney World in Orlando.

The novel's hero, Finn Whitman, is an Orlando teen who is hired to be a hologram projection that guide guests through the park. One of five such child guides, Finn begins waking up in the park as his hologram projection. He is told he must track down the other four child actors in order to stop Evil Forces at work in the park. It took me a chapter or two to really get into The Kingdom Keepers (it may have been the technology), but once I did I was hooked. Here's "the good" on the book:
  • I, as many others, have always wondered about what happens at Disneyland (in my case) when everyone is gone. The Kingdom Keepers really gives you an idea about the inner workings of the park and takes you into areas not open to the public.
  • The mystery at hand involves the most evil of Disney characters and results in many excellent chase scenes through Disney rides. The best scene takes place in "It's a Small World."
  • Pearson's use of teen technology is particularly expert. The chat room scenes are excellent.
  • Finn Whitman is a likeable character--a normal boy caught up in an abnormal situation. His mom is a riot too.

The Kingdom Keepers is marketed as Young Adult, but I'd say it is really upper Middle Grade. There's nothing in The Kingdom Keepers a smart 8-10-year-old couldn't handle emotionally or intellectually. A truly fun read. Enjoy!