Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson

I read this because one of my 6th graders kept telling me how good it was. It came out in 2005, and I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that Gail Carson Levine’s Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg came out that same year. It seems that Disney paid a lot of money to talented writers to flesh out bad storylines involving classic Disney characters. (Although, I adore David Christiana’s illustrations in the latter.) This book has a lot of good elements- a mismatched group of kids who have to overcome their differences to save the world (including one who is treasonous), three-dimensional holographs that enable the kids to enter a parallel, sinister world, and roller coasters. Unfortunately, the story just doesn’t hang together well. Aside from the main character and the one who defects to the dark side, the kids are pretty much interchangeable. One of the more annoying plot contrivances is the man who seems to know what the kids need to do to save Disneyland from the villains, but insists that the kids have to find out for themselves. It’s never really clear why he can’t solve the problem himself.

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