Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Between Heaven and Earth

Between Heaven and Earth
by Eric Walters
Orca, 2012.  245 pgs. Fiction.

     First in Orca's new SEVEN series, this book tells DJ's story, oldest grandson of David McLean. Grandpa David, recently deceased, has left a bequest and requests for each of his grandsons to perform a task. DJ's is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and scatter granddad's ashes from the summit. DJ, a take-charge kind of guy, has always felt responsible for watching over and looking out for his twin brother and his cousins. He is honored to be carrying his grandfather's ashes, but since he is a linebacker in excellent shape, that climbing the mountain will be easy-peasy and that he will be back home in less than a week.  However, right off the bat his camping gear is stolen, and in return for getting it back,  he helps a young girl who wants to be a porter go up the mountain with him; he has a demanding tour guide who insists that he do exactly as he is told and travel polepole, Swahili for "slowly," when what he really wants to do is race up the mountain and be done. Gastrointestinal problems and altitude sickness complicate DJ's hike, but he meets people he would never imagine could help him, but who do. DJ is a good boy becoming a good man, but what he learns in Africa will help him become even better. Six more books will follow this strong beginning, telling the stories and quests of the remaining grandsons.  One can only hope they will be as good.  Best-suited for sixth grade readers and on up.

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