Too old for fairy godmothers and a little too tween for the magic of the mouse? What if it wasn’t just a fantasyland…and all of it was real…especially the evil, wicked and villainous!
Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson
Five kids – Finn, Willa, Charlene, Maybeck and Philby – are chosen to be the new Disney Host Interactives – DHIs – essentially holographic images that can guide guests through the Disney parks. Except when the real kids go to sleep they wake up as their holograms, in the park where, with the help of an elderly mentor imagineer named Wayne, they realize that there is a battle going on – and they’ve been recruited to help take down the most evil forces Walt Disney ever created. MR -5/6
*PBP Note: I’ve never read these books….but I’ve listened to them. I recommend them for those tweens who might be feeling that a trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” is beneath them, or for those who’ve been to Disney often enough that it’s time for a new twist on an old favorite. It is a fun ride, but don’t think too hard, or expect too much. The first book is the best, and a great read before a trip to Disney for your upper middle reader who is looking for a new spin on what happens when the parks are closed. I was willing to suspend disbelief enough to enjoy the first 4 books – each of which highlight a different DisneyWorld park. As the books progress, the characters age, so be prepared for the story to get bogged down with love interests as well as excessive secondary characters. Also, as technology changes quickly, you’ll note some outdated references in the earlier books. Consider downloading the audiobook to an ipod or mp3 player for the plane ride or listen as a family on the drive to Florida. Who knows what magic you might encounter?
Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark – Finn is having the most vivid dream, until he realizes it isn’t a dream at all! He is one of 5 new Disney Host Interactives – holograms that guide guests through the Disney parks. But there is a glitch – when the kids fall asleep they wake up as their holograms and are charged to battle the evil forces trying to take over the park. Can these 5 new friends find a way to work together, appreciate each others strengths, and keep the Magic Kingdom safe? See what happens when the parks close and the real excitement begins.
Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn-The Kingdom Keepers are back – this time a mysterious lightning storm at Magic Kingdom triggers events that could destroy the DHI’s forever. They head to the Animal Kingdom where the latest DHI technology is ready to be put in place, but they only have until daylight to foil the plans of the Overtakers and secure the park. If they can’t work together will this mean the end of the Kingdom Keepers forever?
Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow – Wayne is missing and it is up to the Kingdom Keepers to find him – fast! A whirlwind adventure through Epcot has the team meeting new villains and old nemesis. Struggling to keep calm and stay focused as the stakes get higher, can the DHIs find Wayne and get home safely before their cover is blown?
Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play – Life is almost back to normal for the Kingdom Keepers. With key Overtakers locked down things are pretty calm for the DHIs – until Philby receives a mysterious video, new Overtakers pop up in Downtown Disney and Charlene starts acting strangely. It is time to take action in Hollywood Studios and Typhoon Lagoon to protect the power center for the DHI server before the Overtakers create their own series of holograms – or is it too late?
Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game – With a huge promotional voyage on the Disney Dream ahead the Kingdom Keepers are ready to tackle the high seas. Unfortunately, the Overtakers are using this journey to regroup. They’ve stolen one of Walt Disney’s personal journals -with cryptic information that could lead to a takeover. From aboard ship to Castaway Cay, the Kingdom Keepers have to find a way to stop the Overtakers – and figure out just what they are trying to accomplish aboard the Dream. But who can the Kingdom Keepers trust, and are they starting to lose faith in each other?
Kingdom Keepers VI: Dark Passage -As the Disney Dream makes its way through the Panama Canal things are heating up for the Kingdom Keepers. The magic more intense and the stakes higher than ever – can the team keep it together long enough to solve the mystery of the Overtakers plans? How will they defeat the most evil creature Disney ever imagined – and will they all see the end of this voyage?
Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider – As high school seniors the Kingdom Keepers have spent the past three years in relative quiet. Their trip aboard the Disney Dream is part of the past, and the Overtakers defeated. Until they stage an unexpected comeback that requires the team to be back in action. A long-lost icon is their only hope to protect Disneyland – the original park that started the magic.