Tired of living at the Kirby House orphanage, Katy and Josh run away to Alton Towers, a castle turned amusement park, but their hideout becomes the center of a battle between the universal forces of good and evil.
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Cresswell has written more of a fantasy than a mystery. Rodska is a wonderful reader; however, some of the British terms and references in the story may be lost on a young (or even an old) audience. Katy and Josh run away, and they find shelter in an amusement park. There they learn about an underworld of lost children. As they enter this seemingly imaginary world, they're caught in a struggle between good and evil. Rodska ably presents characters of many ages and accents. The "choose your own ending" is also quite effective. S.G.B. (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6?Katy, 11, and Josh, 9, run away from a children's home to Alton Towers, an amusement park. Finding food and shelter while eluding the security staff, they discover a magical valley and meet an evil schemer, the King, who is attempting to enter it. Despite careful plotting, this fantasy fails to live up to Cresswell's previous works. Neither the concrete, contemporary world nor the magical one is fully realized, and even the main characters fail to come to life. A slow pace and dense text sprinkled with Briticisms will discourage youngsters from tackling this lengthy novel, and there is a frustrating lack of a satisfying resolution. Although the final scene, in which Katy saves Josh from the King, is supenseful, the question of whether evil has been vanquished is left open. Furthermore, while Katy and Josh are reunited with their mothers, it is not clear that their problems are truly over. Another potentially disquieting element is the magical valley, where unwanted children from various times and places have been gathered by a mysterious, mute figure known as Mother Alton. While the author may intend it to be a reassuring haven, it is described sketchily, which prevents readers from trusting fully in it. Those looking for either an insightful story about homeless children or a spooky adventure will be disappointed by this unusual, but ultimately unsuccessful, hybrid of the two.?Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Pu, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110027253716
Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0027253716