The Kingdom Keepers: Disney after Dark

 

by Ridley Pearson

 

Disney Editions

 

Reader Appeal: Preteens

 

Genre: Fantasy

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to roam the Disney parks after the crowds have gone home? Have you imagined how cool it would be to have rides like Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean all to yourself? Teenager Finn Whitman got that experience…along with a chilling adventure that almost cost him his life.

 

Finn felt pretty lucky when he was chosen to be one of five teen guides in a new Disney attraction. But shortly after technicians create a Finn hologram that gives park information in the Magic Kingdom, Finn starts having eerily realistic dreams. These “dreams” transport him into the vacant streets of the Magic Kingdom, where he discovers that power-hungry Disney villains (lead by the witch Maleficent) come to life each night.

 

Walt, a mysterious Disney Imagineer, lends a hand by telling Finn about secret rooms and passageways throughout the park. But Walt explains that Finn and the other teen “hologram hosts” are the only ones who can stop the evil that will destroy the park. Finn and his new friends must figure out how to stop the mounting evil that is already spreading beyond the walls of the Magic Kingdom.

 

Finn’s adventures are filled with plenty of Disney magic that won’t feel at all like pixie-dust to upper-elementary readers. Older kids will love following the adventures of teens who meet in cyber chat rooms and appear as high-tech holograms, and will get just enough of a thrill-ride from the creepy villains-come-to-life. Pearson does a fantastic job of making cartoon villains seem suddenly real and dangerous. That said, parents should be aware that these villains use abundance of “dark magic” and witchcraft.

 

Kids will look forward to the possibility of a second adventure with Finn and his friends, as long as it gives another behind-the-scenes glimpse into the wonderful world of Disney.

 

PopFam RATING: A-

 

Let’s Talk About It

 

If your family members are interested in this book, then encourage discussion about it afterward. You can use these questions to get started:

 

• What other places would you want to explore “after hours” and why? What incredible things might happen there?

 

• Wayne is a mysterious character. What makes you trust—or not trust--him?

 

• In this book, evil feeds off of power. Do you think that’s true in real life? What about good—does goodness grow from power? Why or why not?

 

--JSB

 

Note: All book or comics-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

Reprint an Article - Free