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Hike up Devil's Mountain Paperback – October 20, 2011
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By Penny Estelle
When you were a child did you ever disobey your parents? If so, what were the results? Did they punish you? Or did something happen because of your disobedience that made you wish you’d listened to you folks? Maybe they were right. Yeah, as we grow older, we discover mothers and fathers are amazingly smart.
Author Penny Estelle’s MG/Tween novel, HIKE UP DEVIL’S MOUNTAIN, is an entertaining adventure about boys, bullies, and surprises, with a touch of fantasy added for good measure. Ten-year-old Andy Thompson explores an abandoned house, where he finds a box with a stick inside it that glows. Being curious, as most kids are, he has to find out more about this amazing stick. Enter the bully, Jason Crew, and his brother, Danny, new kids in school, and there’s never a dull moment. Without giving away the plot, I’ll just mention a talking toad, a witch that lives on Devil’s Mountain, and a blue dragon provide a hefty dose of humor, fear, and discovery for Andy and friends.
Penny Estelle has created characters that have the faults of real children and also their good points. The reader follows along, wondering what will happen next. At least this reader did. The author throws in a surprise or two along the way. Do the boys learn anything from their adventures? Well, pick up a copy of the book and see. HIKE UP DEVIL’S MOUNTAIN would make a great addition to school libraries and classrooms, as well as your own library.
Rarely have I read such an entertaining tale with such an important message. Penny Estelle's imagination goes full out in this story of a boy forced to undo his own mistake, but only because he was about to have his clock cleaned by the town bully. Estelle devotes a great part of the story to the most important thing to boys - the journey up the mountain, which is fraught with all kinds of dangers they must avoid or escape by using their wits. The revelation at the end caught me somewhat by surprise, but I was beginning to suspect this through some of the things Andy could do. I highly recommend Hike up Devil's Mountain for boys of all ages. It's a reminder of a time before computer games and social media, when kids used their imaginations.
Hike up Devil's Mountain
Jason attempts to steal the wand away from Andy, but for his troubles the bully is turned into a bullfrog. Andy and Danny, Jason's younger brother, rush to Devil Mountain where a witch lives. She is Jason's only hope of being transformed back to his old self.
Penny Estelle keeps the action throttle on full blast as the boys encounter one danger after another in their quest to save Jason's life. Hike Up Devil Mountain is a great inspirational story showing kids integrity and empathy that they could all emulate.
Michael Thal is the author of The Legend of Koolura.
By the time you reach the top of Devil's Mountain with these boys, your heart will be racing and you'll actually find yourself pausing to catch your breath. This adventure is laced with an underlying lesson on bullying. I encourage parents to load this book to your child's ereader for a whirlwind adventure that will teach them a lesson they will carry with them long after they've read the last page.