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Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark Paperback – September 1, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 591 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in the Kingdom Keepers Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-Thirteen-year-old Finn and several of his friends become holograms at Florida's Disney World and then find themselves literally pulled into nighttime adventures in the theme park. Ridley Pearson's fantasy (Disney Editions, 2005) is fast paced and technologically savvy. Finn and his friends make repeated forays after hours into the very guts of such Disney icons as Tom Sawyer's Island, It's a Small World, Adventure Mountain, and other rides both tame and wild as they lay siege to Maleficent, an evil witch whose minions are at work to destroy the Disney mystique. The kids hang out at the park looking for signs and signals that will aid them in their nighttime quest for securing Disney power. Their parents are mildly suspicious, but Finn and his pals are fast talkers, willing to face their nighttime nemeses alone, rather than bringing in adult forces. Gary Littman reads with a variety of accents, some of which are less successful than others, and it's easy to differentiate among both kids and adults. Given how much Disney has seeped into the very core of Americana, most listeners will be able to understand the references and will know for whom Maleficent is a foil. While the details about why one would become a hologram for Disney are slighted, the sleuthing aspect of the tale has universal appeal.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of more than a dozen books, including Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far); The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog; Dave Barry's Money Secrets; and Big Trouble. Along with Ridley Pearson, he is the co-author of Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Escape from the Carnivale, Cave of the Dark Wind, and Blood Tide.

Ridley Pearson, in addition to the Peter and the Starcatchers series with Dave Barry, is the award-winning author of The Kingdom Keepers-Disney After Dark, The Kingdom Keepers-Disney At Dawn, and Steel Trapp. He has also written more than twenty best-selling crime novels, including Killer View and Killer Weekend. He was the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 6
  • Series: Kingdom Keepers (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; unknown edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423123115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423123118
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (591 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Matteson on January 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
My sister, a Disney fanatic, got this for my 9-year-old son for Christmas. To my amazement, he sat on the couch the next day and read over half of it in one afternoon. When he brought it to the dinner table we had to tell him to set it aside. He has told me so much about the book I feel like I have read it. I'm sure that our recent trip to Walt Disney World last fall adds to the appeal, as the places and rides are fresh in his memory. He has begged me to order the next book in the series, which is what brought me to Amazon today.
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Format: Hardcover
Five teens are given the opportunity of a lifetime when they are chosen as interactive Disney Hosts (DHIs) at the famous theme park in Orlando, Florida. Disney has teamed up with a company called Daylight Hologram Imaging to create innovative virtual tour guides, using the teens as models.

Finn Whitman, one of the DHIs, falls asleep one night and has a very weird dream. In this dream, he is in the park talking to an elderly park employee named Wayne, who was also one of Disney's first Imagineers. While Finn is having a very odd conversation with Wayne, he begins to observe some unusual activity in the park. He sees Chip and Dale headed toward Toontown and Goofy going to Frontierland. Now this wouldn't normally be odd in Disneyland, but it is after dark and all of the costumed employees went home hours ago. At this point, Finn is sure he is dreaming because he saw the original cartoon characters. Not only that, but he notices that his own body is glowing. Wayne assures him that it is not a dream, tells him that he must locate the other four DHIs for a special mission.

It seems that the Magic Kingdom is in danger from evil forces within its walls. In order to save the park, Finn and the other DHIs must cross over in their sleep into a state where they are not fully human yet not fully light.

Ridley Pearson does a great job of expressing the thoughts and conversations of his young teen characters. Even as their situations metamorphose into the fantastic, the kids remain completely realistic. Although this book is written for a young adult audience, it would appeal to anyone who has ever experienced the magic and wonder that is Disney.
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Format: Hardcover
After hearing so much buzz about this book my group of former Disney Cast Members decided to check it out. I'll speak for myself and say it's a light hearted book, with an incredible story base that has potential. But be warned, don't think to much and you'll get through it. If you're a Harry Potter fan and enjoy the attention to detail and crisp narrative you'll be sorely disappointed with KK.

The writing is choppy, fractured sentences annoying and editing poor. I was annoyed by a plural "s" in "Fantasmics" - it's Fantasmic. Yet, he knew the correct name of "Cinderella Castle." (it's NOT possessive as many guests refer to it.) Some one said the author "phoned it in" - I'd have to agree. Another review mentioned he tossed in some Disney "buzz words" - boy was it obvious! (ie: a very awkward and out of place reference to a "Fast Pass".) My belief is that he wrote it praying it would become a movie or Disney Channel series.

The biggest Disney "Fopaux" was that he correctly referred to Maleficent as real, as well as Goofy and Chip & Dale...but later on when the kids were in the Utilidors Tunnels below the MK they saw characters without their heads and princesses in street clothes. ANY Cast Member knows this kind of dialog is UNSPEAKABLE. Even if it was OK...why are some Characters real and others just costumes?

Also, don't be fooled, the Overtakers are just Maleficent and early on some bumbling Pirates. There are no Disney Characters who help out the story, yet the early spotting of Goofy and Chip & Dale make you think more are coming.

The main characters also have no background except for one African American boy...who has a chip on his shoulder for no reason and his dialog is very stereotypical. The girls are seen as weak or sexy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idea behind the book is actually quite brilliant. Kids get copied, they "appear" in the Magic Kingdom when they sleep. He help solve an ancient riddle, and they defeat a bad guy. It's quite clever how the story unfolds. For someone who knows a lot about Disney, the book is sometimes predictable. However, I felt this predictability to be rewarding. It allowed me insight that helped me solve the puzzles along with (or before) the characters.

Unfortunately, this story needs a new writer and a new writing style. Many "major" characters were never really fleshed out (though all throughout the book they were regarded to be extremely important). Some characters had several names used when other characters would speak to them (Finn called Maybeck, "Maybeck". Maybeck's aunt called him Terry. And, Wayne called him Terrance). It just gets confusing.

Much of the dialogue is cheesy. I felt like the author poured a bag full of bad, trendy, one-liners into the story in an attempt to make it funny or hip. Many characters have reactions that are "out of character" for them and/or for the situation. Wayne comes across as bipolar several times. Most of the story's main characters are middle schoolers, which I found to be hard to believe considering what they were to do in the book. It also never explains why Disney would chose children to fight against it's dark magic. Finally, the ending seemed rushed. Almost like the author didn't have the ending planned out in advance and simply closed the book up with a fire works display to meet a deadline. It doesn't really feel like a prelude to something to come. It just falls flat off the page.

If you can buy this book for $2 or $3, it could be worth your time. I would be hard pressed to pay much more than that. The sequels are in the $7-$10 range and will probably go unpurchased by this Disney fan. Cheers.
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