Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Groll

Partners looking for adventure, that is what Kat and Carter’s relationship is like. When a mysterious forest shows up that only they can see, they know a real adventure just might have arrived. On one of their excursions to learn what lies within the woods they meet a man who will send them on a mission that might kill them.  But if they survive the challenges the Dead Forest has for them they will end up with some of the greatest treasures known to man.

I really enjoyed this book. The lessons that “Beyond the Dead Forest” contains I feel makes it a must have on every private or public school library shelf in America and beyond.

Kat and Carter are wonderfully created. They are two 12 year olds that have grown up together in their neighborhood. Both love adventure and both have family problems; together they help each other to deal with it. Kat’s father left the family and her mother is trying to be both a mother and a father to Kat. Carter’s parents fight a lot and seem to forget their son in the other room when they are mad.
The kids attitudes through the  book suited their age. They had real fears and made common mistakes like any 12 year old would. The difference with Kat and Carter is that they learned from their mistakes.   

The plot of the book didn’t dilly-dally with background information, which I love. There where flashbacks and conversations that helped fill-in any missing details about the partners pasts. The adventure couldn’t have started any quicker, I was promptly pulled into the troubles the two children had to deal with. Thinking, “What would I have done?” through the challenges really made this book something I could bring into my day to day life. “Beyond the Dead Forest” taught basic lessons like the people rule, running with the herd and loving your enemy. 
Now the middle of the book did drag and I had to make myself read it at times but the ending picked it up, making the book overall a decent pace.

I like this book it reminds me of a cross between “Phantom Tollbooth” and “Pilgrim’s Progress”. I highly recommend it for people of all ages. It is humorous, creepy, entertaining, insightful and so much more.

Also, I had the privilege to receive the book on CD and I just wanted to add that the reader did a wonderful job bringing the book to life.