Between Heaven and Earth by Eric Walters is the first in the Seven Series and nominated for The Red Maple Award in the 2014 Forest of Reading. I first heard about this series from Wesley King when he graciously Skyped with our Bookworm Bookclub in September about his latest novel. Given my amount of book browsing and buying, it surprised me to haven’t heard of it before. Just goes to show you how much marketing is responsible for making bestsellers.
I bought this first book out of curiosity, and when it was nominated (along with two others in the series) I read it right away. The opening chapters reminded me of the 39 Clues series, so I tucked in and prepared myself for a history lesson intertwined with action and espionage. Instead, I found myself pulled into the mind of sixteen-year-old DJ, a boy who just lost his beloved grandfather and has to travel halfway around the world to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro while facing his own fears of failure (and heights!).
Sure, some of the characters and situations were predictable and the foreshadowing was not the most subtle. But for the target audience of pre-teens and teens, this book pulls you in and doesn’t let go until you learn something about yourself as well.