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A Guide to the Other Side (Beyond Baylor Series #1)
     

A Guide to the Other Side (Beyond Baylor Series #1)

4.0 1
by Robert Imfeld
 

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A boy and his ghostly twin sister work together to pass messages from the beyond in this funny paranormal debut.

There are a few things you should know about Baylor Bosco: He’s thirteen-years-old, he has a twin sister, and he really does NOT like ghosts…which is problematic because he’s a medium and sees ghosts everywhere.

Oh, and his

Overview

A boy and his ghostly twin sister work together to pass messages from the beyond in this funny paranormal debut.

There are a few things you should know about Baylor Bosco: He’s thirteen-years-old, he has a twin sister, and he really does NOT like ghosts…which is problematic because he’s a medium and sees ghosts everywhere.

Oh, and his twin sister, Kristina? She’s a ghost too.

They’ve been working as a pair for years, expertly relaying messages from ghosts to their still-living loved ones. Baylor’s even managed to come up with an introductory phrase—one that he has to use far too often.

But when a strange ghost shows up close to Halloween, a grown man, covered in a sheet, with only his black leather shoes showing from the bottom, Baylor starts to wonder if something else has taken notice of him. And when his sister goes missing, somehow ghost-napped, he’s forced to figure out the truth about the Sheet Man and his sister’s disappearance, all without his usual ghostly ambassador.

Editorial Reviews

James Patterson
"A Guide to the Other Side is a fun ride and a great concept. A middle grade medium taking on a very bad ghost, and finding his twin sister-who's also a ghost. Chills galore."
School Library Journal
09/01/2016
Gr 5–8—Thirteen-year-old Baylor Bosco has a strange connection to dead people. Though Baylor truly dislikes the ghosts he constantly encounters, his twin sister, Kristina, faithfully helps him handle this special gift. Kristina's powers are even more extraordinary than her brother's because she herself is a ghost. When a ghoulish spirit shows up close to Halloween—covered by a single sheet and wearing brown buckled shoes—Kristina is mysteriously ghostnapped and evil forces run amok. Armed with odd talismans and accompanied by supportive spiritual guides, Baylor courageously faces a dark and threatening unknown to save his twin. This first installment in a new series features goofy ghost humor and spooky, spine-tingling suspense. Baylor's quirky dialogue with pesky ghosts is a highlight, as many bombard him with hilarious requests to relay to the living. The narrative lags a bit after Baylor connects the sheet man with an ex-wife and girlfriend. There is also a romantic side story between Baylor's two friends, which is somewhat out of sync with the main plot. Despite this, fans of anything otherworldly should be instantly entranced. VERDICT A unique ghost story loaded with just the right blend of laugh-out-loud humor and suspense. Anticipate high demand for this series starter.—Etta Anton, Yeshiva of Central Queens, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2016-07-02
A pair of twins, one living and one dead, facilitate communication between the two communities.The dead appreciate Baylor Bosco for his help communicating with their loved ones. The living struggle to understand or embrace those messages, especially if they involve a botched family recipe. Living white boy Baylor and his ghost twin sister, Kristina, have set a clear afterlife arrangement. Baylor relays the messages, and Kristina handles crowd control. One night their supernatural bond is threatened when a dark spirit visits Baylor in his bedroom. Unsettled and unable to get answers, Kristina and Baylor search both worlds for answers. Whatever problems lie ahead, they will face them together. In his debut, Imfeld creates in Baylor, Kristina, and their band of friends kids who could be found in any middle school. Well-rounded but not perfect, each main character has a moment to shine. However, for all the depth of the white protagonists, the side characters are given short shrift and occasionally even reduced to stereotype. Evoking a Latina’s accent with rolled R’s and phonetic spellings and describing a black character's hair as “out-of-control” distract readers and mar this work. Baylor's adventures will intrigue, excite, and captivate young readers, but they also risk alienating young brown and black children looking for adventure. This series opener is funny, mystical, and endearing, if flawed; here’s hoping Baylor continues his journey with a more multidimensional cast. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781481466363
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
10/04/2016
Series:
Beyond Baylor Series , #1
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
329,935
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

A Guide to the Other Side

TIP

1

A good routine is KEY.


MY DAY CAN’T BEGIN WITHOUT my routine.

1. Wake up and light a candle. (I prefer a simple white candle, though I’ve been known to shake it up during the holidays and use a pine scent.) I breathe deeply and encircle myself with positive energy.

This first step is crucial to having a good day.

2. Check my dream journal to see if I scrawled any messages in the middle of the night. (There are a couple of lines on the page sometimes, but I’m pretty good at remembering my dreams, not to brag or anything.)

3. Check in with my twin, Kristina, and ask her how her night was.

4. Ask for only good vibes to emanate from the Beyond before I blow out my candle and start my day.

  *  *  *  

A chilly Thursday morning just two days before Halloween, the worst holiday ever created, I lit seven candles and placed them around me, creating a fiery barrier. I’d been doing the same thing at night, too, for the past week. Halloween may be fun for everyone else, but for someone who can communicate with ghosts, I can assure you it’s not fun at all. Halloween is the one time of year where it can be tricky to control the malevolent spirits. So many of them try to break through, even if I ensure through my protections they can’t communicate with me directly. It’s all because of the morons who wear those grotesque, bloody masks and costumes without realizing the very real effect it has on my life.

Those costumes summon negative energy, and I can literally feel the forces floating around, circling me like sharks around a bloody seal. Kristina hates Halloween more than I do. I can forbid those spirits from entering my vision, but she can’t, so while I’m walking down the street, choosing to be oblivious, she’s turning left and right, looking at one horror after the next. I don’t envy her.

It was on our walk to school that she mentioned how it was getting pretty bad already.

“Everyone must have tried on their costumes last night,” she said. “You would not believe how many murderers and politicians we’re passing.”

“Are they saying anything to you?” I asked. My shoes crunched up the yellow leaves that covered the sidewalk.

“No, they’re mostly grunting a lot. They know not to mess with us.”

“I still don’t get how they know that. Who would come rocketing over to this side to punish them?”

“I’m not entirely sure, but I know it would be bad,” she said. “I think it’s better not to know.”

She was wrong. I wanted to know so bad. She always said stuff like that to me: “We’re not permitted to know that yet,” “We haven’t learned enough to earn that knowledge.” It was so frustrating that I couldn’t grab her and shake more information out of her like I could with my little brother, Jack.

“Can you hear that?” she asked.

“Yeah.” Some man was screaming about a lost dog, but I’d been awake for only twenty minutes and didn’t want to deal with ghosts yet. “Does he expect me to knock on his wife’s door and deliver a message for him? He knows that’s not how this works.”

“Give him a second,” Kristina said lightly.

Three seconds later a door opened two houses ahead, and a woman walked out wearing a green bathrobe and pink slippers. Her arms were clenched across her chest, and she was looking around, confused.

“Why did I come out here again?” she mumbled.

Kristina raised an eyebrow at me, and I rolled my eyes and muttered, “It’s too early for this,” before I slouched my way up to the woman and said, “Excuse me, ma’am?” She turned my way and looked at me like I’d just personally caused her dog to run away.

“Yes, young man?”

“My name is Baylor Bosco, and I can communicate with people who have crossed over.” I must have repeated that exact sentence more than two thousand times by now. “Your husband wanted me to let you know that your dog is with him on the other side now, and, well, it’s time to move on, Trish. The animal shelter has a small brown terrier he thinks you might like.”

I braced myself for her reaction. I might have done this more than two thousand times by now, but I was never sure how people would react. I got off easy this time, though. The woman’s mouth dropped open, and her eyes filled with tears.

“How did you know that?” she asked. They always ask that too, even though I’ve just told them I can communicate with dead people.

“I was born with a gift,” I said, shrugging. “Oh, he also wants me to tell you that you need to change the curtains because they’re hideous.”

“That is just like him to say.” She laughed so heartily that I found myself wishing everyone would react as well to weird messages like that. “Is he doing okay?”

I nodded. “Just fine.”

Then I kept on walking. Normally, I would engage with the alive person more, but her husband was still shouting nonsense in our ears and I needed him to stop. It was 7:30 a.m., and no one, dead or alive, should have permission to scream that early. After I broke the connection, the shouting stopped, as it always did after I shared a healing message. It was Kristina’s job to seal the ghosts on the other side and make sure they no longer disturbed us.

It might seem harsh, but some of them just don’t get it. I’m here to relay the message, and it’s not up to me whether the person on the receiving end listens or not. When I first started delivering messages, before Kristina helped me tune out most spirits, I’d have these horribly persistent ones poking me over and over to deliver the same message I’d just passed along.

“They didn’t believe you, you need to go back over and try again,” they’d say.

Later Kristina established a rule with the ghosts: If you’re going to use Baylor to deliver a message, you’ve got only one shot to deliver it. They could come back with a different message, and that’d be fine, just as long as it wasn’t the same one.

“He was loud,” I grunted. I hadn’t slept well last night because I kept getting ruffled by some ghost children who passed through my room.

“You think it’s loud? Try being on this side of the fence. The man was practically screaming in my ear.”

“Your nonexistent ghost ears?”

“Shut up, they hear better than yours do.”

Oh, there’s one important detail to know about Kristina—she’s dead.

Meet the Author

Robert Imfeld grew up in Orlando, Florida, and like any self-respecting Floridian, evenly split his free time between the beach and Disney World. After graduating from the University of Florida, he put his journalism degree to good use by saving lives at a luxury resort (some call this “lifeguarding”) in Orlando, interning/brewing coffee at a production company in Los Angeles, and managing finances for country songwriters in Nashville. He now lives in New York City, where he works in marketing by day and writes books for kids by night.

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A Guide to the Other Side (Beyond Baylor Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Fun to read, could read it for hours, entertaining, overall enjoyable (review by my 12 year old son)