Between Heaven and Earth (Seven Series)

( 1 )

Overview

DJ is David McLean's eldest grandson, so it stands to reason that he be the one to scatter his beloved grandfather's ashes. At least that's how DJ sees it. He's always been the best at everything--sports, school, looking after his fatherless family--so climbing Kilimanjaro is just another thing he'll accomplish almost effortlessly. Or so he thinks, until he arrives in Tanzania and everything starts to go wrong. He's detained at immigration, he gets robbed, his climbing group includes an old lady and he gets stuck...
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Between Heaven and Earth (Seven Series)

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Overview

DJ is David McLean's eldest grandson, so it stands to reason that he be the one to scatter his beloved grandfather's ashes. At least that's how DJ sees it. He's always been the best at everything--sports, school, looking after his fatherless family--so climbing Kilimanjaro is just another thing he'll accomplish almost effortlessly. Or so he thinks, until he arrives in Tanzania and everything starts to go wrong. He's detained at immigration, he gets robbed, his climbing group includes an old lady and he gets stuck with the first ever female porter. Forced to go polepole (slowly), DJ finds out the hard way that youth, fitness level and drive have nothing to do with success on the mountain--or in life.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Canadian author Walters (Catboy) launches the ambitious, adventure-driven Seven series, aimed at teenage boys, with this coming-of-age story set in Tanzania. When David McLean dies, he leaves each of his seven grandsons a certain task to complete, representing a missed opportunity or other aspect of his checkered past. Each grandson gets his own installment in this series, which have been written by different Canadian authors (including Norah McClintock, John Wilson, and Shane Peacock) and are being released simultaneously with this story. Walters’s offering focuses on 17-year-old DJ, who is instructed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and scatter his grandfather’s ashes at the summit. During the physically grueling trip, DJ confronts his own limitations and youthful arrogance, while coping with culture clash and the very real prospect of failure. While DJ’s overconfidence makes it hard to root for him at first, his growth along the way soon transforms him into a more palatable hero. The biggest draw, though, is Walter’s keen attention to atmosphere, detail, and setting—Mount Kilimanjaro is a character unto itself. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
Quill & Quire
"Walters is known for action-adventure novels that appeal to boys, and his latest project, Seven (The Series), is no exception...A solid outdoor adventure story."
CM Magazine
"Walters' style is, as usual, quick and catchy, but smooth and engaging at the same time. His characters are well-developed, focusing mainly on three people, DJ, Sarah, and Doris, as they struggle to make their way toward the summit and deposit DJ's grandfather's ashes....Walters' has written a fantastic story that will capture the attention of young readers and keep them engaged until the last page...Highly Recommended."
YALSA YA Galley Teen Review
"A story of determination and will that forces the characters to reconsider what is truly important in life and why they are really climbing the mountain."
San Francisco Book Review Teen reviewer
"I enjoyed how DJ was able to relate to the Tanzanians and how the characters helped each other in their climb up the mountain. I recommend it as a fast, fun read."
YALSA YA Galley Teen Review - Rachel C.
"An amazing book…Between Heaven and Earth will leave readers wanting to read the rest of the series!"
NJ Youth Services
"[The] adventures are exciting and readers will be anxious to pick up the next book in the series. Great for middle grade boys who want realistic fiction with action and suspense."
Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries (SWON)
"I would highly recommend this for any collection needing a fast paced quick read including a boy and an adventure. The story was well written and the characterization was well thought out. This would be a great story even for reluctant readers."
TriState YA Book Review Committee
"Excellent resource for middle schools. Boys will love it."
YALSA YA Galley Teen Review - Rachel C.
"An amazing book Between Heaven and Earth will leave readers wanting to read the rest of the series!"
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This title is the first in the "Seven" series, written by seven different authors. They will chronicle the journeys of seven grandsons, as they attempt to fulfill the final wishes of their grandfather, David, (a revered influence in each of their lives). This title follows grandson DJ as he fulfills his grandfather's final wish to have his ashes spread on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. David had spent the war years flying planes over East Africa and had always felt some kinship with the Rift Valley area. When DJ arrives in Tanzania, he meets with Elijah, a mere boy when DJ's grandfather knew him, now a judge in the area. DJ meets Elijah's granddaughter, Sarah, whose goal is to become the first female guide to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Her father is the trip organizer and leader. He finally agrees to let Sarah make the climb but only as a helper, not a guide. The remainder of the story follows the group of climbers including DJ, as they negotiate the treacherous climb, the obstacles they encounter and the relationships that are built along the way. It is a fine coming-of-age story set in a strange and distant land with valuable lessons on family, friends and following one's dreams. Readers will look forward to succeeding books in the series. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
Seventeen-year-old DJ attempts to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in fulfillment of his grandfather's final wish to have his ashes spread at the summit. Accustomed to succeeding at everything he does, DJ mistakenly believes that he can travel to Africa, climb the mountain and be home in a matter of days. Tricked into taking on the first female porter, he finds himself set to climb with a 67-year-old woman; nevertheless, DJ believes that his fitness and youth will be enough to get him to the top. However, if pride comes before the fall, then perhaps humility comes before the ascent. He learns that to travel quickly, one must travel alone, but to travel far, one must go with others. The rich setting and the thrilling details of the climb will make readers yearn for their own adventure. However, graphic descriptions of altitude sickness and stomach-twisting trail food leave no false illusions that the journey will be an easy one. This exciting adventure is only slightly marred by obvious foreshadowing and a predictable ending. DJ's tale is the first of seven books in this series, all publishing simultaneously. Each, written by a different author, will focus on one of the six other grandsons following their grandfather's will. Richly detailed and satisfying. (Adventure. 10-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554699414
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/10/2012
  • Series: Seven Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 644,364
  • Age range: 10 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Walters began writing in 1993 as a way to entice his grade five students into becoming more interested in reading and writing. At the end of the year, one student suggested that he try to have his story published. Since that first creation, Eric has published nearly seventy novels. His novels have all become bestsellers and have won over eighty awards. Often his stories incorporate themes that reflect his background in education and social work and his commitment to humanitarian and social-justice issues. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 70,000 students per year in schools across the country. Eric is a father of three and lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife Anita and dogs Lola and Winnie. For more information, visit www.ericwalters.net.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Orca's The Seven Series gives us seven authors each writing the

    Orca's The Seven Series gives us seven authors each writing the story of one of David McLean's grandsons.  During the reading of David's will, four of his daughters and six of his grandsons learn that David left letters instructing each grandson to complete a task.  At the same time, they learn there was another daughter and another grandson.  This book follows the oldest grandson, DJ, as he journeys from Toronto to Tanzania and attempts to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.  There DJ is to scatter some of his grandfather's ashes which are stored in the handle of David's cane.  DJ is likeable but overly confident; he expects to take just two days to summit the mountain and another to descend.  There is lots of action and good information about how conditions at high altitudes affect the human body.  I appreciated the story line about females not being able to work as porter and the young girl who wormed her way into such a position for the climb.  DJ experiences loneliness, despair, and exhileration, all within a few days.  A great read!

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