Juniper Berry

( 31 )

Overview

Be careful what you wish for.

Young Juniper Berry knows her mother and father aren't the same people they used to be. Of course, they're no longer struggling actors—they're now the most famous movie stars in the world. But it's more than that. She can't shake the feeling that something isn't quite right with them. And one rainy night, in the shadowy and sinister woods behind their mansion, she discovers she's ...

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Juniper Berry

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Overview

Be careful what you wish for.

Young Juniper Berry knows her mother and father aren't the same people they used to be. Of course, they're no longer struggling actors—they're now the most famous movie stars in the world. But it's more than that. She can't shake the feeling that something isn't quite right with them. And one rainy night, in the shadowy and sinister woods behind their mansion, she discovers she's right.

Now, it's up to Juniper to overcome her own demons in order to save the ones who couldn't.

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Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
In a story at once harrowing and touching, Kozlowsky enlivens the narrative with a deft hand, melding imagery that recalls the work of Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, and Hans Christian Andersen...This compelling read promises to draw reluctant and avid readers alike.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The quirky plot (who knew brightly colored balloons could represent such dire consequences?) is nicely accented with a slightly out-of-time feel...Kozlowsky wisely builds toward a rich and complex climax worth these often-splendid characters.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
The quirky plot (who knew brightly colored balloons could represent such dire consequences?) is nicely accented with a slightly out-of-time feel...Kozlowsky wisely builds toward a rich and complex climax worth these often-splendid characters.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
The quirky plot (who knew brightly colored balloons could represent such dire consequences?) is nicely accented with a slightly out-of-time feel...Kozlowsky wisely builds toward a rich and complex climax worth these often-splendid characters.
Publishers Weekly
Kozlowsky's debut novel is a murky mix of family drama, horror fantasy, and inspirational tale. Eleven-year-old Juniper Berry once had a cozy, love-filled life with her struggling actor parents but, with their ascent to stardom, they have become cold and zombielike, leaving Juniper lonely and confused. Intelligent, thoughtful, and ever optimistic about winning back their love and attention, Juniper spends the first third of the book trying to understand what has changed her parents—readers will quickly pick up ominous hints that there is something otherworldly about the celebrity Berrys ("Mrs. Berry's teeth were bared, her nostrils flared, and her eyes were dark")—and the balance combating the evil yet enticing forces that have overtaken them. She soon gains a sidekick, equally lonely Giles, whose parents have succumbed to the same power. Although filled with requisite horror elements—thick forest, sinister tree, screeching raven, terrifying/tantalizing underworld lord—the novel fails to inspire page-turning terror. Despite her emotional and ethical struggles, Juniper remains a flat character, making it difficult for readers to care deeply about her fate. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–up. (May)
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
The quirky plot (who knew brightly colored balloons could represent such dire consequences?) is nicely accented with a slightly out-of-time feel...Kozlowsky wisely builds toward a rich and complex climax worth these often-splendid characters.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Juniper Berry misses the days when her parents were less famous. They have become two of the most recognizable actors in the world, and the 11-year-old rattles around their mansion with only her dog for company. Even when her mother and father are home, they are too preoccupied to act out the plays that she writes for them. When Juniper meets a boy wandering around the grounds, he tells her he has noticed a similar withdrawal in his parents and believes the adults' strange behavior is linked to a mysterious tree on Juniper's property. As she and Giles explore the tree more thoroughly, they find a hole in its base and a staircase. They discover an underground lair that is the home of Skeksyl, a shadowy creature that trades in special balloons. Those who agree to breathe into one will have their innermost desires fulfilled. As the children are drawn deeper into the eerie world, they realize that their parents have fallen victim to Skeksyl's temptations and must find a way to reclaim their souls and restore the unity that their families once enjoyed. While Kozlowsky's imagined world is an original one, readers are never truly drawn in as events unfold, and even the main characters come across as flat and unappealing. Lyn Gardner's Into the Woods (Random, 2007) and N. D. Wilson's "100 Cupboards" trilogy (Random) are better choices for fantasy lovers who enjoy themes of the importance of family. Full-page, atmospheric illustrations appear throughout.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061998706
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 227
  • Sales rank: 222,154
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

M. P. Kozlowsky is the author of Juniper Berry. A former schoolteacher, he lives in New York with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Thrilling, can't-put-down excitement!

    This debut book by M.P. Kozlowsky is impressive. Although it will primarily be marketed to a younger demographic, it has tremendous cross-appeal for adults. I found myself unable to stop reading throughout, often saying, "Ok, just one more chapter". The most important thing for me was the strong attachment to the characters. Kozlowsky did a great job setting up the story and developing an attachment between the reader and the protagonist. In addition, the supporting characters were equally fleshed out so that you care what happens to them. Too often in stories today, there is an increasing desire to "get to the action" but, I'm glad that was not the case here (there is plenty action later on!). The villian was excellently portrayed and the themes of temptation, addiction to power, and redemption were powerful. There were many instances that created mystery in a way that I haven't felt since I watched the TV show LOST. The story had a lot of dark imagery that was creatively described; so much so that it was easy to visualize the scenes in my head. The vocabulary will be challenging at times for younger readers but that's ok: I feel it's important for children to challenge themselves to learn new words. From the enticing cover art to the satisfying finale, I was enthralled the whole time and can't wait to see Kozlowsky's next book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Loved it

    It was a great book full of detail it was so cool how you get your wish but it sucks how it twists it around. I loved the ending espisally because it was happy (:

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Entertaining

    The cover and synopsis of JUNIPER BERRY make it sound it's everything I want in a good story. Dark, creepy middle grade is the absolute best, and the cover gives off this larger-than-life feel. When my good friend Jessica recommended I give it a try, I listened. (Oh yes, I listened. You should always listen to your friends, especially when they are speaking of books.)

    JUNIPER BERRY is the story of Juniper Berry (a fine name indeed) a lonely girl whose parents are the most famous actors. When she notices a change in her parents-they don't give her the same amount of attention they did a year ago, they don't cook dinner, they aren't interested in Juniper period-our marvelous protagonist sets out to get to the bottom of this peculiar behavior. With her best fried, Giles, Juniper enters the woods behind her house with nothing but fervor. Little does she know, she's going to need much more than love for her parents-or rather, her OLD parents-to defeat the sneaky creature responsible.

    JUNIPER BERRY was a delightful book. Honestly, I expected more-the tone was a little flavorless, and the story was a little stale-but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I felt sympathy for Juniper Berry and was oh so scared for her well-being once I hit those final chapters. (NO, don't go through that door Juniper Berry! RUN! RUN! RUN!) I also loved her friend Giles, who may or may not resemble a scared cat.

    JUNIPER BERRY is the perfect read for the season coming up, I think. But it now, read it in October. The beautiful illustrations only add to the dark and creepy atmosphere.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Mystery

    This book is amazing. Juniper is such a sweet and brave girl. This book will keep you up. Mystery action and adventure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2013

    I loved this book so much that I got my entire book club at the

    I loved this book so much that I got my entire book club at the library to read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2012

    Juniper Berry is an adventurous middle grade thriller about an 1

    Juniper Berry is an adventurous middle grade thriller about an 11 year old girl and her friend Giles searching for the cure to their parents' strange behavior over the past few years.

    The beginning was a little bit slow, and at first you think that this is going to be yet another woeful tale of a child not receiving attention from their parents. Then Giles enters the scene and tells Juniper about his own parents and their strange behavior. They decide that there must be more behind the neglectful ways of their parents and do some investigating.

    Eventually they come to discover the underworld where their parents have been selling bits of their souls to a sinister creature in exchange for realization of their dreams.

    Once the story got going, it was very fascinating. It is a tale of learning to love who you are, and accepting your own shortcomings because they are what make you unique. The story is about chasing your dreams, and discovering how far you would go in order to achieve your goals. Would you sell your soul? Don't be so sure you wouldn't.

    I enjoyed the aspect of Juniper learning how far is too far. She learns about friendship, kindness, and loving other people even with their natural weaknesses, and she learns about herself and what she truly wants out of life. She is a brave little heroine with a big heart and a bigger determination to save the souls of her parents.

    The age level is a bit generous, I think. The book is supposed to be for children 8 years old and up. Honestly, I wouldn't give this book to a child under 10. Juniper and Giles come upon some very disturbing discoveries and some of the scenes (in my opinion) are a little too scary for younger kids.

    The Illustrations: The artwork in Juniper Berry were fantastic. There are just a few illustrations sprinkled throughout the book, adding a visual to the storyline. I love Madrid's style. He rendered each illustration well, giving life to the characters and situations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Kristiana

    A girl in a purple praetor's cape sat in a seat, drumming a table with her fingers. She had layered aburn hair and stormy grey eyes. Two dogs flanked the desk, one silver, one gold. On a pole perched a golden eagle. On her arm there were letters and a mark. An owl mark.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    A fun children's book. A book with delightful terror =D

    A fun children's book. A book with delightful terror =D

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    Cute

    Not so creepy when you're older than 12, but still a stimulating read. I wished it were longer though.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Creepy and Delicious!

    I love delving into worlds featuring the fantastic. If left up to me, life would be a fantasy...or a fairy tale. I love novels brimming with epic quests and the discovery that comes as a child discovers him/herself. JUNIPER BERRY by M.P. Kozlowsky fills all of these requirements, albeit in a creepy, unforgiving way. The novel's children, Juniper and Giles, are forced to grow up as them embark on a journey to save their parents.

    Everyone has been comparing JUNIPER BERRY to the little-known tale THE JUNIPER TREE by The Brothers Grimm, but I have trouble seeing the connection aside from, you know, the juniper tree. Think of a book that has been adapted into the worst adaptation of a movie you've ever seen. You get annoyed at how different they are, how the two only share a name. Comparing JUNIPER BERRY to THE JUNIPER TREE is like that: The comparison is too loose with next to no connections. THE JUNIPER TREE reminds me more of the eerie, yet awesome musical SWEENEY TODD by Stephen Sondheim, full of death, secrets, and mayhem. JUNIPER BERRY.does not. So don't go into this novel expecting something twisted or demented, because you won't find it. Don't forget: This is a middle-grade novel for kids. If it was too crazy, they'd be scarred for life. Heck, the book's already creepy enough that I would have been hiding under my covers after reading it as a child. It has just the right amount of creep (because I was a scaredy-cat child): Not too much, not too little. "Just right," as Goldilocks would say!

    The novel centers around a girl named Juniper Berry, who lives in a mansion with her dog (delightfully named Kitty) and her famous movie star parents. She grew up sheltered and loved. As her parents' stars began shining brighter, it was harder to go out and be "normal" people. Juniper is home-schooled and doesn't know how to participate in childhood staples such as Hide-and-Seek. Her private tutors are more than happy to stick her with work then take off to snoop into the lives of such famous actors. Lately, Juniper's parents have no time for her. They're always rehearsing, and they brush her off or say mean things to her. Something has changed. One day while wandering in the local woods, Juniper meets a boy named Giles. Giles' parents have been acting as strange as Juniper's, and Giles is looking for a tree he saw them disappear into the previous night. That night, Juniper follows her parents and sees the same thing. Together, Juniper and Giles find a way to open the ominous tree favored by a lone black raven.

    Inside the tree, they meet a mysterious man named Skeksyl and discover that the raven, Neptune, is his companion. The description for Skeksyl brought an image of Kamaji from the movie SPIRITED AWAY.

    The entire novel is filled with such descriptive prose. The cover states that JUNIPER BERRY is "a tale of terror and temptation," and rightly so. While not so terrifying as an adult, the language and visuals will hit their target audience dead-on. It's hard to describe. The tone reminds me a lot of CORALINE by Neil Gaiman. It has the same texture/flavor that I'm trying to explain to you. The aspect of temptation is woven in deftly, filling the tale with strong morals, but in a way that never preaches.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2014

    Great book

    Excellent if you love adventure like me

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Shatter

    Gr... the other girl!!!! Two other girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Teddy

    What is it?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Scary.

    Had me on the edge of my toes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    This creative, exciting, and mysterious novel hooks readers. It

    This creative, exciting, and mysterious novel hooks readers. It is delightfully creepy.
     If you liked watching the movie Coraline, I totally recommend this book. It is one of those stories I will read again and again.
     The characters develop during the story and the plot twists to reveal new mysteries. If you are 11-13 you would like this book. 
    It's a little easy for 14 year olds, but it's such a great story that any kid or teen would love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Question

    What is so creepy about the book????

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Mosspaw needs to be mentored

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    The book

    This book is sooooo good you need to read it i love this book read it is like a movie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Tigerlillypaw

    I want a mate

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Fireflower to spiritpaw

    U need a mate right? My brother does. Hes at fw first result. His name is firewolf

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews

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