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The Kingdom of Kevin Malone

The Kingdom of Kevin Malone

5.0 1
by Suzy McKee Charnas

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Amy is drawn into a dangerous and disturbing fantasy world in Central Park, created as an escape from an abusive father by Kevin Malone, a bully from Amy's neighborhood.


Amy is drawn into a dangerous and disturbing fantasy world in Central Park, created as an escape from an abusive father by Kevin Malone, a bully from Amy's neighborhood.

Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Hazel K. Davis
Charnas combines adventures in a fantasy world with real-life problems of child abuse, friendship, and coping with the death of a loved one. Fourteen-year-old Amy, a reader of fantasy, follows Kevin Malone, her childhood tormentor, into Fayre Farre, the imaginary world he created for himself as a child to escape his father's beatings. Charnas' irreverent treatment of other fantasy adventures makes for delightful reading. There are monsters, prophesies, magic, action, and bloodshed galore. The ending is somewhat satisfactory as Amy finally accepts the death of her cousin, and Kevin vanquishes his enemy, his father, at least for now. Charnas entertains the reader while getting in some good points about the cycle of child abuse. The Kingdom of Kevin Malone should appeal to a wide audience.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Chasing Kevin, a bully from her old neighborhood, teenaged Amy skates under an archway in Central Park and finds herself in the Fayre Farre, a fantasy land that the boy has created to escape his ugly ``real'' life. There, he is no longer Rotten Kevin, but Kavian Prince, the Promised Champion, destined by prophecy to free his people from the evil sorceror Anglower. Charnas plays the Fayre Farre as both real and metaphorical. Anglower, when he appears for the Final Battle, is the phantom of Kevin's abusive father; after a brisk fight, he is ultimately defeated in a tangle of thorny roses. Several subplots, including Amy's struggle to cope with a favorite relative's sudden death, and frequent shifts of mood or scene, give the story a crowded feel, but the author's sly digs at the heroic fantasy genre are on the mark, and Kevin makes an unusual hero. He's whiny, sullen, and self-centered, but also a tragic figure with a nascent sense of responsibility-he elects to stay in his newly liberated kingdom, and is last seen worrying about the ethnic strife developing between the elves and the semihuman Branglemen. Readers can sift through the whimsy for serious themes, or not, as they choose.-John Peters, New York Public Library
Sally Estes
Charnas melds the world of the teenage problem novel with that of fantasy in a story that pokes gentle fun at the conventions of fantasy fiction. Bereft at the untimely death of her beloved aunt and confidant, Amy goes roller skating in Central Park with her best friend, Rachel. Suddenly, someone bumps into Amy, pinning a rhinestone rose on her sleeve--the very pin that her aunt had given her and that Kevin Malone, the neighborhood bully, had stolen from her years earlier. Amy gives chase and, skating through the arch of a bridge, finds herself in the Fayre Farre, a world Kevin has created and peopled with all sorts of fantasy creatures in order to escape his abusive father. Here, Kevin is prince and Promised Champion, destined to save the land from the evil White One. However, Kevin's creation has gotten away from him; he's ill-prepared, and a prophecy not of his making says that the help of three princesses is needed to "bring the prince worthily to his throne." The action is fast paced as Amy brings two friends and a pocket knife/magic sword into Fayre Farre and events move inexorably to the final confrontation. The juxtaposition of Central Park and Fayre Farre is nicely done, adding to the sense of mystery, which is also conveyed in the attractive, beckoning shaded black-and-white frontispiece and chapter heading illustrations. Though the somewhat quick acceptance of magic by all three girls is not quite believable, Amy is a convincing and likable heroine, and Kevin, in all his emotional frailty--tough exterior, internal vulnerability--rings true.

Product Details

ElectricStory.com, Inc.
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358 KB

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Kingdom of Kevin Malone 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, this book is not for everybody. On one level it's a straightforward adventure fantasy -- there's a slum kid with a chip on his shoulder (he's no Harry Potter, he's much more real) who has to be the hero who saves everybody from the 'Dark Lord' type of evil in his own made-up fantasy land, but his adventure is completely out of his control and is turning up some things that are tougher to handle than he ever expected -- like how the brave sidekick who gets killed really gets killed here, and it's not just a throw-away, it hurts. There's plenty of lighthearted and funny sniping between Kevin and Amy, the only person who can really help him on his quest but who also happens to hate his guts because he was her school bully, and when Kevin runs into some of the usual stuff in high fantasy adventure -- elves and gnomes and trolls and skeleton armies -- the differences between what he expects these things to be and how they really are (because they have their own reality, they're not just your standard sort of role-playing cutouts) can be prtty funny. But the idea that Kevin isn't just whooping it up as a hero in a comic book but that whether he wins or not means a huge amount to the whole world he's created, well, that's a serious idea. It's not just about sitting up there waving your sword and having everybody admire you. And even when you win, things don't wind up in a blaze of glory, because nothing winds up -- if the people and creatures are real, then life goes on from there, and the weird little bush-guys who fight with polished sticks (the Branglemen) have an old quarrel with the tree elves who took over a lot of their territory (at least according to the Branglemen), so once you've finished off the Dark Lord and winning the crown, you have to start thinking about ruling a world -- getting people to settle old grudges and get over the rough spots in past history. So it's a fantasy world turned really, really real that Amy gets dragged into to help Kevin through all this, and there's something strong here about kids facing the reality of feelings and losses even when it's trolls doing the feeling or the losing. So if you like your fantasy shallow, just swing that sword and joke around, this book will bother you. If you're interested in going deeper into that kind of world to see how it really ticks and how its fantastic people think and feel and get along, you'll like this book as much as I did. It's not a comic in words, it's a real book, and it made me think a little of 'The Lord of the Rings' only brought up to date and made more connected to the real world of a person reading it now. You can really get your teeth into this one. I also loved the way Central Park and its landmarks are used in this book as a map to the Faire Farre, Kevin's fantasy land, so that Amy can use things like the carousel up by the chess and checkers house as a portal into Kevin's world.