The Watchers: A Mystery at Alton Towers

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Overview

But it isn't long before Katy and Josh discover that Alton Towers isn't the happy, fun-filled place they'd imagined. For when the children's squeals of excitement fade at closing time and darkness falls, the park is filled with eerie, moving shadows. Evil lurks in those shadows, waging battle against good. The evil force calls himself the King, but only wants to use his power to hurt innocent children. Caught in the middle of the struggle, Katy and Josh must save Alton Towers from this terrible force--so the real...
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Overview

But it isn't long before Katy and Josh discover that Alton Towers isn't the happy, fun-filled place they'd imagined. For when the children's squeals of excitement fade at closing time and darkness falls, the park is filled with eerie, moving shadows. Evil lurks in those shadows, waging battle against good. The evil force calls himself the King, but only wants to use his power to hurt innocent children. Caught in the middle of the struggle, Katy and Josh must save Alton Towers from this terrible force--so the real King can continue to bring comfort and safety to those who need it most.

Two runaway children hide out in a theme park and become enmeshed in an unearthly battle between the forces of good and evil.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Katy, 11, and Josh, 9, run away from a children's home to Alton Towers, an amusement park. Finding food and shelter while eluding the security staff, they discover a magical valley and meet an evil schemer, the King, who is attempting to enter it. Despite careful plotting, this fantasy fails to live up to Cresswell's previous works. Neither the concrete, contemporary world nor the magical one is fully realized, and even the main characters fail to come to life. A slow pace and dense text sprinkled with Briticisms will discourage youngsters from tackling this lengthy novel, and there is a frustrating lack of a satisfying resolution. Although the final scene, in which Katy saves Josh from the King, is supenseful, the question of whether evil has been vanquished is left open. Furthermore, while Katy and Josh are reunited with their mothers, it is not clear that their problems are truly over. Another potentially disquieting element is the magical valley, where unwanted children from various times and places have been gathered by a mysterious, mute figure known as Mother Alton. While the author may intend it to be a reassuring haven, it is described sketchily, which prevents readers from trusting fully in it. Those looking for either an insightful story about homeless children or a spooky adventure will be disappointed by this unusual, but ultimately unsuccessful, hybrid of the two.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Carolyn Phelan
Running away from the children's home where they've been "placed," Katy and Josh take off for Alton Towers, a nearby amusement park on the grand scale. There they hide out, eating discarded food and blending in with the crowds by day and sleeping wherever they can at night. Readers who have climbed aboard for a roller-coaster ride into realistic fiction will soon find their car veering off into fantasy land when Katy discovers that the bag lady who hangs out in Alton Towers by day is someone--or something--else at sundown. Katy's thrill at learning how to travel through time is tempered by the knowledge that children in another dimension are counting on her to destroy the evil force that haunts the park. Cresswell blends disparate plot elements into an exciting narrative that races toward a hauntingly inconclusive conclusion. A good choice for booktalks.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780027253719
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.59 (h) x 0.85 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2000

    The Watchers

    It wasn't the best book I ever read, but it was okay.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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