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Pure Dead Frozen

Pure Dead Frozen

3.6 3
by Debi Gliori

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As usual, the Strega-Borgia family can't seem to get a break:

They've just welcomed a newborn boy Strega-Borgia into the world, but before they can give him a name, he's snatched and replaced with a demon baby. Mrs. McLachlan, the super-efficient (and supernatural) nanny is back, safe and sound—but so is the demon Isagoth, and he hasn't forgotten what he


As usual, the Strega-Borgia family can't seem to get a break:

They've just welcomed a newborn boy Strega-Borgia into the world, but before they can give him a name, he's snatched and replaced with a demon baby. Mrs. McLachlan, the super-efficient (and supernatural) nanny is back, safe and sound—but so is the demon Isagoth, and he hasn't forgotten what he wants from the Strega-Borgias. And evil Uncle Lucifer has resurfaced, but this time he has the added ammunition of a pact with S'tan the First Minister of the Headen Executive—otherwise known as His Imperial Inflammableness, his S'tainless Steeliness, and the Arch-Fiend. And S'tan himself is desperate to find the Chronostone, because. . . well, to put it bluntly, Hades is starting to freeze over, and without the Chronostone, he may never regain his power.

The family's got to be ready—because this will be the final battle between good and evil, the battle where winner takes all. And they're going to need all the help they can get. . . .

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
A poignant, wise and funny story.
VOYA - Ruth Cox Clark
Before the eccentric Strega-Borgia family, which Gliori introduced in Pure Dead Magic (Knopf, 2001/VOYA December 2001), can bring their newborn home from the hospital in this fifth installment, Little No Name is stolen and a demon changeling is put in his place. It is unclear who gets the worst of the switch-the parents or the demon who has stolen the baby to get back into the good graces of his boss S'tan, often referred to as the Prince of the Pit. One is almost sympathetic-and certainly amused-when the demon discovers what comes out of the bottom end of a human baby! Luciano, the head of the Strega-Borgia family, is worried about the razor-sharp teeth on their newborn as well as his devious brother Lucifer, who is intent on killing him. Lucifer has made a pact with the Arch-Fiend, but S'tan has not been doing very well in the evil-deeds area lately. In his absence, Hades is literally freezing over, in part because of the Strega-Borgia's nanny, Mrs. McLachlan, hiding the powerful Chronostone. But then toddler Damp and Ffup, the family dragon, go on a magical journey and find what they think is Ffup's long lost engagement ring. With the Chronostone back in the picture, the battle between good and evil heats up, literally and figuratively. Gliori clearly delights in word play and elicits laughter with her descriptions of characters, both good and evil. Playful language and inept evildoers make this book a fun but not scary read. Make sure to have the other Strega-Borgia titles on hand-they are like potato chips because you cannot read just one.
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8
The magical and somewhat batty Strega-Borgia family returns in the sixth volume in Gliori's popular series. Everyone awaits the birth of the new baby-especially evil, revenge-seeking Uncle Don Lucifer, who has made a deal with S'tan to have the newborn stolen and substituted with a leering infant demon with pointed teeth. The demon Isagoth, assigned to steal the baby, finds him to be more than a handful. Meanwhile, Mum doesn't seem to notice that her newest child is a changeling, and the other family members are doing their best not to upset her with the news. Oh-and Hell has literally frozen over, too. This witty, if overwritten, novel seems to be aimed more at adults than at children, and readers experience the story nearly as often from the adults' points of view as from those of the Strega-Borgia children. It's likely that only readers familiar with the previous titles will be able to follow most of the convoluted goings-on, but the series' many fans will no doubt be waiting for it.
—Walter MinkelCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Hell and Scotland both freeze over for the sixth (and, possibly, final) entry in this pure dead delightful series. This time the tumultuous Strega-Borgia clan faces three thoroughly evil adversaries from previous outings, including the demon Isagoth-hot to make up for his previous failure to secure the outrageously important Chronostone-and His S'tainless S'teeliness, mighty S'tan himself, popular television chef and First Minister of the Hadean Executive. Along with an array of mythological and magical allies, the Strega-Borgias become even more extended than usual for the climactic face-off with the arrival of a baby brother-snatched by Isagoth, who gets a thorough and hilarious tutorial in just how many body fluids a newborn emits-for siblings Titus, Pandora and little Damp. Once again, Gliori chucks in loads of slimes, stinks, cliffhangers and satiric tweaks, all delivered with split-second comic timing. Though she also tries to fill in the background, so tangled have the ongoing plot threads become that readers would be best advised just to start at the beginning. Despite being billed as the finish, there are enough of those threads left dangling to keep on-and that wouldn't be a bad thing. (Fantasy. 11-13)
From the Publisher
Praise for the Pure Dead series:
“Anyone with a taste for wild farce anchored by a loving family will be enraptured.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“Should Lemony Snicket grow a bit stale, here’s the perfect antidote . . . Mary Poppins meets the Addams family in a nonstop farce.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“Fast-paced, grossly hilarious . . . give this to fans of Roald Dahl, Charles Addams, and Lemony Snicket.”—Booklist

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Pure Dead Series
Sold by:
Random House
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File size:
880 KB
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Edward Frost, who had his share of problems, didn't see how he'd ever solve the biggest one. This was Martin Hastings, the bully of Barkham Street. Martin was two years older than Edward, and there was no solution for this. Martin would continue to be two years older until he was a hundred and Edward was ninety-eight. Edward had a feeling that even then he might not be entirely safe.

The fact that he had only one enemy didn't help Edward much, because Martin lived next door to him. Edward lived at number 21 Barkham Street, and Martin lived at number 23. There was no solution for this, either. How could you avoid your enemy if every time you looked out a door he looked out a window and saw you?

"Why doesn't Dad get a job in Alaska, now that it's a state?" Edward asked his mother one day.

Mrs. Frost didn't look surprised at the question, but she said Edward's father couldn't very well change his job just like that. Mr. Frost was a teacher at a university in St. Louis.

"Alaska would be fun," Edward insisted, without much hope. "I'll bet there's a lot of room for teachers up there. I bet they need them badly. You'd think Dad would want to go where be was needed."

Mrs. Frost sighed. "Is it Martin Hastings again?" she said.

Edward nodded.

"What did he do this time?"

This time Martin had chased him for blocks, and then, when Edward was absolutely exhausted and fell down, Martin sat on top of him and pulled his hair and said over and over, "Uncle, say uncle ......

Martin was a big boy, and Edward not especially. It was an awful, grinding feeling to be sat on that way. And though Martin hadn't pulled bard it was terrible to have yourhair pulled at all.

Edward had held out as long as he could, and then gasped, "Uncle," and was released. He got up shakily, dusted off his trousers, and walked away with Martin's voice loud in his ears.

"Don't forget, now," Martin yelled. "Whenever I look at you and wiggle my finger, you gotta say uncle. Understand, Weird One?"

Edward kept walking, not too fast, because that might start everything all over again, but without answering or looking back. He hated being called Weird One almost as much as he hated the pounding, but there was nothing he could do about that either.

There was no point in telling his mother all this, because it didn't so much matter what Martin did or said, it was just the fact that Martin was there, big and mean and living next door. It was the fact that Edward, looking ahead, could see no way in which any of this would be changed, unless Martin moved away or dropped dead. Neither seemed likely.

"I'm going to get a crew cut," he said now.

"That's fine," said his mother.

I think IT take a course in muscle-building, too. IT write to one of those magazines about bow you get your muscles like cannonballs, and then IT poke him in the jaw and knock him out for a week and when he comes to I'll make him say uncle for a month without stopping."

"You can't do that. I mean, you can't take a strong-man course.

"Why not?"

"Because your muscles aren't developed yet."

That's exactly what I'm saying," Edward pointed out. "I'm going to--"

"No," said his mother. "What I mean is, you aren't old enough for weight lifting and all that sort of thing. You have to be--oh, well into your teens before you can do such things."

"How well into them?"

"Fourteen, anyway, I should think."

"Oh, crums," said Edward in a gloomy voice.

Fourteen seemed practically as far away as ninety-eight. Maybe he should concentrate on learning to run fast. He supposed it was cowardly to run, but the sight of Martin looming around comers like a bear always got his legs into action before he had time to think. And if he had to run, the smart thing would be to run fast enough not to get caught.

"You know," his mother was saying, "even if we did move somewhere else, it wouldn't be much help, probably. I understand there's a bully on every block. I expect even Alaskan blocks. It's what the other mothers tell me, at PTA meetings, and all."

"What do the mothers of the bullies say?"

Mrs. Frost shook her head. "I guess maybe they often don't know. Martin Hastings' mother doesn't know. Or won't believe it. Nobody can tell her anything."

"I heard Ruth Ann's mother telling her one day. Ruth Am;s mother said Martin ought to be locked in an attic until he comes of age.""Oh, but that's a dreadful thing to say.""You know what he did? Ruth Ann and some girls were making a tea party for dolls in the back yard, and Martin went in and knocked everything over, except he drank the ginger ale-that was the tea."Mrs. Frost looked unhappy. "Well, it was a bad thing to do.""Ruth Ann's mother and Mrs. Hastings yelled at each other all over the place. Didn't you hear them?""I must have been away, thank heaven. Edward, I don't know what the answer is. But I'm just glad you aren't a bully."Edward snorted. "Me? I'm the kind who runs.""What else can you do? You needn't be ashamed of running if there's nothing else to do."Dad says I should stand up to him.""How can you stand up to somebody twice your size?"

A Dog on Barkham Street. Copyright © by Mary Stolz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Debi Gliori is the author of Pure Dead Magic, Pure Dead Wicked, Pure Dead Brilliant, Pure Dead Trouble, and Pure Dead Batty. She lives in Scotland.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Pure Dead Frozen 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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