So, this cute idea was put into my head and I decided to run with it. This crazy notion of not just doing a run of the mill book review, but to have a “she said, she said” book review with none other than my daughter, “T”!
Hopefully what follows will not only be entertaining, but educational and inspirational. The review was conducted in an interview format, meaning it was not rehearsed and the comments have not been altered. Our answers are straight from the hip and hilariously genuine. If nothing else, we hope you find this to be fun!
The Kingdom Keepers is a series of novels for young readers, written by Ridley Pearson and published by Disney Hyperion. The first novel, Disney After Dark, was published in 2005; the second, Disney at Dawn, was released on August 26, 2008; the third, Disney In Shadow was released on April 6, 2010; the fourth Power Play on April 5, 2011; the fifth Shell Game on April 3, 2012; and the sixth “Dark Passage” on April 2, 2013. According to Pearson’s blog, The Kingdom Keepers was submitted to Walt Disney Pictures for a film in August 2006 and was resubmitted again around July 2008. Pearson has announced that there will be several Kingdom Keepers books coming out sometime in the future with Dark Passage being the most current as it was released on April 2, 2013. There will be a total of seven books in the series.¹
Mom – So, I thought we would start the ruckus off with one of your current fave’s, The Kingdom Keepers. We’ve both read the books, so this should be easy and fun. Ready?
Trinity – Always.
Mom – What were your initial thoughts when picking up the first book in this series?
Trinity – Uh… I guess I thought it would be that they met the characters, solved the mystery, and that would be the end. Instead, I found it exciting because it was appealing to Disney fans in its genre, but also personal choices for the characters. This created an interesting story.
Mom – I was immediately intrigued by the thought of learning more about Disney behind the scenes. I didn’t realize it was Disneyworld at first though, so I was a bit bummed that I wasn’t going to learn some behind the scenes secrets to one of my favorite places, Disneyland. I was thinking I would get to walk around Disneyland with “insider tips”, which I didn’t get.
Mom – Did you find the books fairly engaging?
Trinity – Oh, yeah! If you have an open mind, you’re going to like it.
Mom – Hmmm… I think the first two held my interest more than the others. Maybe because they were new? The rest were good, but didn’t intrigue me as much.
Trinity – Why didn’t they intrigue as much?
Mom– I think because they almost seemed formulaic? I knew the characters’ strengths and weaknesses by the third and fourth books, so I already knew how they would react to certain situations and each story followed a similar pattern. Plus, they all leave you with a cliffhanger.
Mom – Did any of the characters remind you of anyone you know, of anyone famous, or of a character in another book?
Trinity – Actually yes. I come across a lot of Finn characters and Maybeck in my reading. I also come across Willas, as they are common archetypes in storytelling. “Finn’s” are main characters, everyone can sympathize and understand him. “Maybecks” because they think of themselves as cool. Sometimes they doubt themselves and, when shaken, turn out differently. Others turn onto a path where they discover they aren’t who they thought they were but they are everyone’s friends. “Willas” are common because she is the smart girl who likes the smart boy, “I’m part of the team” is a standard archetype. With her though, she has a twist where she has a harder time making choices, thinking about how that reflects on other people and in that sense I’ve read her character a little less.
Mom – What do you think will happen to the characters after the series is over?
Trinity – Personally, I think (which is what everyone else is expecting) they will subdue the Undertakers, but there will always be an open window for the bad guys to return. I think everyone will have a happy ending and grow up. I think the Keepers fans are expecting this.
Mom – Very thoughtful.
Mom – Would you like to see this made into a movie? Would these books make a good film? Why or why not?
Trinity – Definitely, because there are so many parts. The storyline is something that would appeal to a lot of people. Even if no one else does, I want to see the movie. Would you?
Mom – Yeah! I think it would be interesting. Do you think they’ll make one movie or several; one for each book?
Trinity – I think they might do two. Combining the first three into one and the rest into another, if the first movie proves popular.
Mom – Who would you cast in the different roles?
Trinity – I cannot name certain actors, but I have preferences on how they look. I know how they should look, according to the book. I hope they stick to the book. I don’t want Willa to be Asian. I don’t know if it is because I’m also Hispanic, but I want her to remain the same.
Mom – Why?
Trinity – In the book, Ridley describes her as Hispanic, I would not want her to be Asian. If he did, it would change the character; her heritage is a huge part of her character.
Mom – Why do you think they would change her?
Trinity – Only because I’ve seen drawings people have done, they make her Asian or black. I want her to remain true to her character because she is my favorite.
Trinity – If a character were changed in the movie, which do you think it would be and would you care either way? Which would you be most upset about if they changed?
Mom – (Thinking)… I think I would be most disappointed in Amanda. I can see a tendency for them to make her “goth” in appearance and nature. I don’t find that true in the books though; although I could see people portraying her that way. I think this would upset me the most because it gives the image that when someone is unusual, that somehow comes out on the outside. Being different doesn’t mean you have to look a certain way.
Mom – Do you think this book inspired you to read more?
Trinity – It didn’t inspire me to read more, unless it was specifically Disney.
Mom – I can’t imagine not being inspired to read! I read a lot. But like you, it probably piqued my interest in reading more about Disney behind the scenes; more true to life stuff.
Mom – So, are you going to pick the next book we review?
Trinity – Uh; personally, I’d like to do Agatha Christie. I’m starting her books; I like them, and you’ve already read them. I think we’d have a lot to talk about and they are nice to read.