Between Heaven and Earth

  • Pages:264
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:Family, adventure, action, grandfather and grandsons, courage
  • Pub Date:10/10/2012
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12
  • Lexile:660L
  • ATOS:4.6
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DJ is David McLean's eldest grandson, so it stands to reason that he be the one to scatter his beloved grandfather's ashes. At least that's how DJ sees it. He's always been the best at everything—sports, school, looking after his fatherless family—so climbing Kilimanjaro is just another thing he'll accomplish almost effortlessly. Or so he thinks, until he arrives in Tanzania and everything starts to go wrong. He's detained at immigration, he gets robbed, his climbing group includes an old lady and he gets stuck with the first ever female porter. Forced to go polepole (slowly), DJ finds out the hard way that youth, fitness level and drive have nothing to do with success on the mountain—or in life.

DJ's adventures start in Jungle Land, part of The Seven Prequels and continue in Sleeper, part of The Seven Sequels.
"The rich setting and the thrilling details of the climb will make readers yearn for their own adventure. However, graphic descriptions of altitude sickness and stomach-twisting trail food leave no false illusions that the journey will be an easy one...Richly detailed and satisfying."
– Kirkus Reviews
"An amazing book…Between Heaven and Earth will leave readers wanting to read the rest of the series!"
– YALSA YA Galley Teen Review
"Strikingly realistic...It really made me want to experience the climb for myself."
– YALSA YA Galley Teen Review
"A story of determination and will that forces the characters to reconsider what is truly important in life and why they are really climbing the mountain."
– YALSA YA Galley Teen Review
"Walters' style is, as usual, quick and catchy, but smooth and engaging at the same time. His characters are well-developed, focusing mainly on three people, DJ, Sarah, and Doris, as they struggle to make their way toward the summit and deposit DJ's grandfather's ashes....Walters' has written a fantastic story that will capture the attention of young readers and keep them engaged until the last page...Highly Recommended."
– CM Magazine
"While DJ’s overconfidence makes it hard to root for him at first, his growth along the way soon transforms him into a more palatable hero. The biggest draw, though, is Walter's keen attention to atmosphere, detail, and setting—Mount Kilimanjaro is a character unto itself. "
– Publishers Weekly
"Walters is known for action-adventure novels that appeal to boys, and his latest project, Seven (The Series), is no exception...A solid outdoor adventure story."
– Quill & Quire
"I enjoyed how DJ was able to relate to the Tanzanians and how the characters helped each other in their climb up the mountain. I recommend it as a fast, fun read."
– Teen reviewer, San Francisco Book Review
"[The] adventures are exciting and readers will be anxious to pick up the next book in the series. Great for middle grade boys who want realistic fiction with action and suspense."
– NJ Youth Services
"I would highly recommend this for any collection needing a fast paced quick read including a boy and an adventure. The story was well written and the characterization was well thought out. This would be a great story even for reluctant readers."
– Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries (SWON)
"Excellent resource for middle schools. Boys will love it."
– TriState YA Book Review Committee
YALSA Quick Picks nominee   | 2013  |  Short-listed
TriState YA Review Group Book of Note   | 2013  |  Commended
Red Maple Award nominee   | 2014  |  Short-listed
Rocky Mountain Book Award nominee   | 2014  |  Short-listed