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Essays & Reviews
  The Kingdom of Kevin Malone

The Kingdom of Kevin Malone

  Living in New Mexico, I kept running into this: “You grew up in New York City? That must have been awful!” What most people "know" about New York they learn from TV crime shows. So I decided to write about the reality of growing up in a place of physical freedom, thrilling unpredictability, and a enormous, nourishing energy — a book about the magic of New York.

This is that book.

  — SMC  
  Buy This eBook
"... a perfect example of the mixing of genres (contemporary fiction and high fantasy)... Underneath the plotline... is the more serious story of the protagonist's coming to terms with her favorite cousin's death, and it's the touching way Charnas handles that story, along with her engaging characters and smooth prose, that makes this novel so successful... "
— Mystery Scene

"This is a great book... The story is fast-paced and seductive. The main characters are engaging and tough... an endearing story with lots of interest and action — definitely worth the ride...
— sfsite.com
  "... This little jewel of a novel makes a... realistic case for the role that well-written and highly perceptive fantasy can play in helping teens deal with... very real problems... The issues are real; the fantasy aspects extraordinarily well-conceived... As an adult, I loved this book! And I've shared it with young friends... who found it equally meaningful."
  — Amazon.com

  "... 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... Readers can sift through the whimsy for serious themes or not, as they choose."
  — School Library Journal

An Excerpt:
. . . white stick fingers clicked against the heavy wooden bar Kevin had set across the shutters. A staticky voice spoke inside the wind: “If you won’t come to us, then we’ll visit you. We’ll drink ash wine together.”

Kevin rapped the hearth wall with his fist, scattering velvety soot from the bricks. A section of the wall swung away in front of me.

“You wanted to go home,” he said. “Go! If the Bone Men get you, that’s the end. You have to be able to move back and forth between the worlds, because I can’t any more.”

I gaped at him. Back and forth? I was supposed to come back here? In the other room, the door shuddered under a thunderous impact and another piece of planking clattered to the floor.

“It won’t be like this next time,” Kevin shouted. The rushing noise and static filled the air now. He pushed me forward. “Now go, go on!”

“Where?” I said, pulling back from the inky opening in the hearth wall. It looked like the mouth of a bottomless pit.

“Follow the passage,” he said in my ear, “it will take you home. But you’ll come back, Amy -- the prophecy speaks of you. You’ve a part to play here; you’re needed. Swear you’ll come back!”

A racket of hammering broke out on the roof. “God,” I said, “are you crazy?”

He glared. “I gave you your brooch back, didn’t I?”

“Who asked you to steal it in the first place?” I yelled.

The whole building began to rattle like a gigantic snare drum played by a maniac.

“Damn it, GO!” Kevin shoved me into the passage and the brick wall crashed shut behind me.

ElectricStory.com e-version June 2001 ISBN: B0051J5166  
Harcourt Brace Hardcover 1993 ISBN: 0-15-200756-3