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Book By Author:  Laura L Helland

The Hellandback Kids: Be Careful What You Wish For
 The Hellandback Kids: Be Careful What You Wish For
 Young Adult
 1453852182 9781453852187
Date Reviewed:   



An unforgettable youth adventure full of life's lessons.


Learning life's lessons as a kid is usually dull and boring, especially if it involves staying the summer at your great-grandparent’s house. This is not the case at all in The Hellandback Kids: Be careful What You Wish For by L.L. Helland. Intended for a middle-grade reader, the story starts by introducing the Hellandback family’s four children: Chris; Brittany; Trisha and Jon. The typical infighting of siblings in the first few chapters outlines each of their personalities, weaknesses and strengths. The story switches into high gear when the great-grandmother is introduced in Scotland where the kids have to stay over the summer. “Granmama” is a fabulous character, an eccentric living in an old hospital, and ready to teach each child about life. The kids quickly realize that they are in a magical building and all is not right. One by one each child is transported to a different scenario, where they have to face up to their weaknesses and strengths.

Chris, the main character, is transported to the strange world of the Bundlebobs where he has some amusing conversations with the spirit of his great-grandfather Alastair. Brittany is transported to 14th century London during the black plague. Trisha is sent to 18th century England to be married. Jon is transported to a character filled corporate jungle complete with sharks and back-stabbers.

I am not going to give away story line, but suffice to say, I was impressed by the depth of each child's journey. We are not talking about a sugar-coated “everything is going to be alright” adventure, but one that involves life and death decisions, dealing with loss of self worth, sacrifice, greed, believing in your self and love. Each child has to rise up to the tasks in their journey in order to get back to reality, or is it reality? I was fascinated with how the author, L.L. Helland essentially wrote four stories and somehow seamlessly melded them together. Although a little rushed near the end, I would recommend this book for middle-grade children.  As for adults, an entertaining read with a dose of life lessons can't hurt either.


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Laura Helland Author:  Laura L Helland