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The King in the Window

Author: Adam Gopnik


ISBN: 9780786838943
Pages: 410
Description: Oliver Parker is a ten-year-old American boy miserably trapped in Paris, where his father is stationed as a journalist. Intimidated by his French school and its prickly teachers, oppressed by gray and wintry Paris, and feeling curiously remote from his father-who spends more and more time staring dully into his computer screen–Oliver longs to return to America. But if he has to stay in Paris, Oliver sure wouldn’t mind if the elegant and very French little girl down the street, Neige, deigned to notice him. During dinner with his parents one cold January evening, Oliver feels silly wearing the paper crown of an Epiphany-festival French king. That night, looking in the mirror, he sees a boy in an ancient French doublet gazing back at him. The boy, Francois, tells Oliver that he himself is kingly, and that he has a special mission–rescuing souls. Only days later, on a trip to Versailles, Oliver is transported to the French spirit kingdom, ruled over by the fatuous King Louis the Nth. There, the famous playwright Moliere tells Oliver he must deliver France from the forces of the great Egg, who sucks up the spirits of men, women, and children when they look into a mirror of glass or of water. Oliver reluctantly rises to the challenge. Fortunately, he has help–from the can-do American Charlie, who arrives for a visit; from Neige, a Parisian diva in training; and from Mrs. Pearson, a British author and personage who leads a foray straight through Lewis Carroll’s looking-glass. Ultimately, Oliver pursues Egg into the underworld-located directly underneath Paris–and realizes he must save not just the world, but all of its souls as well. In a marvelous denouement in which Oliver musttransform Eiffel Tower itself to fight the soulless wraiths, the boy proves himself a true king. The King in the Window is a beautifully written, suspenseful adventure tale in the tradition of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien–an instant classic.
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