RECOMMENDED AUTHOR: ALICE SALERNO
The Chrystellian Trilogy is an imaginatively exciting group of adventures without bitten fingernails, suspenseful without nightmares, and completely delightful outer space fantasy. For young people ages ten years and up who love to read, or would like to, this series is hard to put down. Do your homework first!
Book One, The White Hole in Space, is an adventure which begins in Jennifer Archer's backyard, while Jenny and her best friend Willa are talking about their just-beginning vacation. In the middle of their discussion, a white hole in space rolls through the backyard, and...
Book Two, The Dread Dimension, takes up the tale when Jenny, while saving Little Bee, a White World Toddler, from falling into a VERY, VERY, VERY DEEP HOLE, falls into it herself, and finds herself in an extraordinary place, where...
Author Alice Salerno lives 45 minutes north of San Francisco (unless it's rush hour). She's lived most of her life in Northern California, and lives there now, with her husband Joseph and Shadow, their bossy and beloved toy poodle.
Excerpt from The White Hole in Space:
..."What holds these things up?" Jenny groaned.
Quickly, she glanced below them, and even more quickly looked up again. "We must be miles in the air. I can't even see the bottom!" It was so far, far down.
But she had to do it. She knew that.
Above was the rocky underside of the massive white mountain they'd come into -- an immense underground cavern.
Looking straight forward, she took the next step. And she took another step. And another.
"Good Jenny," Willa said softly, hardly breathing. "Wonderful."
"Fabulous, dear friend," Morgan praised quietly. "A phenomenal achievement."
Slowly they descended, but Jenny couldn't look down to see where they were going. All she knew was that they were going down, and down was where she wanted to be. Slowly, on her own terms.
Atta Girl was restless, demanding to be put down. Jenny stooped carefully to set her down and the cat took off, leaping easily from stone to stone. But as Jennifer straightened up again a breeze -- a wind -- a whirlwind! snapped around her feet like a cranky puppy.
She gasped. She stumbled. She looked down.
And everything about her that was brave, and glad, and hopeful stayed on that stepping stone to nowhere, while everything about her that was homesick, and despairing, and terrified, teetered sideways with her body and fell into forever.
An excerpt from The Dread Dimension:
With Behrn and Dr. Jaahn gently supporting Morgan, they all reached the bottom of the stepping stones, where they moved into the midst of a warm, welcoming and excited crowd. Dr. Jaahn stayed near Morgan, watching him carefully for signs of a relapse. Willa stayed with Jenny, observing her anxiously, as well. Warren glanced occasionally in his sister's direction to see how she was doing, but mostly he looked at everything around them. He'd done some sightseeing on the island already, but now that colors had spread everywhere, he was goggle-eyed with the wonders of it all.
And the Dreamcastle was ahead.
The castle rose majestically from the center of the island city. It was different in almost every way from the way it had looked when Jennifer, Willa, and Atta Girl first saw it. They recognized it though. This time colors were blooming in it, and jaunty carousel ponies trotted to merry music as they spiraled around and around the castle, and through shining tunnels that wandered through the castle itself. Because Chrystelleans all helped to imagine the castle into existence, these poinies were faster than usual carousel animals, with real children riding them in screaming delight. And because parents created the dreams as well, the ride only seemed to be dangerous. The parents had dreamed safety into the whole thing.
All of the Christellean citizens dreamed the castle into being, frequently changing its rooms, their sizes, the statuary,and the furnishings. It made the Dreamcastle difficult to find one's way around in, but the constant creativity expressed there made even getting lost in it a constant joy.
From balconies near the top, acrobats and trapeze artists performed, surrounded by newly-colorful balloons and bright ribbon flags. And above it all, as grand as Disneyland, fireworks fountained lights and colors in dazzling, ever-changing performance. As the new arrivals stepped onto the island and looked up, the fireworks began spelling out, "Welcome, Dream Savers; Welcome Color Bringers." And all their names were woven subtly through that display in ever changing patterns.
Illustrations by Kevin Langstaff