A Guide to the Other Side (Beyond Baylor #1)
Author: Robert Imfeld
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Hardcover; 320 pages
A boy and his ghostly twin sister work together to pass messages from the beyond in this funny paranormal debut.
There are a few things you should know about Baylor Bosco: He’s thirteen-years-old, he has a twin sister, and he really does NOT like ghosts…which is problematic because he’s a medium and sees ghosts everywhere.
Oh, and his twin sister, Kristina? She’s a ghost too.
They’ve been working as a pair for years, expertly relaying messages from ghosts to their still-living loved ones. Baylor’s even managed to come up with an introductory phrase—one that he has to use far too often.
But when a strange ghost shows up close to Halloween, a grown man, covered in a sheet, with only his black leather shoes showing from the bottom, Baylor starts to wonder if something else has taken notice of him. And when his sister goes missing, somehow ghost-napped, he’s forced to figure out the truth about the Sheet Man and his sister’s disappearance, all without his usual ghostly ambassador.
"A GUIDE TO THE OTHER SIDE IS A FUN RIDE AND A GREAT CONCEPT. A MIDDLE GRADE MEDIUM TAKING ON A VERY BAD GHOST, AND FINDING HIS TWIN SISTER—WHO’S ALSO A GHOST. CHILLS GALORE." –JAMES PATTERSON, #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR
"BAYLOR'S ADVENTURES WILL INTRIGUE, EXCITE, AND CAPTIVATE YOUNG READERS...THIS SERIES OPENER IS FUNNY, MYSTICAL, AND ENDEARING." –KIRKUS REVIEWS
"FANS OF ANYTHING OTHERWORLDLY SHOULD BE INSTANTLY ENTRANCED. VERDICT: A UNIQUE GHOST STORY LOADED WITH JUST THE RIGHT BLEND OF LAUGH-OUT-LOUD HUMOR AND SUSPENSE. ANTICIPATE HIGH DEMAND FOR THIS SERIES STARTER." –SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"WHERE THE BEYOND BAYLOR SERIES IS HEADING IS ANYONE’S GUESS, AND PLENTY OF KIDS WILL WANT TO KNOW. " –BOOKLIST
Top 10 Best Travel Spots
My favorite travel spots always seem to fall into one of two categories:
Category 1: cool, distinct city that has its own specific, vibrant flare.
Category 2: stunning, borderline-unreal setting/landscape in which I can sit for hours/days/weeks and never want to leave.
So, in no particular…
1. Cinque Terre – So. Freaking. Beautiful. I spent less than 24 hours here and still fondly recall the brightly colored buildings cascading down the hills toward the sparkling sea, the golden sunset illuminating the sky and water as sailboats lazily rocked in the waves, and the incredible seafood that was so fresh it must’ve been caught only moments before being served. The place was a dream. (Category 2)
2. Edinburgh – And not just because JK Rowling lives here. It’s simply a spectacular city unlike anywhere I’ve ever been – the common-but-somehow-still-regal architecture, the looming castle, the friendly people, the rich history. Catch it during one of its few sunny days, and you’ll never want to leave. (Category 1)
3. Wyoming – People don’t talk about this state enough, and I, for one, will not stand for such an underrated gem to be ignored. In a word, it’s breathtaking. The Grand Tetons are spectacular. It’s one of the most stunning places in the U.S. (Category 2)
4. Sevilla – I traveled here alone in 2009 and spent one magical summer evening strolling the city. It was perfect, from the stunning Real Alcazar, with its immense gardens and Moorish architecture, to the musicians serenading passersby in the open squares outside the cathedral. (Category 1)
5. NYC – How can I not mention my adopted hometown? You can have a different experience every night, never doing the same thing twice in this bustling, dynamic city…well, at least until your bank account runs out! (Category 1)
6. Florida’s Gulf coast – This is where I try to spend most of my summers! Located about two hours from where I grew up in Orlando, the gulf coast is home to pristine beaches, spectacular sunsets (if you were to peek at my social media during the summer, you’d be forgiven for initially thinking I’m a Nat Geo photographer assigned to documenting sunsets exclusively…), and fantastic seafood (looking at you, blackened mahi mahi.) (Category 2)
7. Santa Barbara – I don’t whether it was the stunning beach views, the delightful downtown architecture, the festive decorations, or the warm feeling of a fun night with family, but Santa Barbara captured my heart. Plus, Ellen and Oprah have houses there, and it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. (Category 2)
8. Interlaken – Quite possibly the most gorgeous placed ever. Nestled between two huge lakes—each lined with tiny Swiss villages dotted by beautiful chalets and soaring church steeples—and surrounded by the majestic, snowcapped Alps looming high above, Interlaken is an adventurer’s paradise. I went paragliding here a couple years ago and would love to return one day to go snowboarding (which I’m not very good at, but can you imagine a better view as you stumble down a mountain?) (Category 2)
9. Rome – The rich history. The breathtaking architecture. The narrow, winding streets. The amazing food, and more specifically, the gelato. Go. Just go. Pull up Google Flights and book your ticket right now. (Category 1)
10. Cincinnati – This city (my parents’ hometown) makes the list simply because it’s home to my absolute favorite food on earth. You know, the give-me-a-giant-trough-of-it-for-my-
last-meal kind of favorite: Skyline Chili. If you ever have the chance to try it, get a four-way: pasta, chili with hints of cinnamon and chocolate, and onions, topped with a ridiculous serving of cheese. Be sure to add plenty of hot sauce. Enjoy. (Category, secret option 3: Food)
I really like Baylor as the main character for the book and the series. He has a really odd life - especially because he can see and talk to ghosts, including his twin sister - and has taken on the task of relaying messages to loved ones. Aside from this strange ability, he's pretty realistic and down to earth. He goes through the same issues and problems as regular teens - parents, friends, school, popularity, fitting in, and so much more - it's surprisingly easy to identify with him early on in the book. The story is told from Baylor's point of view, which lets the reader form a deep connection with him throughout the novel. We get to know him on a very personal level because all of his private thoughts, emotions, hopes, fears, dreams, and so much more are exposed. His character becomes incredibly vulnerable and the reader can easily empathize with him because of this. I loved getting to know Baylor and his crazy life throughout the book, and I look forward to learning more about him in the upcoming installments.
The plot was thrilling and had some mystery elements, which I thought was a great addition to the paranormal themes. The author did a great job bringing Baylor, the other characters, and the story line itself to life in front of our eyes. There were a few smaller plot lines mixed in to the main plot, which I enjoyed and thought brought an added edge to the book. There's a bit of something for everyone in the story, and it will definitely appeal to fans of several genres and age groups. Definitely recommended for all types of readers - I'm excited to see where the author will take Baylor next!
Robert Imfeld grew up in Orlando, FL, and, like any self-respecting Floridian, evenly split his free time between the beach and Disney World. After graduating from the University of Florida, he put his journalism degree to good use by saving lives at a luxury resort (some call this “lifeguarding”) in Orlando, interning/brewing coffee at a production company in L.A., and managing finances for country songwriters in Nashville. He now lives in New York City, where he works on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid marketing team by day and writes kids' books by night. Follow him on Twitter @robbyimfeld.
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