If you want to know what Frank Cole's The Afterlife Academy is all about, just look at the cover. It pretty much covers the story you'll find behind its pages.
The Afterlife Academy focuses on two main characters, Charles Dewdle, who is living, and Walter Prairie, who is not. You could say it's a buddy story, two opposites who must work together to fight a common enemy, and in the process, they end up saving each other.
Cole has created a great world in which to place Charles and Walter. In the first paragraph we find out that Walter has died, struck down--literally--with his whole life ahead of him. But, we don't have time to mourn this teenager because the next thing Walter knows, he's given an assignment. He's now Charles's Guardian Agent. And even though he's only been dead a day, he bypasses the Afterlife Academy and is sent to protect his HLT or High-Level Target.
And Charles desperately needs protecting. He's stumbled upon a book that has the power to unleash unspeakable evil upon the world and it's up to the least qualified agent to save Charles, his family, a schoolyard crush and the rest of humanity. There's baddies, plots, baptism-by-fire learning and heroes finding themselves in one pickle after just escaping the previous one.
Can Walter do it? Will Charlie be saved?
Oh, it's a great little story! It's the kind of story that even though it's intended target audience is middle-grade, there's no reason this should stop anyone from picking it up and enjoying the fun. If you're looking for a book you kids will enjoy, I recommend this one. Because you'll like it, too.