Into the Hills

Into the Hills : A Zane Johns Adventure

4.28 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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Ewan, Zane, and Ganix--three half-brothers take sibling rivalry to new lengths as they race each other across their homeland.

Magic isn't the only legacy Mr. Ian Johns wants for his bickering sons. The Postmaster hoped the boys would bond during a family trip, but they twist his vacation plans into a race. Ewan, Zane, and Ganix soon find themselves far from home, facing choices that are far from easy. Three routes stretch from coast to coast. The rules: each brother--and his two companions--must check in at post offices along their route. At these waypoints, they stamp in with their personal seal and report their progress by postcard.

Zane can hardly wait to veer into uncharted territory. They say that people living along the edges of the Wilds are half-wild themselves, so he fits right in. As they enter the eerie landscape known as The Graves, Brielle learns that roads can be ignored, legends can be real, and storms can stir up magic. But odder things await Zane, Jovan, and Bree at their next waypoint, where the whole town wants to throw them a tea party.

Welcome to Liberty: Big cities and hill-country outposts thrive on busy byways, but people are scarce in the Wilds, where mythical creatures are alive and well. Folks commonly use lanterns to light their homes, and peace is kept by rangers on horseback. In the Byways books, readers will encounter dragons, griffins, river monsters, and rogue magicians.

Magic is a rare trait that runs in families. Some magical gifts are quite useful; others are downright quirky. Like the talent inherited by members of the Johns family. They're Changers who can take the form of an animal. Not that magic will make winning the race any easier for Ewan, Zane, and Ganix.

Educational Twist: Each of the Byways books is tied to one of the fifty states and borrows from its history and geography--icons, mottos, landmarks, people, places, and famous firsts. They're hidden throughout the story, turning the series into one long game of hide-and-seek. At the end of each Byways book, there's a master list that covers everything from the state tree to the state insect. Nicknames, sports teams, state heroes, and national parks also find their way into the story. States are covered in order of ratification. Into the Hills takes its cues from "The Pilgrim State," Massachusetts.

Chart your course to, where readers can stamp into the Waypoint Log and take part in a very special Hometown Challenge.


Cups rained down, spattering hot coffee as they shattered against the floor. Jovan kept half an eye on the men who'd ganged up on Zane.

"Shouldn't we help him?" asked Bree, who gripped a broken chair leg like a club.

"Please don't." Jovan made it to her side and sat next to her. "Were you hurt?"

"I'm fine, but what about Zane? Can't you call him off or something?"

"It's too late for that." Pushing up his glasses, Jovan calmly explained, "Zane always finishes what he starts."
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 82 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 6mm | 159g
  • English
  • 1631230255
  • 9781631230257

Review quote

2016 Moonbeam Children's Award, "Best Book Series - Chapter Books"
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Rating details

7 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 43% (3)
4 43% (3)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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