The Door in the Alley

illus. by Matthew C. Rockefeller. 320p. (The Explorers: Bk 1). ebook available. Delacorte. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781101940051. POP.
Gr 4–6—Rational and risk-averse Sebastian is challenged by the director of the madcap Explorers Society to do something he shouldn't: steal a box. The contents of the box relate in some way to Evie, an orphan who lives at a school but regularly dines with a very boring couple known as the Andersons. One night, two dangerous men burst into the Andersons' house in pursuit of a key. The two children find themselves caught up in a perilous chase involving Evie's grandfather and a group of explorers known as the Filipendulous Five. This is a rollicking read, full of derring-do and old-fashioned villainy. A narrator inserts sly and humorous comments alongside amusing footnotes. Comical chapter headings include "In Which Great Revelations Are Greatly Revealed" and "In Which We Meet a Pig in a Teeny Hat. Again." The language is quite sophisticated, with challenging vocabulary. Readers of Lemony Snicket will find a tale of adventure in a similar vein to "A Series of Unfortunate Events": the last sentence reads, "Don't you just hate stories that end in cliff-hangers? They are just so…"
VERDICT A quirky and lighthearted romp with likable characters and ample plot twists and turns; hand to fans of Lemony Snicket.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing