Turn the page… Open the door… Enter the adventure…
When worrywart Chen Connelly finds a mysterious antique book beneath a park bench, his safe but lonely summer suddenly becomes exciting. Perhaps a little too exciting. A book of renaissance architectural designs may not seem very exciting, until Chen finds himself traveling through the pages of the magical book with Polly Goggin, the weirdest girl he’s ever met, as they race to solve a treasure hunt left by Benjamin Franklin, struggle to find their way through a maze of mysterious doors, and dodge far too many angry security guards. It doesn’t help that a murderous, strangely nondescript magician-thief is on their trail with a magic book of his own, willing to do whatever it takes to get his hands on Benjamin Franklin’s treasure and all three extraordinary books.It begins with a book. Where will it lead?
I discovered Anne Nydam during the A to Z Challenge. The theme for her blogs was traditional English language nursery rhymes, and their block printed illustrations. Discovering that we shared an interest in books and doors I had to read this delightful children’s book.
The heroes of this story are Chen Connolly, the adopted son of the curators of Cleveland museum of Art and Polly Goggin, the eccentric 13-year-old daughter of Miranda, owner of Goggin Antiques and Auctioneers. The two meet via the pages of copies of the sixteenth century book of doors. Each embossed leather book has a gold key on the spine which turns in the block printed doors on the pages. Once unlocked, Chen and Polly (and sometimes her cat, Uber) can pass through the doors into buildings spread about the globe. At first, they are unwilling companions but finding themselves threatened by Ammon Blank, a dangerous magician thief, they use their intelligence and bravery and the help of two others to stop Mr Blank’s robberies and to return the books to their rightful owners.
I was particularly interested in the connection made during the book to Benjamin Franklin. Not being American I knew very little about him, but I was prompted to briefly research his life which proved fascinating. I would highly recommend this book to middle years young adults and people like me who love a good adventure story with a touch of magic.
The Extraordinary Book of Doors on Amazon UK
Anne E G Nydam
Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to be a writer… I was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I loved it there. In college at Yale I majored in linguistics, with a thesis at the intersection between historical and sociolinguistics. I loved Yale and I loved linguistics. After graduation, for reasons relating more to the desperation of a school’s staffing needs than my qualifications, I got a job teaching middle school art. I loved teaching. (Are you noticing a theme here? It continues.) Teaching art was how I became, de facto, an artist myself. Along the way I got married, and when our children were born I became a stay-at-home mother, and realized that since I could no longer call myself a teacher, I had better make sure I could still call myself an artist and a writer. And here I am, calling myself an artist and a writer, despite being essentially self-taught, primarily self-published, and inclined to be self-effacing. My other hobbies include gardening, playing cello, quilt-making, and failing to do housework. Except when feeling grouchy, I love it all… And she lived happily ever after.)