|Beyond the door (Time out of time)|
Author: McQuerry, Maureen
When mythical creatures appear, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold for Timothy, his sister Sarah, and school bully Jessica, who must defeat the powers of the Darkness.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 168575
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/14)
School Library Journal (05/01/14)
Booklist (+) (05/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (04/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2014 An aspiring scientist, practical-minded Timothy James has always thought his babysitter’s stories of shape-shifting creatures and changeling babies were simply made up. A windblown night brings three mythical creatures to Timothy’s doorstep, however, and the eleven-year-old boy suddenly finds himself in the world of the Green Man and Herne the Hunter, caught in a battle between the Light and the Dark. Led by his babysitter, who reveals herself to be Cerridwyn, the goddess of the hunt, and accompanied by his sister Sarah and the school bully Jessica, Timothy travels through portways and into magical realms to face down Balor, an ancient spirit bent on the destruction of the Light. Practiced fantasy readers will immediately recognize the signs of a quest tale, from the underdog protagonist to the prophesied battle to the gifts given by helpful guides, and while the elements here are familiar to the point of being derivative (Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising is a clear forebear), they still make for a sometimes exciting ride through British and Welsh mythology. Characterization is also quite rich, with Timothy making some keen (and often amusing) observations about school life and the battle between good and evil, while both Sarah and Jessica come in to their own as heroines separate from Timothy, giving further dimension to the traditional boy-savior narrative. The book, however, is oddly divided: the first part covers Timothy’s learning of his destiny and initial battle with Balor, offering a self-contained and concluded story, while the second half is rushed, introducing several new characters and ending rather abruptly and with no real payoff save its promise of a sequel. Nonetheless, the tale of an underdog hero is a perennial favorite, and this may well find an audience among fans of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Gregor the Overlander (BCCB 1/04). KQG - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 05/01/2014 *Starred Review* Timothy and his sister, Sarah, aren’t entirely surprised when strange visitors arrive at their home and remove light from the rooms as they search for something or someone. The siblings have been told stories that hint at these beings’ purpose, but the young teens don’t yet recognize that these events mark the beginning of perilous adventures through time and stories. What follows is an epic conflict of Light and Dark, with Timothy, Sarah, and their friend Jessica each having a role to play. They are supported along the way by a colorful crew, including Greenman (part man, part tree), Julian (librarian in this world, storyteller in the next), and Gwyndon (a loyal white wolf). Together, the young trio and their allies battle malevolent magic, seductive greed, and true evil with valor and mercy. Threaded with ancient and medieval mythologies, McQuerry’s compelling narrative races forward, immersing the reader in its lyrical mysteries, just as the circumstances surprise and confound the protagonists. Although it leaves much unresolved, the conclusion satisfies readers with the promise of what’s ahead, as it sets the stage for deepening conflagration in the subsequent books in the planned Time Out of Time duet. A string of Ogham script running along the bottom of the pages, translatable with the included key, adds another layer of effort and meaning. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2014 Gr 4–6—When Timothy leaves the door open one night, strange and menacing creatures enter the house. Suddenly his elderly babysitter has morphed into the tall and beautiful goddess Cerridwyn, the park bike paths have turned into forests with portways into another time, the trees are walking, the birds and animals are talking, and middle-school bully Jessica is helping Timothy and his older sister, Sarah, fight off the evil agents of the Dark. McQuerry's slightly dated hero seems as if he, too, is out of another time. Described as a nerd, Timothy likes to spend time at the library and has an annoying habit of analyzing the Scrabble score of any word in his mind instead of dealing with urgent and potentially life-threatening confrontations. (But he doesn't appear to know that the game has only one Z tile!) The story is a little confusing and a bit hokey, mixing obscure Celtic mythology, the King Arthur story, Morris dancers, a Travelers's Market, and magical beasties. The action often stops for backstory infodumps, and there is a disconcerting six-month or so lag between Part 1 and Part 2. And cruelly, McQuerry ends on an absolute cliff-hanger, with Sarah now unwillingly experiencing life as an ermine and Timothy racing to her rescue on the back of his giant magical wolf-taxi. Still, fantasy addicts will find plenty to like in Beyond the Door, and it is beautifully designed with Ogham code (early Irish alphabet) at the bottom of the pages for kids to decipher while they are waiting for the next instalment.—Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York City - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.