The Door That Led to Where
Written by Sally Gardner
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2016 Book Award in the 12 - 16 year old category.
This novel contains some strong language. A new novel by multi-award winning Sally Gardner is always highly anticipated. She is one of the most original writers of today, and The Door That Led To Where is typical of her writing: a story that will surprise readers as it intrigues and absorbs them. This is a time travel novel. AJ, the young hero, is able to travel through a door – a door to which he alone has the key – and into the London of 1830. Dickens is a palpable presence in the book and would have appreciated the story that unfolds, one of missing children, madness and murder. Both Londons – today’s and yesterday’s – are brought to life in vivid prose and images. AJ and his associates are great company and it looks like there may be more adventures for them to come – good news for readers! ~ Andrea Reece
Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
- Ronan McCarthy, age 14 - 'I like that it incorporates time travel and mystery as well a story about three boys trying to get their lives together.'
- Delilah Acworth, age 15 - 'an entirely intoxicating read, full of adventure and personal endeavour...her words leap from the pages and become moving, fire breathing images.'
- Amisha McCrystal, age 12 - 'Time travel with a difference! This is the most believable story of time travel...I had this novel finished far too soon and I hope she has a sequel.'
- Poppy, age 15 - 'It was very gripping and exciting. I didn't like some of the language used, but the characters were good and imaginable.'
- Hannah Bibby, age 13 - 'What an amazing book! Full of excitement and suspense, adventure and mystery, it tells the story of two different times. Once you pick this book up, you won't want to put it back down!'
- Ella Hollingshead, age 13 - 'A good read, however I thought there were too many characters and found myself having to flip back to remind myself who was who on several occasions.'
- Katherine Sheldon, age 13 - 'an astounding book that doesn’t stop surprising you with the information it reveals until the very end.'
- Edel Waugh - 'If you like adventure, mystery and time travel with some heart warming scenes then this is the book for you!'
- Louisa Cunliffe, age 17 – 'Time Travel, Mystery, Murder and Romance. This book has a bit for everyone. The Door That Led To Where is face paced, intriguing and keeps you guessing until the very last page.'
- Madi Campbell, age 14 - 'a fascinating novel which brings the past to life, Sally Gardener manages to activate your imagination and create a world of mystery via the beautiful descriptions and imagery used throughout.'
- Destiny Maraj - 'a brilliant, funny eye-opening and dramatic novel. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I thought the plot was fascinating and clever and I loved all the mysteries.'
The Door That Led to Where by Sally Gardner
AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his GCSEs, and his future is looking far from rosy. So when he is offered a junior position at a London law firm he hopes his life is about to change - but he could never have imagined by how much. Tidying up the archive one day, AJ finds an old key, mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth - and he becomes determined to find the door that fits the key. And so begins an amazing journey to a very real and tangible past - 1830, to be precise - where the streets of modern Clerkenwell are replaced with cobbles and carts, and the law can be twisted to suit a villain's means. Although life in 1830 is cheap, AJ and his friends quickly find that their own lives have much more value. They've gone from sad youth statistics to young men with purpose - and at the heart of everything lies a crime that only they can solve. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past, before it unravels them...
A fast-paced mystery novel by one of the country's finest writers, Door That Led to Where will delight, surprise and mesmerise all those who read it.
Captures the mood of a generation. The Times
Sally Gardner is quite possibly my favourite children's author of all time. Her poetic prose and seemingly effortless ability to flit from genre to genre never ceases to astonish me. The Independent
Striking, elegant ... Gardner's humane message will resonate with teens everywhere: keep looking for that door, as one day you'll find it - and maybe, once you've gone through, you'll even want to lock it behind you. -- Philip Womack The Spectator
Gardner vividly juxtaposes the drug deaths and gang rivalry of the present with the top hats and formality of the early 19th century ... Gardner's clever tale is enjoyably complex Financial Times
The story, which is set in the present and in 1830, makes both centuries vivid and credible. Unfolding a complicated mystery without losing us, it is told with uncliched brio and contains characters to care about, while making us consider what a difference a fresh start could make to those who have few opportunities. The Sunday Times
As the three tangle with poison, treachery and love, the novel asks whether the past was better at granting the young responsibility, opportunities and adulthood... subtle, beautifully written and captivating. Enjoy. New Statesman
Gardner pulls off a brilliant balancing act as her flawed hero travels between the two periods, discovering that, sometimes, a fresh start in a new environment can restore and heal those whose future - or past - looks hopeless. Rollicking stuff. Daily Mail
About the Author
Interest Age: From 13
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