Beyond the Doors

Written by David Neilsen

Our story starts with four frightened children who are whisked away to live with their very eccentric Aunt Gladys when a terrible accident left their father unable to care for them. Aunt Gladys’ enormous house is extremely strange and she appears to be some kind of scatterbrained, mad scientist! What’s more, the house is completely devoid of doors! What is she doing in her giant, secret room? Will the children ever be reunited with their father?
If you like the combination of frightening scenes and fantasy, you’ll like this book. On the other hand, if you like to connect to characters this book may leave you with a feeling that something is missing from the story, like a connection to the characters. The author does not delve very deeply into any of their thoughts or feelings. I had a hard time connecting with the characters.
The author’s interest in the horror genre is very evident in the adventures the children have in the ‘Memorysphere’ (a fantasy land that only exists in another type of dimension.) Many of the scenes in the book were terrifying. One after another, after another, of these scary chase scenes keep the children on their toes searching for an escape and for an answer to the madness. Who can be trusted? Who is a friend? Who is the enemy? Who or what is real and which part is just a memory? These are the questions that will keep you turning the pages of Beyond the Doors.

Review by Suzanne Gaeta, 3rd Grade Teacher, Westbrook Elementary
Rating: ★★★✩✩ (3 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

Beyond the Doors
Written by David Neilsen
Crown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 1, 2017
An advance reader copy was provided by the publisher.

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