The Door to Time (Hardcover)

By Pierdomenico Baccalario, Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)

Scholastic, 9780439774383, 222pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2006



Eleven-year-old twins Jason and Julia have just moved from London to an old mansion on the English coast. Their new home is filled with twisting tunnels and strange artifacts from around the world, and the twins can't wait to discover all its secrets. Before long, Jason, Julia, and their friend Rick stumble upon a mysterious-looking door hidden behind an old wardrobe. But none of the keys in the house will open it. What lies behind the door? And why has someone tried to conceal it? Jason, Julia, and Rick are determined to find out, no matter what it takes....

Praise For The Door to Time

The Door to Time
The secret door behind the wardrobe may be a bit much, but in general this suspenseful tale of three young folks winkling out secrets in an old stone house is well-endowed with the requisite elements. His twin Julia may mock him, but Jason is sure that Argo Manor, their family's new home, is haunted. And Rick, their new friend from the small town nearby, is skeptical but eager enough to go along to explore the mysterious mansion, once the home of strange recluse Ulysses Moore. Bickering constantly but plainly thinking the world of each other, the twins, along with their brooding buddy, make smart, effervescent protagonists. Throw in the occasional atmospheric drawing, a mansion filled with books, nooks, antiques and shadows, absent parents, an enigmatic old caretaker, a series of coded messages, a secret passage leading into the cliff and a hidden cavern concealing a ship with unusual propertiesand it all adds up to one of the past year's most promising, tantalizing series openers. (Fantasy. 10-12)

SLJ BACCALARIO, Pierdomenico. The Door to Time. tr. from Italian by Leah Janeczko. illus. by Iacopo Bruno. 226p. (Ulysses Moore Series, Bk. #1). CIP. Scholastic. Jan. 2006. Tr $12.99. ISBN 0-439-77438-1. LC 2005012699.
Gr 4-6The 11-year-old Covenant twins approach their family's move to the ancient Argo Manor on the British coast differently. Julia sees their new home as remote, and without the comforts of a nearby mall. Jason, on the other hand, feels an immediate sense of danger and mystery lurking behind the manor's stony walls. After befriending local kid Rick Banner, the three stumble on a mystery. The building's previous occupant, eccentric Ulysses Moore, left behind clues and codes to unlock a hidden ancient wooden door. Using their unique talents, the children must discover the secrets hidden deep beneath the house and find the truth behind the disappearance of the enigmatic Moore. The book ends with an unfair cliffhanger that brings the story to a halt just as the supernatural elements of the tale come into play. Filled with black-and-white photographs and mysterious illustrations drawn on top of documents and letters, this Italian import is bound to appeal to those kids who like tangible clues mixed into their fantasy novels. Children desperate for stories similar to Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's The Spiderwick Chronicles” (S & S) will find much to love in this overly familiar but likable series.Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library

The new series Ulysses Moore gets off to a slow start here, but it has the potential to develop into a fun mystery series for young teens. The adventures begin when eleven-year-old twins, Jason and Julia, move with their parents from London to Argo Manor, a sprawling old mansion by the sea. The twins discover that their new home is full of secrets: Who was Ulysses Moore, the mansion's eccentric and reclusive former owner? Is Nestor, the elderly caretaker, simply cantankerous, or is he hiding something? What is causing the eerie lights and noises in Argo Manor? Jason thinks that Moore's ghost is haunting Argo Manor, but practical Julia thinks her brother is imagining things. The twins decide to spend a Saturday afternoon exploring the mansion and its grounds with their new friend, Rick. After a dangerous fall from a cliff, Jason finds a message written in code in a hidden passage. This message leads the friends to one clue after another, and they eventually uncover Ulysses Moore's greatest secret: a ship with the power to travel through time. Although the book is not very original or action packed, the time-travel premise has promise, and one can only hope that future installments will be more exciting and entertaining.-Amy Luedtke.

The new series Ulysses Moore gets off to a slow start here, but it has the potential to deve