Beyond the Door
Beyond the Door
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Series: Time Out of Time Vol. 1   

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Annotation: 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.
Catalog Number: #6149777
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: viii, 375 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-419-71493-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-419-71493-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013025513
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Scrabble-loving loner Timothy and his older sister Sarah access an ancient mythological prophecy when Timothy saves his school tormentor Jessica from being hunted on Beltane, the Gaelic May Day festival. Heavy reliance on Celtic mythology and symbolism doesn't help an awkwardly disjointed plot, though the strong good/evil dichotomy will attract fans to the new series. A code in Ogham script runs along each page.
Kirkus Reviews
A promising start to a fantasy series mines the rich ore of Celtic mythology and propels a young boy into cosmic battle. Timothy James Maxwell props open his front door to see what might happen on a March evening, and the strangers who drop in are unexpectedly otherworldly. McQuerry sends her young characters—Tim, his sister and his classmate Jessica (whose prettiness and queen-bee status torment him)—into the conflict between Light and Dark and into the territory made familiar in Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising quintet. There is the Greenman, the horned huntsman, a Celtic warrior in wolf form, even a May Day sacrifice complete with Morris dancers. Tim's elderly babysitter, Mrs. Clapper, becomes Cerridwyn the huntress, explaining that Tim and his companions are now caught up in an ongoing cosmic story: "Before all things and after all things the story is." Jessica's role in the May Day sacrifice and Tim's substitution for her in the wild hunt put both of them in dangerous proximity to Balor, an emissary of the Dark. References to quantum physics and to the way that time might seem "like water pouring off a tabletop, flowing in all directions at once," emphasize the simultaneous presence of the mythic and everyday life. An Ogham-based code explained in an opening note runs along the bottoms of the pages for readers to decipher. Sure-handed and page-turning, this series opener leaves plenty to be resolved. (Fantasy. 10-14)
Publishers Weekly
In this lively, mythology-steeped middle-grade adventure, which launches the Time Out of Time series, McQuerry (The Peculiars) pits three children against a host of troubles mostly derived from Celtic folklore and legend. Eleven-year-old Timothy Maxwell, his older sister Sarah, and his classmate Jessica Church are swept into the ongoing struggle between Light and Dark, encountering such allies as the goddess Cerridwyn and a star in human shape, as well as enemies like the malevolent, one-eyed Balor. In their first adventure, the three battle Herne and the Wild Hunt, who has chosen one of them as his prey. Six months later, they travel to a mythical market to find a cure for Timothy and Sarah's deathly ill mother, where they discover why they were targeted in the first place. McQuerry weaves mythical and mundane elements together in a rich, complex fashion, enhancing them with layers of atmosphere and suspense. A sense of wonder and worry permeates the narrative, evocative of The Dark Is Rising or the work of Neil Gaiman, and the cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for more. Ages 10-14. Agent: Sandra Bishop, MacGregor Literary. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;6&12; 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.&12; Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York City
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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.
Reading Level: 5.2
Interest Level: 6-8
Lexile: 740L

Beyond the Door, the first in a series from Maureen Doyle McQuerry, weaves a wonderful coming-of-age story with elements of fantasy and mythology. With his love of school and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels that the only person who really understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and he's fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, he sees something that changes everything: mythical creatures in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, and Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, in the name of the Light in order to defeat the powers of the Dark. A secret code runs throughout the book that readers can decipher to learn more about their favorite characters and legends.

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