Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh

Marsh, Katherine The Door by the Staircase, 273 pgs. Disney Hyperion, 2016. $16.99.  Language G (no swears); Mature Content G; Violence G.  

Mary Hayes is a 12-year old orphan who tries to escape her miserable life from the Buffalo Asylum for Young Ladies.  Mary is adopted by an elderly woman named Madame Z.  Though Mary longs for a home, she discovers that there are sinister secrets in her new living arrangements and the small town of Iris is full of mysterious characters. Mary is a plucky character and doesn’t allow her fears to control her.  Mary teams up with Jacob, a young magician friend she meets in town to figure out how to survive her new living arrangements, because the secrets she learns there could kill her. 

Taken from a Russian fairy tale, the author’s love of the culture shines through.  This is a well written book on family and what it means to belong.  The characters are delightful and strong, and there are enough twists to keep it entertaining to the end.  

MS-ESSENTIAL.  Michelle in the Middle

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