Gardner, Sally The Door that Led to Where, 277 pages. Delacorte Press, 2015. $13. Language: R (56 swears, 1 “f”); Mature Content:PG-13; Violence: PG-13.
AJ has no future according to his abusive mother and his GCSE test results. After a letter arrives in the mail, he gets a job at a law firm that sets him on a path to discover his past and his future. As he putting away evidence for cases, he comes across an old fashioned key with his name and birthdate on it. The key opens a door that leads back to 1830 London. With his friends, Leon and Slim, set out to solve some mysterious deaths that will not only intertwine the past and the present, but will resolve the murder of AJ’s father.
The beginning of the story is tough to follow because transitions are not smooth, and there are several British cultural references that I had to look up. There are also some instances where the writer makes rough transitions with time travel. AJ and his friends come from difficult family circumstances. There is a brief incident of domestic and child abuse, and Leon’s mother is a drug addict. There is other mature content with drug use, drinking, and violence. The author does a wonderful job of weaving together the clues of the mysterious murders, and providing a twist that I didn’t see coming. With the language and violence, I have a hard time recommending it for a school setting.
HS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: RK