The Door in the Alley

The Door in the Alley

Book - 2017
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A shy boy's life is sent spiraling into adventure after a fateful day when he discovers a pig in a small hat and returns it to its home at the mysterious Explorers Club.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101940068
9781101940051
1101940069
1101940050
Characteristics: 305 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Rockefeller, Matt

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carinmilburn
Jul 18, 2017

The first 50 pages were fun. Interestingly quirky main character, mysterious premise and funny foot notes. Then, it becomes slow, plodding because it is mostly narrative and bogged down in unnecessary details. The foot notes stop, the main character loses his quirkiness and some things were unbelievable. An adult at a college campus repeatedly shoots at one of the child characters and la-la-la everything goes on as normal. I finally forced myself to finish, only to be disappointed by a non-ending. It had potential but seemed to flounder.

samcmar Apr 30, 2017

Ever read a book that made you laugh out loud because how quirky it was in nature? I find the best middle grade reads always offer a combination of humour, adventure, and cheeky characters. This is exactly what you will find in Adrienne Kress' The Explorers: The Door in the Alley -- a whimsical, hilarious romp with delightfully funny characters and adventure lurking in each and every chapter.

The Explorers focuses on Sebastien and Evie, two children from very different backgrounds being flung into what seems like an unexplained adventure. Seb is very logical, narrow and stiff, where as Evie is clever and no nonsense. These characters couldn't be more different and yet the way they work together is something to applaud. I think younger readers will definitely be able to connect to the two protagonists. Also can we discuss the pig in the hat? I loved any time that darn pig showed up!

The writing in this book is chockful of humour and wit. Kress' writing is sharp as it is funny, and the way in which she is able to describe many of Seb and Evie's encounters is often very entertaining. The writing is fast, it pops along the pages, and its very upbeat... until the ending. I would argue the ending is the roughest part of this book, and admittedly it left me a tad cold (which is why I want more from this series!). It's not a bad ending, but it did leave me feeling somewhat unsatisfied.

I am glad that this book is becoming a series, because I feel like these characters have the potential grow into household favourites. Kress is a talented writer with a lot to offer younger readers, and I won't lie when I say it was so thrilling to be back in one of her worlds again after such a long hiatus. The Explorers is a delightful middle grade story that offers a lot to young readers. While parts of this book feel a bit cliche, I won't deny how much fun I had reading this book, and I can only imagine how much fun this book will be once it's in the hands of children everywhere.

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