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A Door Near Here Mass Market Paperback – January 11, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf; Reprint edition (January 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440227615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440227618
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Teens are always fascinated by the idea of running life on their own, free of parental interference. But what happens when reality sets in--when the laundry piles up, the sink overflows, you run out of money for food, and your little sister starts getting very sick? In A Door Near Here, winner of the annual Delacorte Prize for Best First Young Adult Novel, Heather Quarles shows readers that "no parents" is no fun. The mother of the four Donovan kids has taken to her bed and bottle, only stumbling out of her pigsty of a room occasionally in search of more vodka. Katharine, the eldest at 15, tries to keep her brother and sisters clean and fed and in classes, but things are slipping out of her control--especially when 8-year-old Alisa decides to run away from school in search of the kingdom of Narnia. Katharine can't turn to their cold and selfish father for help, so the four siblings cling to their secrets--terrified that an adult, seeing beneath the appearances they are desperately trying to uphold, will alert Social Services. When a kindly teacher begins to ask questions, Katharine panics and lashes out with an accusation that could well destroy this concerned man--only to be met with an act of breathtaking forgiveness. Both teens and adults will find the poignant resolution of this compelling novel utterly engrossing. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

PW's starred review said, "A candid narrative voice joins with skillful pacing" for this story of 15-year-old Katherine, who tries to conceal her alcoholic mother's incapacity from authorities to prevent the family from being split up. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
40
4 star
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3
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See all 68 customer reviews
She thinks if she finds this door, everything will be okay again.
"linz_ee"
Katherine is very worried about her younger sister, Alisa, and her imaginary world, where she searches for the door to Narnia.
Jill Vanderwood
If you're thinking about reading, and you need a good book, I would prefer The Door Near Here.
jeremy wilthew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bailey on April 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How would you feel if you were sixteen and your alcoholic mother hasn't been out of bed for weeks? You have three other siblings that need food and supplies just as much as you do but you don't have any money. Well Katherine, in A Door Near Here by Heather Quarles, doesn't like it. She has to do all the chores around the house, worry about how much food they can eat for dinner and where they're going to get the money to buy more. She also has to keep up with her school work because Mr. Dodgson, her interfering teacher, might suspect child neglect and call social services.

That`s the last thing Katherine wants because then Alisa, her little sister, would get separated from the family. Her mom would get put in a hospital until she gets better. If her mother got sent away, Katherine and her other siblings would have to live with their father. The only thing they've seen from him in the last ten years is a child support check. She really dislikes him for leaving their mother and not being a good father. She really doesn't want to live with him.

I recommend A Door Near Here for people who enjoy books that make you want to keep reading until you're done. I think it's the kind of book that has many suspenseful parts that can really surprise you. I really enjoyed reading this book. I hope all the people that will read it will enjoy it too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott Foster on November 24, 2002
Format: School & Library Binding
Heather Quarles has captured the reality of life within an alcoholic, broken family in a way that highlights the devastation and hope involved with such an upbringing. In the midst of some of the most unbelievable suffering children can experience, the power of the love of an individual and the love of God is displayed and revealed to be TRUE. If you or someone you know has suffered, then this book is for you. I cried throughout most of this book. But I also turned to God and thanked Him for the amazing ways He reveals Himself - especially in the midst of tragedy. This is a book that I will read again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K S B on August 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I grew up reading & re-reading CS Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia." Narnia was my escape from the alcoholism that invaded every facet of my life as a child. Lewis' characters faced many of the same emotions I did, and "connected" me with others outside of my isolated life--albeit imaginary friends, but friends nonetheless.
I never thought I'd see another author capture the growing pains of childhood as well as Lewis did, until I picked up Quarles' book by mistake. Since I had it, I read it, and I was astounded at her ability to capture the reader, transport them inside the character and recreate all of the fears, pain, excitement, uncertainty and ingenuity of childhood.
This book is a MUST-READ for anyone who loved CS Lewis, or for anyone whose life has been touched by parental alcoholism. "A Door Near Here" gives outsiders a peek inside the secret world of an alcoholic home, and gives insiders a family of friends who know how it is.
Finally, Quarles loving treatment of Aslan and Narnia in the real world of an 8-year-old is astounding--Ms. Quarles, thank-you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lesley B. Parrish on July 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. I was particularly impressed by the fact that this is Heather Quarles' first novel and that she writes with such heart. Her characters are captivating, well developed, and take turns either breaking your heart or putting you on the edge of your seat. The storyline provides twists and turns down the road toward a study of alcoholic parents and the affects of the disease on helpless children. Not to say that the characters are helpless... in fact, they are very self-sufficient. The four children, ages 8 to 15, look for help from no one but each other. Some would be horrified that such a thing could happen. I think it is an inspiration for childhood ingenuity. This first attempt at writing for Quarles has laid a wonderful foundation for her to continue a brilliant career. She is obviously very talented and writes with such passion, you almost wonder if the experience was hers personally. I found myself projected into the shoes of the central character, 15-year-old Katherine. I think you will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought the book yesterday, and could not put it down (too bad I had to work this morning). The characters are wonderfully developed, honest and unique. Katherine's desperation and determination is realistic and compelling. There are no easy answers for these kids, but by sticking together they keep each other in line. Wonderful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A Door Near Here poignantly chronicles the attempt of a four-child family to deal with the Mother's alcoholism. It is fairly realistic and paints no rosy pictures. Although the book is excellent, the descriptions of the alcoholic mother might be to graphic for some students. Recommended for teachers, parents, and students.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Through out a child's life, they are always looking for ways to grow up. Dressing up in their parents' clothes, wearing make-up, handling money, etc. In Heather Quarle's amazing book, A Door Near Here, 15 year-old Katherine Donavan doesn't have to look to far. When her alcoholic mother becomes bed-ridden and her neglecting, re-married father only calls once in a while, she finds herself playing mother to her three younger siblings and thinking of ways for them to survive. When times get extremely tough, the children find themselves with many problems and few possibilities. The plot starts to thicken when the youngest sister, 8 year-old Alisa, finds herself looking for the door to an imaginary kingdom called Narnia. Through out the bookm, Katherine and her family display that by sticking together, they can get through anything. With their situation only seeming to get worse, the Donovan family has to think up some ways to survive. Can this family overcome their problem or will it end in up in the Department of Social Service's hands? This heartwarming novel shows how the loving Donavon family can overcome the odds. This is a definite must read!
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