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The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (The Secrets of Droon, Book 1) Paperback – June 1, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Abbott is the author of more than ninety books for young readers, including THE SECRETS OF DROON series; middle-grade novel KRINGLE; and THE HAUNTING OF DEREK STONE series. He was the recipient of the 2006 Golden Kite Award, as well as the 2009 Edgar Award. Tony was born in Ohio, and now lives with his wife and two daughters in Trumbull, Connecticut. Visit him online at www.tonyabbottbooks.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 380L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; Reprint edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590108395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590108393
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

To begin with, I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived in a small house on top of a hill. Together, my mother, a school teacher, and my father, a returning World War II paratrooper pursuing his college studies, brought tons of books into our small house on Cliffview Road. I guess you could say that these books were my first introduction to the world of literature. My father was always writing, so the sound of the typewriter was like the background music of my early childhood.


When I was eight, we relocated, by car, to Connecticut where I finished elementary school and high school. I went to college at the University of Connecticut, majoring first in music (too hard), psychology (too many theories), and finally English (yes! lot and lots of books!). I graduated UConn with a bachelors degree in English Literature. After that, I traveled to Europe for quite a while, drank a lot of coffee, and wrote notebooks full of strange poetry. When I returned, I found work in a variety of bookstores and finally a library where I met my wife to be.


It was when I began reading bedtime stories to my children that the spark of writing I had had for so many years finally turned to children's books. After many failures, my first published book, Danger Guys, was written while taking a writing class with renowned children's author, Patricia Reilly Giff. That first book, and the series that it began, became the cornerstone of my writing career and has become something of a cult favorite, by virtue of its being difficult to find. Since then, I've written over seventy-five books for readers ages 6 to 14, including the cult favorit popular fantasy saga, The Secrets of Droon.


Over 8 million of my books have been sold worldwide, and my series and novels combined have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Korean, French, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, and Russian. Danger Guys was named a Children's Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection, and the American Booksellers Association voted The Secrets of Droon among the "Top 10 List of Books to Read while Waiting for the Next Harry Potter." The series was also a Main Selection of the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club, and is on many school and library reading lists.


In 2007, my novel Firegirl won the Golden Kite Award for Fiction presented by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. It is the only award given by children's writers to children's writers, a peer award I remain honored at having received. It was also a selection of the Junior Library Guild.


In the Spring of 2008, my second novel for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers appeared. The Postcard is a comedy/mystery about a boy who finds a clue on an old postcard while cleaning his recently deceased grandmother's Florida house, and who has no choice but to follow the mystery wherever it leads. Among other things, The Postcard is my love song to Florida's Gulf Coast, where my grandparents lived, and to old Florida, its architecture, roadside attractions, and Wild-West origins. It is, not least, my homage to the great hardboiled tradition of Hammett and Chandler, translated to a Florida setting. The Postcard won the 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Mystery.

In 2009, The Haunting of Derek Stone, a series of four books for older readers, appeared from Scholastic Inc. Titles include: City of the Dead, Bayou Dogs, The Red House, and The Ghost Road.

My literary and cultural interests include the films of Preston Sturges, the Road pictures of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and the Marx Brothers, and the writings of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, P.G. Wodehouse, Jules Verne, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Seamus Heaney, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, The Arabian Nights, Beowulf, James Thurber, Philip Roth, Ralph Ellison, and William Faulkner. I'm currently a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Yale Center for British Art, and other esteemed organizations. With my wonderful wife, two delightful and brilliant daughters, and the best dog imaginable, I live and work happily in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

I wish my mom had never made me read it.
Moe
Her second grade teacher has been reading the series with the class.
C. Holley
They couldn't wait for the next books in the series to come out.
PG

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Is there anything worse than a review or a blurb that describes a product as *blank* meets *blank*? How simplistic! How callous! That said, the first words that popped into my head after reading the first book in the ever-popular series "The Secrets of Droon" was Harry Potter meets The Magic Tree House. Which probably was exactly what author Tony Abbott was going for. This early chapter book (originally published in 1999) looks like a slightly older and more mature version of those saccharine-soaked "Magic Tree House" tales, but without the oh-so-slightly useful factual information. Instead, the wizardly wonders of "Harry Potter" and other fantasy worlds have been co-opted and boiled down into a scant 80 pages. If Abbott is to be commended for anything, it's for his sheer cheek. With nary an apology he whips up a bunch of fast-paced high-flying adventures artfully stolen from any number of better written books and smooshes them into titles that kids everywhere adore.

Eric, Julie, and Neal are best friends. They play soccer together. They go to school together. And when Eric's stuck cleaning the basement on a day that would perfect for a little soccer action, his buds stick by his side and help. Good thing that they do too. A mislaid kick of the ball reveals a tiny crawlspace under the basement stairs. Further inspection, however, leads the three kids to an amazing discovery. There, leading away from the basement by a flight of rainbow-colored stairs, is a world they never knew existed. Before they completely realize what is happening, the friends are wrapped up in a race to save the magical world of Droon from the desires of the evil and somewhat fishy Lord Sparr.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A reader in Northern Virginia on May 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I can't recommend this series enough. As my son's attention span increased (as he was nearing his fourth birthday), I turned to chapter books to offer him some variety (and reduce my boredom). Having experimented with dozens of alternatives, Tony Abbott's Droon series is my son's (and, let's be honest here, my) unequivocal favorite. I'm still astounded by my son's fascination with the magical world of Droon, a parallel universe where good versus evil wage an intricate, ever-evolving struggle against a rich, fantasy-laden backdrop. I genuinely enjoy reading these books aloud. We've read all of books in this series, and we've read most repeatedly as we await the next installment. Each story builds upon its predecessor, so The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet is definitely the place to start. The books offer characters for every child to identify with; boys may prefer the bespeckled Eric or the more rambunctious Neal, girls may favor the quick-thinking Julie or Princess Keeah, the junior wizard -- all four (plus the adorable spider-troll Max) contribute mightily to the team's effort. Tony Abbott packs these books with vivid descriptions and non-stop action without frightening young readers (or listeners). Open the basement door and visit Droon - you won't be sorry.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By PG on January 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought a class set of this book for my third grade class. They absolutely loved it and begged to be able to read it every day! They couldn't wait for the next books in the series to come out. It was easy to read and follow the adventure.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
My son, aged 6, is a good reader but he wasn't reading silently to himself. When he received this book he read it cover to cover. He is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of other books in this series. For some time he has had the ability to read chapter books but I could never find that "break-through" book that would have him reading silently to himself. This series, along with the "Horrid Henry" series, has been the perfect introduction to chapter books.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Keeler on December 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
We are a group of fourth graders and we did not like the book called The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet. Here are the reasons we disliked the book. The first reason is that it felt like a child wrote it. Another reason is that it was not exciting at all. On the cover it said The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet, but it only talks about the magic carpet at the end of the chapter. We would recommend this book to a second grader because it had very short chapters and there were only five sentences on each page. They will like the characters too. These are the reasons we did not like this book.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert Walker-Smith on December 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
My husband got the first three of these for storytime for our boys (nine and five). I do the storytime reading. After I finished them, I advised him that if he wanted to get any more of these, he could take over storytime.

I've read several of the "Magic Tree House" series, and they're like Hemingway or Proust compared to this dreck. This is to actual children's fantasy literature what presliced American cheese (in the little cello wrappers) is to real cheese.

Please, fellow parents - buy real books for your kids. It's the right thing to do.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Krupnick on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been reading this series (and this individual book over and over)ever since it came out more than a decade ago and have loved every single book(there are 44). No one is going to say that this is a very deep or intense set of books because they serve a greater purpose. For young readers they serve as introductory chapter books that's language both accommodates and challenges. The language matures during the series so that the reader does not find them easier and easier. The best part however is the content of books, although each book can serve as entertainment by itself, the series in whole can serve as thousands of pages of fun adventure. The "secrets" referred to in the title are mysteries slowly presented in the first books and grow challenging the reader to try and piece them together. Being a child(7) when I started reading the series, I know how fun they are to read and how compelling the characters are. The main characters manage to maintain a life of frolicking adventures while remaining respectful to their parents, working hard in school and being kind to whomever they meet. Abbot's strict adherence to stories with happy endings stay true no matter how dire the situation that the children are in. In the battle of good verse evil that this book and the entire Secret of Droon Series the good guys always win the day(although not necessarily the book) and the bad guys lose but don't get killed or anything violent like that. Moreover this is a series that rejects sadness, and whose characters both good and evil never die. In October 2010, the final book of the series was published, which although sad for those who love the series, was true to the series fierce ethical structure. I recommend this book and the following 43 books strongly for any child and for any parent that wants their child both educated academically and morally while also being entertained.
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