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Behind the Bookcase Hardcover – October 9, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The story works well; there is no character who is playing their full hand and it's hard not to feel uneasy (in that good, ghost story kind of way) as you follow Sarah's adventure. Most importantly, some of the settings and characters are downright creepy. Kelly Murphy's illustrations appear throughout the story to establish a darker mood, and I was certain I'd keep reading as soon as I saw the image of a "sentinel." The story pushes on fast and fantastical; I was a bit frustrated, as I like to linger in strange places, but the plot is intriguing and the hectic pace doesn't change that the pieces of the story are easy to enjoy.
I've read this with one student, who enjoyed it greatly. She liked most of the settings and characters encountered and was eager to talk about creepy moments in the story. I think it's a great fit in a classroom library as a book that is scary without being too dark. For parents, I'd recommend reading ahead through a library before buying for your child. I think it's fairly palatable, but your child's reaction may vary.
I do have two quibbles with the story; the first is that Sarah feels like a vehicle for the events more than a person sometimes.Read more ›
This book is only like “Coraline” or “Alice in Wonderland” in the broadest sense of type – a fantasy story in which a child magically enters a fantasy world.
This does not at all mean it isn’t a good story, it is! It simply means I believe it should be allowed to be enjoyed and appreciated on its own merits, without expectations it will equal books that have reached top-of-the-class status.
Those who have seen my reading lists over the years have probably noticed that there are two kinds of books I am automatically drawn to, and will snatch up when I come across – time travel stories and kids who magically are transported to a fantasy world.
“Behind the Bookcase” is a solid effort of the second type. My childhood self would have grabbed this one, if it’d been around at the time, and would have enjoyed it.
Finding a secret passage to a magical, fantasy world in your house? Absolutely a favorite premise of mine.
“Truth be told: the place looked creepy. Sarah simply couldn’t believe that anyone she knew-let alone someone from her very own family-could have anything to do with such a house. Never in her life had she seen such a disaster.”
‘”Awesome!” Billy said, with a reverence that thoroughly annoyed his sister. “What could be awesome about this?” “Look at it,” he said, “It’s like a haunted house.”’
It’s hard to say much without spoilers, but world we visit with Sarah is a highly imaginative and original one. People there are certainly very strange.Read more ›
My favorite character by far is Balthazat, King of the Cats. What a fun villain! As owner of a cat who consistently wishes to murder me, I found Balthazat a believable evil overlord.
Behind the door lays Scotopia, a land of eternal night, rivers of moonlight, fantastical monsters, and even Balthazat, the King of Cats himself. But things are not what they seem, and soon Sarah and her little brother Billy find that there is much more to the king than they previously thought, and that there is more than one door in their house that leads to a mysterious place ...
I really enjoyed getting my hands on my copy of this ARC. It's a fun, spooky, and wildly imaginative story for younger readers (as well as older kids and adults who have not lost their sense of fun and wonder) who might be bored with the usual thoroughfare for grade schoolers who want something darker to read. While Steensland is very careful to keep things age appropriate, Sarah and her brother, quite literally, go to hell and back, make a deal with the devil, gaze upon the face of god, converse with the dead and play hooky with monsters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had hear of this book from a Booktuber and though I'd give it a try.
It isn't great and powerful literature but it was fun. Read more
The premise of the book was interesting, but I was let down. On Goodreads it says if you like Alice in Wonderland, The Twilight Zone and Caroline than you will most likely enjoy... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kirsten
It was adventurous and irresistibly exciting. It draged you into its story so easily as it was very interesting. Read morePublished 16 months ago by L J CATLEY
The title and cover art drew me to this story; however, I considered abandoning the book several times. It just did not deliver. The characters were flat. Read morePublished 23 months ago by María Camp
I've been reading a chapter a night from the hardcover of Behind the Bookcase with my eight-year-old son every night for the last month. He loves it. Read morePublished on April 22, 2014 by Antmusic Fan
I found out about this book at my library.I immediately loved it. It was so detailed and descriptive.I just had to get the book on my kindle.It is a little creepy and mysterious. Read morePublished on October 20, 2013 by Maisara Chowdhury
Reviewed by Avery, age 9
This book is about a little girl who goes to spend the summer with her grandmother and isn't too excited about it. Read more
I loved it!I could picture myself in Sarah's shoes,except I have two sisters that are even worse than Billy. Jeez Louise!Published on May 27, 2013 by RAH