Carnegie Longlist 2016 · Carnegie Nominations 2016

The Door that Led to Where by Sally Gardner

This is an interesting mystery with a twist. AJ is finding life hard, he has not done well at school and his mother somehow manages to get him an interview at a law firm. His friends are in big trouble with some very unfriendly characters and life is becoming very difficult. At work he finds a key which opens a very unusual door which allows him to solve a  mystery but also help his friends. I really liked the grittiness of this story and the characters were brought to life by the obvious friendship between them.

The descriptions of London in 1830 were insightful and it was obvious that Sally has done a lot of research on this period. Linking the two time periods was clever in the way she was able to demonstrate how something that we take for granted in the 21c were a frustration in 1830 only because AJ knew about them. Not being able to phone or text was very frustrating for him. It was also interesting how the characters actually enjoyed being in 1830 as they had some knowledge from history lessons and also enjoyed being unconnected to technology.

Although I did enjoy this book there was something missing for me. It was one of those books that I was quite happy to read before I went to sleep but not a book a l couldn’t put down. If you like a mystery then it is worth giving a go. This book is suitable for anyone 11+

By Elizabeth

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