From the Publisher
“Kids will be drawn to the likable, believable protagonists and the promise of more enticing magic and action to follow.” Publishers Weekly
“Magical attacks, lively characters from both sides of the hedge and slapstick set pieces…The bright humor will attract and keep young pre-Potterites.” Kirkus Reviews
This breezy lark by veteran collaborators (the Adventures of the Bailey School Kids) opens the Keyholders series. Best friends Luke and Penny witness curious goings-on when caring for Mr. Leery's cat, Mo, while the elderly neighbor is away (for starters, Mo reveals he can talk). On his return, Mr. Leery tells them a magical world exists beyond the thick bushes that edge his yard. He recruits the two as apprentice Keyholders, protectors of the border between the enchanted realm and the real world, which boggarts are threatening to invade. The kids sign on when they meet their "links"-"beings from beyond the border that form a special connection to the Keyholders"-Luke's is a bumbling dragon, Penny's a caustic unicorn. One drawback: the third Keyholder is their nemesis, Natalie. A stage-setter for the series, the story is short on enchantment, yet kids will be drawn to the likable, believable protagonists and the promise of more enticing magic and action to follow. Book two, The Other Side of Magic, is due the same month. Ages 7-10. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The authors of the Bailey School Kids set their new series in a small town that is unknowingly protected from the magical creatures just adjacent by a spellcast hedge of thorns and magic. The secret job of protecting that hedge falls to six "Keyholders," paired off one Humdrum (the local term for Muggle) to one magical being. Fifthgrade buddies Penny and Luke, plus despised spoiledrichkid classmate Natalie, discover that they've been chosen to be the newest set of Keyholders when they meet and bond with, respectively, a snotty unicorn, a distinctly puppylike dragon and a nervous talking rat. That bonding, along with mounting evidence that the evil Queen of Boggarts is weakening the hedge in preparation for an outbreak, carries over into Keyholders #2: The Other Side of Magic (9780765359834). Magical attacks, lively characters from both sides of the hedge and slapstick set pieces compensate for the glacial pace in the early going. Considering the authors' track record, the pace may never pick up, but the bright humor will attract and keep young prePotterites. (Fantasy. 911)
Read an Excerpt
Keyholders #1: This Side of Magic
The two tiny windows next to Mr. Leery’s front door glowed with light when Penny and Luke banged on the door.
“We know your cat can talk,” Luke blurted as soon as Mr. Leery opened the door. “Are you some kind of magician?”
Mr. Leery raised his eyebrows at the cat. “You agreed to keep your mouth shut until I returned.”
“I guess I let the cat is out of the bag,” Mo admitted.
For a moment, the cat’s face seemed to dissolve into a look of shame, but then Mo’s whiskers twitched and his tail swished back and forth in an angry frenzy. He peered between Luke’s knees out into the shadows of the yard.
“Quick. Close the door. NOW!” Mo yowled.