This Side of Magic (Keyholders Series #1)

( 3 )

Overview

The first in a series of light fantasy chapter books set in Morgantown, a town on the border between the real world and the magical world, by the authors of the Publishers Weekly bestselling BAILEY SCHOOL KIDS—a series of 50 books with more than 30 million copies sold!

“You are my chosen apprentices,” said Mr. Leery.

Penny and Luke aren’t sure they want to be apprentice Keyholders. A Keyholder’s job, explains their neighbor, Mr. Leery, is to ...

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Keyholders #1: This Side of Magic

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Overview

The first in a series of light fantasy chapter books set in Morgantown, a town on the border between the real world and the magical world, by the authors of the Publishers Weekly bestselling BAILEY SCHOOL KIDS—a series of 50 books with more than 30 million copies sold!

“You are my chosen apprentices,” said Mr. Leery.

Penny and Luke aren’t sure they want to be apprentice Keyholders. A Keyholder’s job, explains their neighbor, Mr. Leery, is to guard the border between the real world and the magical world.

But when they meet their “links”—magical helpers from the other side of the border—they change their minds. Penny’s link is Kirin, a sarcastic unicorn. Luke forms a link with a clumsy baby dragon named Dracula.

And just in time! For the evil Queen of the Boggarts is determined to invade their world—and only the Keyholders and their links can stop her.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Keyholders #1: This Side of Magic

“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

Publishers Weekly

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.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765359827
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Series: Keyholders Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 791,692
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

MARCIA THORNTON JONES enjoys reading more than anything else. As a teacher, her favorite part of the school day was sharing books with her students. It was that love of reading that drew her to writing. She wanted to write the same kinds of stories that she and her students enjoyed reading. One afternoon she mentioned to the school librarian that she’d always had an interest in writing. The librarian, Debbie Dadey, shared a common desire to write stories that would encourage reading skills while promoting a true joy of reading. The next afternoon, Marcia and Debbie met while their students were at lunch and began writing. That story, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots, became the first book in their bestselling series, The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids.

Marcia lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, Stephen, and their two cats.

DEBBIE DADEY taught first grade before becoming a librarian. It was while teaching that she first realized how much she wanted to write a book for reluctant readers. Her first book, co-authored with fellow teacher Marcia Thornton Jones, was the result of a very bad day. Since then, Debbie and Marcia have collaborated on more than 125 books with sales of over forty million copies.

Debbie lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband, three dogs, and three children.

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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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    GREAT STORY without being scarry!

    Totally interesting and a page turner that the kids were begging to hear more of each night. Great bedtime story to open the world of imagination without being scarry for middle elementary aged kids. It has the right mix of boys and girls and imaginary creatures. Boys find it as interesting and fun as girls do! It is a quick read for adults with humor in it though it is more of an action adventure than a comedy. It is a great introduction to fantasty and adventure stories.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The first Keyholders' urban fantasy is a fun often amusing thriller

    The hedge abetted by magic protects the residents of Morgantown from supernatural creatures like the evil Boggarts whose queen plans to invade the town and then the world. Meanwhile best friends Penny and Luke visit their neighbor Mr. Leery, who asks them to watch his cat Mr. Mo as he attends a funeral of an associate; they agree.

    The kids meet a strange fifth grader who wants to see Mr. Leery. When Mr. Mo goes berserk the weird kid flees. Mr. Leery returns and explains to the two kids that they are apprentice keyholders, a job that Penny accepts while Luke wants to decline. Mr. Leery explains he is the last of three keyholders who insure the hedge magic remains strong to keep the Boggarts out; they and someone else will replace him and his two late associates after two centuries on the job. As Penny connects with Kirin the sarcastic unicorn and Luke with Dracula the baby dragon, they learn the third keyholder is the snob Natalie who connects aptly so with Buttercup the rat, and the weird kid is a Boggart spy. Though not ready the three fifth grade keyholders must prevent the Boggart hordes from invading Morgantown.

    The first Keyholders' urban fantasy is a fun often amusing thriller. The tale starts off a bit slow as the players are introduced, but the pace picks up once Mr. Leery leaves town. Penny and Luke are likable kids while affluent snob Natalie is not. The apprentice trio has some humorous moments as they battle the Boggart spy and attempt to prevent the invasion to the delight of elementary school age readers.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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