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Thresholds

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Overview

Maya's family has just moved from Idaho to Spores Ferry, Oregon. She's nervous about starting middle school and making new friends, but soon that's the last thing on her mind. First, a fairy flies into her room. Then it turns out that the kids in the apartment building next door do magic, and their basement is full of portals to other worlds. She's bursting with new experiences and delight . . . and secrets, because she can't breathe a word to her family, not even when she winds...

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Thresholds

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Overview

Maya's family has just moved from Idaho to Spores Ferry, Oregon. She's nervous about starting middle school and making new friends, but soon that's the last thing on her mind. First, a fairy flies into her room. Then it turns out that the kids in the apartment building next door do magic, and their basement is full of portals to other worlds. She's bursting with new experiences and delight . . . and secrets, because she can't breathe a word to her family, not even when she winds up taking care of an alien!

Imagine the family in Ingrid Law's Savvy seen through the eyes of a young Ray Bradbury. Cross the Threshold!

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Editorial Reviews

Bulletin for the Center of Childrens Books
Hoffman's striking language offers dramatic visualizations of otherworldly creatures and glowing portals.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Seventh-grader Maya and her family have moved from Idaho to Oregon, where they're all hoping for a "fresh start" after the death of Maya's best friend, Stephanie. Maya, who used to illustrate Stephanie's stories of magic and imaginary worlds, now uses her art to deal with her grief. She is intrigued by the people who live in the apartment building next door, who seem too exotic for Oregon, and strikes up a friendship with those who go to her school. Things go from odd to odder, however, when she is visited by a fairy, which leads to a chance encounter at school and an alien egg attached to her arm. She soon learns that her neighbors are a family of portalkeepers—they monitor portals from other worlds—and the egg, called a sissimi, will hatch into a creature that is bonded to her for life. As she learns more about portalkeeping and prepares for the hatching of her egg, she comes to terms with her family's move and starts to see hope for the future. The realistic and fantastical elements don't always blend seamlessly, but the story's premise is intriguing, and, like the rather abrupt ending, hints at a sequel.—Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Kirkus Reviews

Maya, a budding artist, is still grieving her best friend's death when her family moves to Oregon. From her new bedroom, she sketches the odd but intriguing residents of the Janus Apartments next door. One night a puzzling, fairylike creature strays into her room. Soon Maya discovers that two of the new neighbors, fellow seventh graders Benjamin and Gwenda, know something about it. Although they're classroom pariahs, Maya befriends them and another school misfit, Travis, and the three come to her aid after she unwittingly agrees to incubate an extraterrestrial embryo. As Maya is drawn into a complicated conflict between mysterious powers, the embryo hatches. While her artistic gifts are useful, Maya's specialness appears accidental, not preordained, making her a refreshing departure from"Chosen One" heroes. This series opener by a seasoned author takes off slowly, with clichéd plot setup and flat characterization, but adroit, multistranded storytelling saves the day. Once the alien happenings commence, the novel quickly gains altitude, achieving orbit somewhere between fantasy and science fiction, well positioned to explore the opportunities each presents. (Fantasy. 10-14)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670063192
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/5/2010
  • Series: Magic Next Door Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,324,010
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Nina Kiriki Hoffman lives in Eugene, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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    Posted February 4, 2012

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