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Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom Series #1)

Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom Series #1)

4.3 192
by Garth Nix

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Saved from an early death by an unusual key, Arthur has no choice but to escape to a secluded house when the vengeful Mister Monday hunts him to get that key back. The strange part? Arthur is the only person who can see the house he hides in. If your child likes tales of magic, he'll love the first book in this suspenseful fantasy series.


Saved from an early death by an unusual key, Arthur has no choice but to escape to a secluded house when the vengeful Mister Monday hunts him to get that key back. The strange part? Arthur is the only person who can see the house he hides in. If your child likes tales of magic, he'll love the first book in this suspenseful fantasy series.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Fantasy master Garth Nix dreams up a world where time mixes with place -- and one boy must enter it to recover one of seven all-powerful keys -- in this first mind-bending installment of The Keys to the Kingdom.

Arthur Penhaligon's first days at his new school don't go too well, particularly when a fiendish Mister Monday appears, gives Arthur a magical clock hand, and then orders his gang of dog-faced goons to chase Arthur around and get it back. But when the confused and curious boy discovers that a mysterious virus is spreading through town, he decides to enter an otherworldly house to stop it. After meeting Suzy Blue and the first part of "the Will" (a frog-looking entity that knows everything about the House), Arthur learns that he's been selected as Rightful Heir to the House and must get the other part of the clock hand in order to defeat Monday. That means getting past Monday's henchmen and journeying to the Dayroom itself. Thankfully, Arthur is up to the challenge, but as he finds out, his fight seems to be only one-seventh over.

With a weapon-wielding hero and a villain who doesn't make Mondays any nicer, Nix's Keys to the Kingdom launch is imaginative and gripping. After an action-packed crescendo to the book's middle -- when Arthur finally learns his destiny -- Nix keeps the drama going and doesn't let it fall. By the end, you might be winded from all the fantastic explanation, but you'll definitely be salivating for what's to come. Matt Warner

Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This exciting and gripping reading of Garth Nix's fantasy novel (Scholastic, 2003) is filled with lots of dramatic action. During a running exercise at school, Arthur Penhaligon collapses from an asthma attack. Upon awakening, he meets a stranger, Mister Monday. Monday hands Arthur an unusual key which begins a wild adventure. Using the powers of the key, Arthur travels to another realm and battles many evil creatures in a struggle to save his world from a mysterious disease. There are several violent episodes, and the fast-moving and imaginative plot and strong characterizations capture listeners' attention. The text is rich in descriptive language. Background music begins and concludes the reading. While there are no sound effects, Allan Corduner's dramatic narration splendidly brings the book to life with his many character voices. The story concludes with a lead in to the next book in the series and leaves listeners wanting more. This dynamic recording will be popular with fantasy fans.-Lynn K. Vanca, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

Voice of Youth Advocates
(February 1, 2004; 0-439-55123-4)

Arthur Penhaligon's first day at a new school is marked by a nearly fatal asthma attack. In fact, the attack should have been fatal, but a key shaped like the minute hand of a clock that somehow helps him to breathe saves Arthur. Shortly after, strange-looking people pursue Arthur as a mysterious plague breaks out. As Arthur enters a huge house that only he can see, searching for a cure for this plague and for the mysterious Mister Monday, the adventure is launched. Nix's creativity spills over in the fast-paced engrossing plot. The House is a massive universe populated by Ink Fillers, giants, eerie and evil mechanical creatures, the robot-like Commissionaires, and Mister Monday's attendants, Dawn, Noon, and Dusk. The characters are interesting and complicated, particularly those in the House; Arthur is never sure whom he can trust, and the various quirks will keep readers guessing. Arthur seems a bit aloof at times or else impatient with his task, but he is clever, resourceful, and resilient, and he truly proves his heroism. The opening prologue is a bit on the obscure side, but encourage any dubious readers to get beyond it because this novel is a fresh, original start to an exciting new fantasy series.-Donna Scanlon.

School Library Journal
(December 1, 2003; 0-439-55123-4)

Gr 5-8-Arthur Penhaligon's school year is not off to a good start. On his first day, he suffers an asthma attack while running cross country and dreams that a mysterious figure hands him a key shaped like the minute hand of a clock. However, when he wakes up, he still has the key. That's when strange things begin to happen. Mister Monday dispatches terrifying, dog-faced Fetchers to retrieve it, a bizarre sleeping illness sweeps the city, and only Arthur can see the weird new house that appears in his neighborhood. The seventh grader knows it all has something to do with the key, one of seven elusive fragments of the Will to which he has become heir apparent, and a mysterious atlas. When he ventures inside the house, he meets more strange characters than he could have imagined, none of whom are what they seem. And, of course, he must battle Monday, who will do anything to get the key back. With the help of the key, Arthur must fight his way out. The first in a seven part series for middle graders is every bit as exciting and suspenseful as the author's previous young adult novels. Readers will eagerly anticipate the sequels.-Ginny Collier, Dekalb County Public Library, Chamblee, GA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly starred (July 28, 2003; 0-439-55123-4)

In this first volume in Nix's (Sabriel) Mister Monday series, magic splashes across virtually every page. First, a brief, cryptic prelude tells of "the Will" that has been kept under cosmic lock-and-key by generations of Inspectors and their robotic sentries. Next, readers meet seventh-grader Arthur Penhaligon, an asthmatic adoptee who is struggling to fit in at his new school. Nix quickly thrusts Arthur into the heart of the mystery: while recovering from an asthma attack during gym class, Arthur is given a mysterious Key and Atlas from Mister Monday, an ominous wheelchair-bound man (mentioned in the prelude). The Key resembles the minute hand of a clock, and is actually a powerful talisman, tied to the clock-like device that guards the Will. Before long, Fetchers, strange dog-faced creatures, attempt to recover the key, and unleash a disease upon humans that threatens massive casualties. Arthur sets out to stop the Fetchers at the source, and ends up exploring a cavernous house visible only to him (it's 4,000 stories high, a girl inside tells him). Here the surreal story becomes even more puzzle-like and visually ornate-a sort of amalgam of Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth. Nix's grand explan

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Keys to the Kingdom Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

GARTH NIX was born on a Saturday in Melbourne, Australia. He has won the Aurealis Awards for Best Fantasy Novel, Best Young Adult Novel, and Best Children’s Novel—all in the same year. His novels include Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen as well as the complete Keys to the Kingdom series. These titles are all available on audio from Listening Library.  He lives near Coogee Beach in Sydney, Australia, with his wife Anna and their children.

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Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 193 reviews.
Jillo725 More than 1 year ago
Admittedly, i stopped this book about midway through, but I just couldn't take anymore (and this is only the third book i have ever done that to.) Truly, it has beautiful descriptions, but when i'm actually skipping paragraphs that include action, I know i need a new book. If you want a long, languorous book with a beautifully depicted world, and that's all? then this is the book for you. Otherwise, find another good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Arthur Penhaligon an asthmatic middle schooler has an asthma attack in the center of a field at his middle school he was suppose to die that day, but he was given a key by a man named Mr. Monday and his butler Mondays Noon. Noon was influenced by a Will to trick Mr. Monday into giving it up. Then the will gave Arthur an atlas. By the time they were gone the ambulance was here. He hid the key in the grass so the people in the ambulance would not take it from him. When he woke up the atlas was in his shirt pocket and the key was under his pillow. He is released from the hospital a few days later and on his way to school he sees a house a house that was not there before and only he can see it. The next day at school Mr. Monday was there and he wanted the key back, but he could only stay here fore an hour after 12 on Monday. And the time ran out and Mr. Monday disappeared. The Will lead him to an entrance to the house and in the house he finds a door way that leads to the lower house. The lower house is a town. There he discovers why he was given the key by the Will, and what he must do with it. This book is very well organized and is very descriptive. The vocabulary is not very difficult and is great for young readers. The book has some very exiting parts especially in the lower house he encounters the many different creatures Mr. Monday controls. Mr. Monday is a great book and it is appropriate for all ages though I recommend it for young adult readers. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
BookLover5698 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Monday was a good buy. It's interesting although you have to think carefully over everything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not good and i couldent get in to it
J3v0n More than 1 year ago
Better than average, Mr. Monday will appeal to fans who are into fantasy fiction that features kids leaving the real world to go adventuring in a magical world. Arthur and Suzy are likeable enough characters and the House and its inhabitants (or Denizens as they are referred to) are fascinating and quirky. To say "Time" is a recurring theme in this book would be the understatement of the YEAR. Almost every part of this story is saturated with some aspect of time: the lead character, Arthur, always feel time is against him in his attempt to save everyone from the Sleepy Plague; the passage of time differs between the real world and the House; the Denizens have temporal names - Mr. Monday, Grim Tuesday, Noon, Dawn, Dusk, The Old One, etc; the Improbable Stairs open into differnt points of Earth's history; everything started from Nothing and in time will return to Nothing. As a Christian I question whether the Atheism element is appropriate for kids who are the intended target audience. Still, Mr. Monday is a good story. If only I can trick my friends into buying the rest of the series for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a terribly written book, it's full of implied meanings that add up to nothing (like most of the books in this world), all in all terribly written. It just irritates me although i couldn't help but finish it, pretty much any book can keep a person interested no matter how awful it is. The writing resembles a middle schoolers work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I saw that people who bought it also bought The Golden compass by Philip Pullman. Unfortunately, This book is no Golden Compass and not even close to Harry Potter. I love fantasy stories full of imagination, and I'm often annoyed by the lack of imagination of some writers (why do all the bad guys have to be goblins or witches or vampires?) However, in this book it seems that Garth Nix strains his mind to make EVERYTHING new and imaginative. Except of Arthur's Asthma, which is certainly a real disease. Everything in this book is totally new and bizarre and drawn directly from Nix's furious imagination. The result is that instead of a credible fantasy world, the reader is introduced into a scene where everything goes: An elevator or a secret passage appear from thin air where ever and whenever they want to. A magic wand can do almost anything with no clear limitations, and so on. As much as I like a story full of imagination, this book is just too imaginative. When Arthur is in danger I always thought: O.K. which kind of strange thing is Nix going to pull out of his hat to save him? Sometimes, even if the story is not so great, you fall in love with the characters. But not in this book. Arthur is supposed to be the fragile insecure child turned in spite of his will to a hero, kind of like Harry Potter or Bastian from the Never Ending Story. This is maybe why Nix gave him asthma. However, It seems that Arthur is an incredibly brave kid right from the start. He's handling all the horrible things he's faced with in a matter-off-fact Steven Seagal kind of attitude in his strive to save the world. Suzy blue is even worse. It's not clear if She's supposed to be a likable character or a comic side-show that we should laugh at. She is always described like a dumb girl and it never seems that Arthur has any real affection for her. One of Harry Potter's great strength is the true friendship between the characters, which lacks here completely. The overall feeling is that instead of opening a door to a great and wonderful world, this book open for us a door to a strange room where tables hang upside down from the ceiling and strange objects pop out from thin air and disappear. The first instinct is to close the door, or in our case- the book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shut up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great start to a wonderful 7 book series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is like puting timetravel random dimeensons and hey this is the onlly thing that can save your life guard it well togther pretty nicely plus there is always the flipping awsome and intense battle( noon dusk cops and midnight visitors awsome fight while you are there). dont know a few of those names well read the book and find out.->---------- | )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
to slow and horribly written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're against children being exposed to works that feature tobacco use, don't buy this. This would get an R rating now due to that if this were a movie. I just want you to be aware. Tobacco causes cancer! I should know, my mom's boyfriend has been battling it for a few years now. He was a smoker, but you can also get it from snuff, like what's in this book. Just read the sample, if you don't believe that the book is tainted with tobacco use.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is a series that i can never find from this writer!!!!!Iwas hoping maybe some of his fans could help me out. Its called the seventh tower n i have the first volume which include books 1-3 but i cant seem to find any information on the series at all!!!!!!!! I wouldreally like to finish it, its a captivating story if anyone has any information about it post a review...... please and thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My sister itroduced me to to these books and l will always remember them, this is the perfect series for any reader
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