This Side of Magic is 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 best selling 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.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
About the Author
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. Their books include the Keyholders series, beginning with This Side of Magic and The Other Side of Magic. Debbie lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband, three dogs, and three children.
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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