Behind the Bookcase

(2012)
Behind the Bookcase cover

A very engaging and scary fantasy mystery that takes the heroine on a whirlwind trip into another world called Scotopia.  If you liked Coraline or Alice in Wonderland you will certainly enjoy this fantasy.

The story starts with the family, Sarah, 12; her brother, Billy; and her parents travelling to her late Grandma Winnie’s house to clean and fix it up in order to sell it.  Here Sarah discovers a house full of locked rooms, many dark and dangerous secrets, and an unfinished letter her grandmother wrote: Strange things are happening behind the bookcase. . . .    Behind the bookcase is a doorway into Scotopia, the land where shadows come from.  Sarah meets a talking cat named Balthazat; Jeb, a boy with half a face; a walking hand called Lefty; sentinels whose eyes and mouths are stitched shut and carry heads for lanterns: and a giant bat with a boy’s head named BB by Sarah.

Balthazat convinces Sarah to take him back to her world, and she does under the impression that he is saving her from some evil king of Scotopia.  Jeb claims that Baltazat is lying about everything.  With Jeb’s help Sarah works to undo the mess she has caused by letting this evil cat into her world.  She also finds a locked door in the basement that her grandmother claimed lead to Penumbra, where the souls of the dead are sleeping.  This door is a portal for the sleeping, which is the reason Baltazat wanted into Sarah’s world.

Will Sarah be able to stop the cat from getting into Penumbra to capture the sleeping souls?  Will she be able to return Billy’s missing half back to his face?  Will Sarah’s world soon be overtaken by darkness?  Will Sara get enough courage to save all of her friends in Scotopia, as well as the people in her world?

This is a must read book for children in grades 4 through 7 who enjoy fantasy and alternate worlds full of adventure and fantasy characters. 

I would recommend this book for ages 9 through 12.

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