The Door to Time, Pierdomenico Baccalorio

Recommended by: Books and Other Thoughts

One of those books I wish I’d read when I was a kid. I would really have enjoyed this book as a kid. These twins, Jason and Julia (must people’s names match?) move into a great big house on the ocean. Their parents immediately leave, they meet another kid who lives nearby (Rick), and the three of them are plunged into exciting adventures with codes and clues and dark passageways and boats that take them to ancient Egypt.

If I were about ten years younger, I would have – well, probably still not thought this was the best book ever, but I would definitely have read the other ones in the series. Because, you know – plucky kids! Who decipher codes and solve riddles! And Egypt! Lovely Egypt! But as it is, I’m more critical of the writing style, and I want more out of the kids’ interactions with each other, so the book was fine but I can’t be bothered reading the other ones. Too busy reading His Majesty’s Dragon, which I’m enjoying a surprising lot so far.

  • I’m always running into books I would have loved as a kid. It makes me so sad that I missed Susan Cooper’s books, for example. Now I’m too old to enjoy it, and must instead pick up on sloppy metaphores and unpruned descriptions. So unfair.

  • jennysbooks

    Movies too…There was this Terry Gilliam film called Time Chasers (I think) that I’d’ve loved when I was small – and Labyrinth’s another one. There could have been so much love instead of the extreme weirded-out-ness.

    I never cared much about Susan Cooper, but there is one book of hers that I quite liked, probably because it’s all wish-fulfillmenty for me. King of Shadows – did you ever read it? The kid goes back in time and meets Shakespeare! And my recollection is that it’s good.

  • Thanks for the link! One thing that drives me a bit crazy as a librarian is when parents come in wanting books for their child’s reading level, rather than their maturity level. Not that I’m against kids reading challenging things, but I worry that they will miss out on the books that they will most appreciate at their current age. Yes, you can read them when you’re older, but of course it’s a different experience, as you say.

    I do wonder if the writing style that irritated you with this book was a result of the translation from Italian.

    And I had forgotten all about King of Shadows – I loved that book!

  • jennysbooks

    I actually wondered about the translation thing myself. I may also have been subconsciously unhappy about reading things in translation, which is something I always struggle with – the exception, for some reason, being French books.

    I know what you mean about kids’ reading levels. My library recently instituted a policy whereby the kids’ library card can only check out books in the kids’ section. It makes me insane – I’m about to start working on my MLIS, and I know I’m going to be even more frustrated with this policy when I’m interning and stuff at the libraries here.