cover image Beyond the Door

Beyond the Door

Maureen Doyle McQuerry. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1016-2

In this lively, mythology-steeped middle-grade adventure, which launches the Time Out of Time series, McQuerry (The Peculiars) pits three children against a host of troubles mostly derived from Celtic folklore and legend. Eleven-year-old Timothy Maxwell, his older sister Sarah, and his classmate Jessica Church are swept into the ongoing struggle between Light and Dark, encountering such allies as the goddess Cerridwyn and a star in human shape, as well as enemies like the malevolent, one-eyed Balor. In their first adventure, the three battle Herne and the Wild Hunt, who has chosen one of them as his prey. Six months later, they travel to a mythical market to find a cure for Timothy and Sarah's deathly ill mother, where they discover why they were targeted in the first place. McQuerry weaves mythical and mundane elements together in a rich, complex fashion, enhancing them with layers of atmosphere and suspense. A sense of wonder and worry permeates the narrative, evocative of The Dark Is Rising or the work of Neil Gaiman, and the cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for more. Ages 10%E2%80%9314. Agent: Sandra Bishop, MacGregor Literary. (Apr.)