Bookworm Lisa's Blog
Alexander believes that he is going to his grandmother's house while his father is away. Little does he know that he is about to embark upon a grand adventure.
He is curious to know more about the mother who died shortly after he is born and decides that while he is at his grandmothers he has the perfect opportunity to look for answers. He steps out the door early one morning and goes out to explore the forest. There he finds a doorway into another realm.
Alexander is a loner, he doesn't have many friends. He is awkward and clumsy. He is not the hero that children imagine. In the realm of Azra Pith, Alexander meets many unique friends. His first friend is a hopper, what we would commonly call a frog. Alexander's personality and gift to look for the positive help him find friends who in turn help him. He needs these friends to thwart the evil Imperius from capturing him.
I found this tale to be full of adventure and it would appeal to it's target audience, the middle grade reader. There is not much character development, but honestly most 10 year olds are not interested in character development, just the action. Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows is able to keep the story moving and not letting it lapse into inaction. I know that with my 11 and 8 year old sons, it would definitely keep their attention.
This would be a great book to read to younger readers. There are many opportunities for characterization. I read an eBook edition and the illustrations were very hard to see.