Monday, June 24, 2019
Silent Lee and the Adventure of the Side Door Key by Alex Hiam
As soon as her mother dumps her with the unknown cousins, Silent is thrown into a modern day school, where her knowledge of alchemy is seen as a joke. She tries to keep to herself, but a boy name Raahi notices that she is different but in a good way. He follows her around until she gives in and they become friends.
Meanwhile, Silent's mother is busy searching Aunt Generous' old house and is hunting for a special key. A key which Silent wears around her neck and that opens the magic side door. Feeling that her mother is up to no good, Silent keeps the key a secret. Everything changes when Silent gets a note from her Aunt asking for help.
Now Silent knows something nefarious is afoot and believes her mother is involved. Silent and Raahi will do anything to find Aunt Generous and to protect the Side Door World from strangers.
The plot of this book grabbed me right away. A young girl who is able to travel to an alternative past and learn about magic and alchemy. Love! The only problem is that this book did not deal much with the Side Door World. We hear about it and Silent talks about it, but in truth, she and Raahi only visit it for a few minutes while hiding. I was so disappointed not to actually see the school of magic she attended and meet other students from that world.
The story itself is action-packed. I felt right away that something was wrong when Aunt Generous just suddenly dies while Silent is away. She is then treated horribly by her mother and placed with cousins who leave on vacation and rent their house out without telling her. The author does a great job of throwing Silent into awful situations. The reader is able to watch as Silent breaks some rules and uses her magic to find her Aunt. It's all very fun.
I really want to read the next book in the series because I'm hoping to see more of the Side Door World and also hear the secret that Aunt Generous is keeping. SPOILER- Silent's mom isn't her real mom, but Aunt Generous won't tell her the real story until the next morning. Which of course, is after the book ends.
A fun romp for middle-graders. I'm giving it 4 stars!