Anthony Monday, a 14-year-old library page, is about to face a long and boring summer when his boss/friend Miss Eells invites him to join her on vacation. Miss Eells, close to 70, plans to spend the summer with her brother Emerson at his isolated cottage on an island in northern Canada. The three are having a fine time when Anthony finds a mysterious chest that appears and disappears. He also starts hearing voices and seeing ghostly figures. Is this his imagination? He starts brooding and the Eellses are worried. Anthony discovers that the chest is the doorway to another world where evil beings are plotting Earth’s destruction, and soon he and the Eellses are risking their lives.
The late Bellairs did and excellent job with mystery/fantasy for middle schoolers. His characters have a captivating charm that adds to this spellbinding adventure. Both girls and boys will want to read this. A good alternative to the Hardy Boys.
Margaret Mary Ptacek
Voice of Youth Advocates,
Vol. 15, No. 2, June, 1992, p. 106.