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Fantasy, Friendship, and Family Combine in Fast-Paced Magical New Read for Fans of Jaleigh Johnson

Updated on July 28, 2018
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

A Magical Story with a Timely Lesson for Acceptance of New Refugees

Fast-paced magical read for ages 10-16.
Fast-paced magical read for ages 10-16. | Source

Fun Magical Read with a Lesson in Acceptance

Fans of Jaleigh Johnson's magical reads for ages 10 and up have a new release to enjoy with her The Door to the Lost. A huge explosion carries a skyship with a load of children to a new land. The children have no memories of where they came from and are now refugees in this strange new land. The citizens of this new land Talhaven have no idea what to make of these new arrivals. They actually blame the children for the disasterous explosion that brought then there and they consider the children to be exiles. Rook takes a chance to go through a door and the adventures begin. There are numerous doors to travel through as the magical read continues with beasts, monsters, and strange characters. Rook frequently wonders what the children of her old world back in Regara are doing and knows that they do not have to worry about being a refugee in a strange land and wonder about where food will come from or be insulted by some who does not welcome refugees. Rook's friend Drift is her companion and goes through each magical door with her. Fox also goes along with them throughout their discovery of more magical doors. The one helper that they feel that they can trust, Lily, leads them through the door in the tree and to their surprise, they discover that this could be a trap. They discover that Lily may have betrayed them. A surprise kidnapping is part of the magic that creates this page-turner as the story unfolds. The adventures conclude with the door that leads to home. There is a huge surprise ending with a discovery that will delight readers who value their family. A new family relationship is found at the conclusion.

The Door to the Lost was published by Delacorte Press, a division of Penguin/Random House Children's Books. It is recommended for ages 10+. it has an ISBN of 978-1-101-93316-9.

The New Land

The new land that the displaced children arrive in to begin their adventures as exiled refugees
The new land that the displaced children arrive in to begin their adventures as exiled refugees | Source

Lessons for Use with The Door to the Lost

Teachers who teach reading with students ages 10+ will find Johnson's The Door to the Lost to be a fun read for use in the classroom. Chapter books that engage students in reading are a great way to teach many concepts that can be combined with several subjects in the curriculum. The Door to the Lost is one of these that I have found to be quite interesting in preparing some lessons to correlate with other subjects. I find this to be a fun read to teach a lesson about acceptance of new refugees who might come into the community.

*Read The Door to the Lost in a group reading with students, reading a few chapters each day. Students enjoy listening to a book being read aloud. The book may also be assigned to have students read on their own to later share their reading experience in a reading or social studies project.

*Call attention to the disaster that brings the children to a new land when they become refugees in this strange place. What disasters in the real world today cause people to run from their homeland and become refugees in a new land? make a class chart of the kinds of natural disasters that the students have heard about on the news that have caused people to lose their homes in their homeland.

*Are there refugees in the town where the readers are living? What countries have they come from? Use this knowledge to learn about the country or countries that the refugees have come from. Have a globe available for students to find the country or countries that refugees come from.

*What adventures do Rook and Drift encounter as they go through each door in the story? Which door do students like the most? Why? Make a class chart of the favorite doors.

*What are the favorite elements of magic that students like? How does the magic transform an ordinary book into one that is a fun read?

Classroom Use for Chapter Books

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© 2018 Cindy Hewitt


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