The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Alix E. Harrow 2019, Redhook

I’ve written some discussion questions for this book that generated thoughtful discussion in a virtual book group.  You can find the discussion questions here or by hovering over the Discussion Questions link on the main menu. 

Imagine you could walk through a door and into another world.  Why would you step through that door; are you escaping something or looking for something? (Or someone?)

Young January Scaller is exceptional; she is independent, nonconforming, and gutsy. She lives with her guardian Simon Locke in Vermont while her father Julian travels far and wide in search of treasures and antiquities from exotic locales.  Treasure seeking like this is popular in the early 1900s, after all.

January doesn’t look like other girls; she is an unusual reddish-brown color. Luckily, she is under Simon Locke’s protection, which shields her from the judgment of others from a young age. She could do with a mother’s influence, but she’s been told that her mother died right after she was born. She has a friend – the grocer’s son Samuel – and she has food, shelter, and clothing – and her dog Sinbad (Bad).

The one day she finds a Door – and she steps through, into a world of sunlight and ocean.  January’s world will never be the same.

Alix E. Harrow has created worlds of possibility while preserving the personal accountability of those who inhabit these worlds.  This is a story of love, loss, reunion, and courage.  Although presented as a fantastical adventure, at its heart this is a story of love in its many forms.

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