Twelve-year-old Janie Rutland somewhat grudgingly befriends Reggie Rankin—the weird new kid at school—and finally has someone to investigate her curious sightings in the abandoned house next door. When they find there’s an impossible world in danger of total destruction, they face a choice. Do they have what it takes to save it?
An eccentric fellowship gathers as they embark on a perilous quest in a race against time and their own fears. Traveling in what can only be described as a pirate hover ship, they’re threatened by monsters and storms, shipwrecks and death.
Can they find the answers they need to save Sian—and maybe all worlds?
C. E. White’s The Worlds Next Door introduces twelve-year-old Janie, who is fascinated by a neighbor’s derelict house. From her window at night she sees lights, but no one ever goes in or out. When she and her friend Reggie investigate, they discover the house is a portal to worlds such as Sian, where the ground wobbles, people look like polar bears, and residents desperately need help from Earth. Soon the kids find themselves getting their sea legs on a perilous mission to rescue Sian. The story appears intended for middle-grade readers, but characters’ philosophical discussions lend this story a more grown-up and allegorical feel.
Best for: Older children, yet parents may need to read aloud and explain some words; adult fans of inventive Christian fantasy and thoughtful theological fiction.
Discern: No major content challenges.