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The Key to Rondo (Rondo #1)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,090 Ratings  ·  284 Reviews
A new realm of magic from Emily Rodda, the New York Times bestselling author of the Deltora books.

There are three rules to the old painted, music box: Wind the box three times only. Never shut the box when the music is playing. Never move the box before the music stops.

Leo wouldn't dream of breaking these rules, but does his stubborn cousin Mimi listen? She winds the box f
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Scholastic Press (first published February 1st 2007)
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Rachel Mckitterick I own all 3 Rondo books (i live in australia) and i just love them!! If you can get ahold of them its SO worth it!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eva Mitnick
Jan 05, 2009 Eva Mitnick rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, fantasy
At first glance, this sounds like dozens (and probably hundreds) of other fantasy novels for children. Two mismatched kids figure out a way into a magical realm and are immediately in danger. They set out on a quest, during which they meet many fascinating denizens of the realm and learn much about themselves and each other. Ultimately, all ends well.

This happens to a genre that is as delicious to me as strawberries with cream. Whether it’s the Narnia books, Alice in Wonderland, or the many cont
Ernie Cox
Feb 02, 2008 Ernie Cox rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-readers
The Key To Rondo is the newest title from Australian author Emily Rodda (Rowan of Rin series). When Leo Zifkak inherits his Aunt Bethany's elaborately decorated music box he takes the rules posted on the bottom seriously - only wind it up three turns, never pick it up while its playing. His cousin, Mimi, on the other hand is a little less of a conformist and winds the box four times. Butterflies come alive from one panel of paintings. This is the same high quality fantasy for middles grade reade ...more
Mar 03, 2014 Jennette rated it it was amazing
this book is creative and super epic a must read!!!!
Oct 25, 2014 Claudia rated it it was amazing
It's a book with a mystery .....I love it
Nov 17, 2008 Andrea rated it really liked it
This was a great book to read. It had you hooked from the first when you just pick it up and clear until the end. It was fun to see each character change through the whole book. Mimi is my favorite because she is strong she just doesnt know it. She had to really overcome her insecurity to face her choice in the end. Leo was great. You will love all the characters and have fun trying to guess which fairy tale they come from. Great book will probably have a sequel.
Raymond Xu
Dec 18, 2014 Raymond Xu rated it it was amazing
The reason why I was reading this book was because I didn't have any other books to read. Although I've bought this book, I've never read it because the cover doesn't look really interesting. So I decided to start reading this. Mimi and Leo were cousins and Mimi was the dark-sided trouble maker. Leo was honest and responsible. One day Mimi decided to turn the music box(Rondo) more than three times(the generations of longlanders were told not to wind it more than three times). The blue queen took ...more
So cute, so cute, so cute!! This book had a little inception going on-- this secret music box world within our own much bigger and more complex world. I love all the books that Emily Rodda writes because to me, they have a sort of whimsy and uniqueness to them. This definitely does not disappoint.
I was a little hesitant to read it, but I was on a long 14 hour road trip, so I wasn't about to complain when my sister handed me some reading material to divert my mind from the boredom.
All in all, i
May 25, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a cute story and a fast. Leo inherits a beautifully hand-painted music box that comes with very specific rules about how many times to wind it and when it can be moved. Leo is determined to follow these rules but when his cousin Mimi comes to visit she thinks the rules are stupid. What they discover is that those rules were designed to keep the world inside the music box a secret. When the rules are broken people and creatures from this world can come out and people from Leo and Mimi's ...more
Oct 07, 2015 Vlasta rated it liked it
Přiznám se, že sama bych na podobnou knížku asi nenarazila. Takováhle dobrodružství, jako je Percy Jackson a podobné, moc nevyhledávám. Ale díky povinným titulům v knihovnické soutěži jsem se dostala k Rondu. Po přečtení anotace se mi to sice zdálo být nezajímavé, nechápala jsem ta tučně vytištěná pravidla, ale do čtení jsem se ponořila.
Příběh vypráví o patnáctiletém Leovi a jeho sestřence Mimi, kteří poruší pravidla hrací skříňky. Tím se poprvé setkají s Modrou královnou, která se po odhalení s
Kat!e Larson
Jun 09, 2015 Kat!e Larson rated it really liked it
As I always, I am in love with Emily Rodda's writing. It is so fantastic to read one of her books that I haven't read before, and brings me right back to the wonder of childhood. I was entranced by the world, and though the story follows a very familiar fantasy layout, there were still plenty of unexpected elements that were truly delightful.

I loved the fairytale retellings that were never explicitly spelled out or over-done. The Blue Queen may be Cinderella's (or Suki's, as the case may be) wi
Jan 22, 2016 Fiona rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-by-em
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2014 Amber. rated it really liked it
Shelves: old-favourites
Let's just start off by saying that when I got this book out from the library, I tried to read it, and failed. But then one day I tried again, and I actually liked it. No, I became obsessed with it. I was 10, might I mention.

Emily Rodda has a lot of books, and the Rondo series are the only ones that I have read. One day perhaps I will read some of her other novels, but for now I am fine with just these.

This book is set in the present-day (I think.), and it follows the story of young Leo, and his
Aug 16, 2015 Zoe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rondo, school
The is amazing book I recommend you to read and easy to read like the words flow nicely My favorite character is Leo because I think he has done the right thing by getting out of his comfort zone. When you read it in chapters at a time the end really leaves you hanging till the next chapter. And at the end I found out why Leos aunt left the music box to him.
Jan 17, 2014 MelanieP rated it it was ok
The Key to Ronda Emily Rodda Fantasy
Leo Zifkak has received a music box from his Great Aunt Bethany. After her death she left each of her nieces and nephews something leaving Leo with the music box. Leo is waiting for the arrival of one of his least favorite cousins Mimi Langlander which picked a simple necklace with a hair in the pendant. When she arrives with her dog Mutt, Leo already feels uncomfortable. He barely knows her. So instead of trying to talk to her he goes exam his music box with
Christine Treasure
A quick fun read. I found the main characters to be a little dull at times, but they were realistic in their decisions considering they are still children and some of the other characters they ran into along the way were great. I loved the inclusion of all the elements of different fairy tales and enjoyed following along on Leo and Mimi's adventures. I also particularly liked seeing the cousin element, instead of the siblings/friends/love interest type of relationships that are often the case, a ...more
Alexis Contreras
Dec 07, 2015 Alexis Contreras rated it it was amazing
In the book " The Key to Rondo" by Emily Rodda is about a music box . There was a family member that had a magical music box that can only be winded 3 times only or else bad things would happen . The family member is a great aunt and she passed away and gave all her grandkids and family members each something special . A boy named Leo got the music box and winded it more than 3 times . I enjoyed this book very much because it made me be in suspense . I also enjoyed it because it involved many a ...more
Daisy A
The Key To Rondo by Emily Rodda was a book that is full of suspense and adventure. This book is about two cousins, Mimi and Leo, that unlock a secret world called Rondo. The unlocked a secret world by winding the music box 4 times instead of 3 time as instructed. The Blue Queen took Mimi’s dog (Mutt). They had to go into Rondo to get Mutt back. During their visit they run into many different troubles and meet many new people. They also learn that our world may be a fantasy. All the things that t ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Delaney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I felt like I was right there with them. It was magical. I have read this book a million times and it never gets old.
Dec 10, 2010 Whitaker rated it liked it
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for
Mar 28, 2016 Lynda rated it it was amazing
"The Key to Rondo" is fantastic! It has it all - adventure, quest, humour, fascinating characters and wondrous scenes. Leo and Mimi Langlander are not-so-friendly cousins, trapped in another world through Mimi's daring and disobedience and Leo's growing understanding of what their heirloom family music box really contains. The world of Rondo - inside the enchanted music box - becomes a world where they must both pursue and escape the evil Blue Witch, and save the lives of everyone they meet. The ...more
Arpita Das
Jan 22, 2016 Arpita Das rated it really liked it
I read it because I was mourning over the loss of my YA Hero and as a step to get over with it, I took this middle-grade, or what we say a pre-teen novel. In all, it was good, quite different from the regular YA stuff and more into adventures Narnia series. the plot was definitely unusual and unique constructed in simple and beautiful words to be understood by everyone. The adventures somehow bring the hidden child inside the readers as you relive your childhood. It is definitely worth a read.
Kelsie Beaudoin (The Bookworm)
I love Emily Rodda. I devoured her Deltora Quest books when I was little. I loved them so much I started reading them aloud to my two little brothers. We got through 4 of the books before they became “too old” to be read to.

I was nervous to read this book, thinking it wouldn’t live up to my love for her other series. I had nothing to be worried about. The Key to Rondo was AMAZING.

Let’s just talk about this bit of text:
“There are three rules to the old painted, music box:
Wind the box three tim
Jul 31, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
This fantastic novel is a sequel to another Rondo book, which I haven't read, but enjoyed anyway. Rodda writes great fantasy and this is up there with the best. She takes characters from fairy tales and nursery rhymes and weaves them into her magical world of Rondo, which can be entered by Leo and Mimi using the key to the music box world which is where Rondo is located. It is a quest novel of sorts - Leo and Mimi join friends from their previous adventure, including Bertha the pig, Conker, Fred ...more
Oct 20, 2008 Muphyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spooky Cookie, Miss Keks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 02, 2009 Julie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy or magical-world fans
Recommended to Julie by: had read other books by Emily Rodda
I'm not actually sure this HAS to be young adult - but that's where it was in my local library.

Having read all of the Rowan of Rin series, I was eager to pick up another of Emily Rodda's books. It's an enjoyable read, except for one factor: I didn't like the main character, Leo, as well as I liked Rowan. Although he changes a bit through the course of the story, Leo is not the most compassionate guy around - see his repeated attempts to get his cousin Mimi to leave her beloved dog in the clutche
Sep 15, 2008 Allison rated it liked it
Rodda, Emily Key to Rondo, 333pgs. Scholastic Press; Language~G, Sexual Content~G; Violence~G; When Aunt Bethany died she left Leo her music box. The music box was a treasured family heirloom. The music that played when the lid was opened was almost hypnotic. But unlike most music boxes this one had 4 rules.
“Turn the key three times only.
Never turn the key while the music is playing.
Never pick up the box while the music is playing.
Never close the lid until the music has stopped.”

Why these
Jan 15, 2014 Caroline rated it really liked it
One of my year six teachers read this book to my class one day, and by the first chapter I was already itching to beg my mother to take me to the nearest bookstore to buy it for myself because I knew it would take all year to finish this book in class, if we finished it at all.
I also convinced my mum to read it, and neither me or my mother regretted buying this book.
The magic of it sucked me in straight away, and I adored every moment of it. I loved the whole world of Rondo, I loved the characte
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Joan Stradling for

When Leo Zifkak inherits an ancient music box from his aunt Bethany, he's determined to follow the three rules. He won't wind the box more than three times, he won't shut the box when the music is playing, and he won't move the box before the music stops.

Leo isn't a rule breaker, but the same can't be said for his cousin, Mimi. She winds the box four times! This unlocks a hidden world and releases a sorceress who kidnaps Mimi's dog. Though he's angr
Mar 26, 2009 Naomi rated it it was amazing
I ended up reading this last minute before it was due. It was hard to get into it first. It's not like it was slow, but the characters weren't my type at first. I mean little kids, how am I supposed to stay interested? But I was proved wrong quickly. It became fast paced and there was this constant questioning. What's going to happen next? Who can they trust? How will defeat their enemy? I'm trying not to reveal so much, that way people can actually read my reviews. But seriously, once you hit t ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Elzbeth rated it really liked it
This was so much fun! Two kids fall into a music box which is actually and alternate world, in order to get their dog back. The author invites in several other well known fairy tails, but not only that, she combined them in a way where one character could cover several fairy tales. But she did it in a way that worked.

Though it's the first book in a series, it doesn't end that way. It ends pretty much wrapped up, so feel free to just read the one!
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7EL - Group 4: Blog six-i would recommend... 1 5 Apr 28, 2012 05:32PM  
7EL - Group 4: blog five-i have learned.... 1 2 Apr 28, 2012 05:26PM  
7EL - Group 4: Blog four-similar/disimilar to my life 1 2 Apr 28, 2012 05:07PM  
7EL - Group 4: blog three-the main idea 1 2 Apr 28, 2012 05:01PM  
7EL - Group 4: blog two-orientation and characters 1 2 Apr 28, 2012 04:57PM  
7EL - Group 4: blog one-the blurb and cover predictions 1 2 Apr 25, 2012 06:53PM  
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Emily Rodda (real name Jennifer Rowe) was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney in 1973 with an MA (Hons) in English Literature. Moving into a publishing career, first as a book editor, and finally as a publisher at Angus & Robertson, Rodda's first book was published in 1984.
More about Emily Rodda...

Other Books in the Series

Rondo (3 books)
  • The Wizard of Rondo (Rondo, #2)
  • The Battle for Rondo (Rondo, #3)

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