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The Forgotten Door

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,760 Ratings  ·  196 Reviews
Who is the strange boy who can talk to animals and read people's minds? Where does he come from?

The boy, Jon, has lost his memory and does not know. he only knows that he has fallen through the forgotten door to the strange planet, Earth, and that he is in great danger

Soon the family who befriends him is in great danger, too. There is very little time left. Jon must find t
Paperback, 144 pages
Published December 1st 1986 by Scholastic Apple (first published 1965)
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Emily of New Moon by L.M. MontgomeryGone-Away Lake by Elizabeth EnrightThe Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan AikenBallet Shoes by Noel StreatfeildThe Borrowers by Mary Norton
Forgotten Kids Books of Quality
83rd out of 525 books — 196 voters
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlThe Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Best Children's Fantasy
211th out of 604 books — 1,028 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This is absolutely my favorite book from childhood! I still have my copy from 4th grade. As my children grew, they read it and loved it, too. It is somewhat of a family treasure and must be returned to the shelf each time it is put down for a break.

The Forgotten Door is Science Fiction for children as it should be written. Key doesn't dismiss the struggle between good and evil and he openly addresses the problems that attend forming opinions without knowledge and judging someone negatively beca
Feb 19, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I hated the cover of this book as a kid. I remember seeing it in the school library, and thinking that it was some Twilight Zone type story, and way too scary. But there was an excerpt from it in our reading textbook, and I was hooked. I think I read it twice in a row. Love this book. Such a fun and different story! I need to get this for my kids. It would actually make a very good episode of something like Twilight Zone or Amazing Stories, heck, it would still be a great movie!
Nov 02, 2009 Pam rated it it was amazing
Year after year, my students and I would read this book aloud (5th, 6th, and 7th grade). At the end of each year they would vote on their favorite book of the year and The Forgotten Door won every time. We would read it at the beginning of the year as a springboard for looking at how society treats those who are different. I highly recommend this book to teachers and students. This is one book that never will be outdated!
Oct 23, 2009 Shonda rated it it was amazing
Sometimes when I'm reading or watching a great movie, I get sucked into the story and when it's over and I come up for air, it's as if the world had stopped those hours spent enjoying myself. This is how I felt the first time I read the Forgotten Door. I was drawn into the story. It felt as if I had been surrounded by silk, as if in a web, but I was comfortable. It was quiet. The Forgotten Door had an impact on me as far as justice and family loyalty is concerned. It was almost surreal. I even l ...more
Jan 31, 2015 Rich rated it really liked it
I remember buying this book from the ARROW Book Club flyer when I was in elementary school. I think it cost 35-cents for the paperback back then. When this became available for 99-cents for my Kindle, I could not resist. How fun to revisit this story so many years later. I remember all the feelings of intrigue and foreboding that this book evoked. It was a great feeling of nostalgia to read it again.
Robert Beveridge
Sep 15, 2009 Robert Beveridge rated it it was ok
Alexander Key, The Forgotten Door (Apple, 1965)

Somehow, I never got around to reading this when I was actually in elementary school, so I figured it was time to do so now. And now I know why I never got around to reading it in elementary school.

Little Jon is an alien. Of what sort we're never exactly told. All we know is that one night, he falls through a door in his world and winds up in a cave in ours, giving him the perfect outsider perspective to be critical about all those horrible things
Sheila Beaumont
This is a wonderful story about a boy from an Earth-like planet who has fallen through a door into our own world. Little Jon is able to communicate with animals and can read people's minds. He has no concept of money, war, theft, automobiles, and many other things we take for granted (but he is very familiar with books!).

Jon is taken in by a good, sympathetic family who shelter and protect him and want to help him find his way home, while he is threatened by others who are afraid of him because
Mar 28, 2008 Tricia rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, plus-1, own
It had been quite a while since I read this, and I pulled it out as something quick to read outloud. While it didn't hold up as well as I would have imagined it would, it was still enjoyable and suspenseful. Re-reading it again after all this time, I wanted to learn more about Little John's home world and get a sense of the characters of the family that took him in.
Lisa Havens
Apr 20, 2008 Lisa Havens rated it it was amazing
Alexander Key is a fantastic author. I've never read a book of his that I haven't liked.

His books are often out of print. I buy them on amazon used. Sometimes public libraries have them.
2/18/15 Kindle Daily Deal $1.99.
If I recall correctly, I read this in a period in my early twenties when I realized that I'd missed a lot by not reading children's books as a child. At the time I didn't connect the author with Escape to Witch Mountain, which latter I connected, quite properly, with Zenna Henderson's People stories.

I realize now that Key never really dealt with an issue which weighed heavily on Zenna Henderson's mind: what moral responsibility do those lucky enough to be born in privileged societies have? Hende
Aug 16, 2011 Eden rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Jon doesn't remember what happened, or who he is, or much of anything for that matter. But he knows he is somewhere strange. When Jon comes upon the Bean family who takes him in, he realize just how strange of a place this is, and that he is not from here. He's from another world, but has no idea how he got here or how to get back.
Trouble starts when Mr. Pitts says he is the boy he caught one night and soon the whole town is full of stories of the 'wild boy'. Things become worse when people star
Ruth Owens
Apr 24, 2016 Ruth Owens rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was a lot younger, and it is part of the reason that I now love reading. It is a well written, fun filled adventure into a whole new world of excitement. I highly recommend this book full of imagination.
Apr 10, 2016 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!!!! This is an extraordinarily valuable tableau of what is wrong with human mentality, exemplifying a much better way we should and can live. Alexander Key starts with valuing all life equally, as my heart has taught me to do. This book is far more profound than the science fiction cover indicates. Enriching lessons are complemented by a fun, original, adventure that is forever memorable. I did not know he wrote “Escape To Witch Mountain”! I felt exultant after watching it as a child and rem ...more
Aug 14, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it
I remembered reading this book as a kid and it really stuck with me for quite a while. So when I saw a copy in a thrift store, I picked it up and read it to my daughter, Hannah (age 7). Unlike many of the books I fondly remember, this one lived up to my memory of it and Hannah really enjoyed it too. It's short, engaging, and thought provoking - generally one of the best short young adult novels I've read.
D.M. Dutcher
Short book about Jon, a telepathic alien who falls through a door to our world. He's an innocent who quickly gets into trouble, with only a single family willing to help. Can he ever regain his memory and get back home.

Standard story, but there's some sadness over the fact that the world is untrusting and almost pathologically against Jon. The ending is unusual too, in that (view spoiler)
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I read this when I was a kid and loved it. When I got older (in my 30s) I read the rest of his books, but never liked any of them as well as this one. I should dig it out and re-read it...
Dec 31, 2008 Bethany rated it it was amazing
Wonderful science fiction children's book. Moral message still holds true today. I read it again a couple of years ago ( after 25 years )...was still good.
Jul 03, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing
Strangers can be kind or cruel, being different can be dangerous, sometimes you don't have control of your fate, only how you react to it.
Hard to figure out where this falls compared to Harold and the Purple Crayon and Andy Buckram's Tin Men for favorite books during the mid-1960's. It still resonates today.

What I learned from this book:
Being different is hard. It's lonely. There are people who will hurt you for being different, but there are good people out there, too, who will love and care about you even if you are different - and about whom you can care to. But be aware - they, too, can be targets for caring for and about you.
Kim Kuhne
Oct 20, 2015 Kim Kuhne rated it it was amazing
This fit the bill for "title I was supposed to read but didn't". It was on my reading list in 6th grade-- the list that included such classics as "A Wrinkle in Time" and "Jonathon Livingston Seagull". I'm glad I finally read it!

This is a quick read with a great commentary on the culture of Earth. It actually ties in rather well with Clarke's "Childhoods End", which I recently finished. In this story, a boy from a much more advanced, yet simpler planet falls thru a "door" in time and space and wi
Mara Johnstone
Sep 15, 2015 Mara Johnstone rated it it was amazing
This book lives on the section of my bookshelf for cherished childhood friends. A teacher read it to my class in 6th grade, and I've read it many times since. It's still good. Some of my own writing in middle school was inspired by this book -- a series of short stories that ended in the longest work of fiction I'd managed at that time (I was so proud). I've written a lot since then, and this book did much to spur me along in the early days. I'm very grateful to it! And it really is a great stor ...more
Dalton Adams
Sep 05, 2014 Dalton Adams rated it it was amazing
Really liked this book, someone gave it to me as a gift. I always love reading older young adult/kids' books anyway, but this was a memorable one. I was tickled to read in the back of the book that Mr. Key lives/lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina, which is pretty much where I grew up. I also like the environmental spin on it. I think it's a great thing to introduce to kids as they're growing up, to start them on the path of thinking in terms of conservation and harmony in their lat ...more
Jesse Whitehead
Jul 30, 2015 Jesse Whitehead rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Does anybody remember the old reading books they used to pass out in elementary school? It was a big, fat, textbook sized chunk of awesomeness that the teachers handed out every year, along with math and language books. The reading books were stuffed full of poems — mostly boring — and stories and snippets of books that were intended to broaden our horizons.

Mostly they probably did. I don’t remember much of them. I was that nerdy kid who took the book home and read it cover to cover in the first
Feb 13, 2015 Myles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-stuff, skiffy
By the author of Escape to Witch Mountain, The Forgotten Door is something I stumbled across when looking for something I'd actually read when I was younger.

Jon has lost his memory, after a fall of some kind he's woken up in unfamiliar woods and needs to find help to recover and make his way back home. But the people he's coming across are unusual, can't do the things that he can do, and find everything about him, from his appearance and clothes to the way he talks, unusual, perhaps dangerous. T
Aug 08, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
The premise of this story--- a young alien boy stumbling upon a "forgotten door" and finding himself waking in a cave on Earth not far from the farm of a family that adopts him and tries to send him home---reminded me so much of a "Twilight Zone" episode that at times I actually found myself picturing the whole story in black and white with a Rod Sterling voiceover. Written in 1965, the book definitely reads as as the author's own reflection/response to the space travel fascination/alien anxiety ...more
Mary Overton
"[Thomas Bean] drew forth the knife and clip [belonging to Jon, the strange boy]... As he studied them again, he began to whistle softly through his teeth.
"'Out with it,' said Mary [his wife]. 'Are the gems [set in the handle and clip] real?'
"'They're real. I can't quite believe it. Jon, have you any idea what these things are worth?'
"Little Jon looked at him intently. 'They are not worth what you think they are, Mr. Bean. You're thinking they're worth more than your house, and everything in the
The forgotten door es un libro juvenil de ciencia ficción, muy corto y entretenido.

Trata todos los temas habituales de las novelas de Alexander Key: niños con habilidades sobrehumanas, otras civilizaciones espaciales, los choques culturales, el egoísmo de determinados miembros de nuestra sociedad...

El protagonista cae en una fisura y aterriza en la tierra, perdiendo la memoria por el camino: puede comunicarse con animales y leer la mente de las personas. Mucha gente querrá acusarle o aprovechars
Dec 21, 2015 Liv added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Kaso
Aug 10, 2015 Kim Kaso rated it it was amazing
Another childhood favorite. I read this when I was 7 while we were on vacation at my uncle's house of the 57 steps in Southern Ohio. I sat on the porch swing, lost in imagining a door that would open for me to another world. It would be a couple more years before I found Narnia, but I have a warm place in my heart for any book that has a way into another world. At the end of the day, most books take me to other worlds, and I live for the trips.
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An American science fiction writer, most of whose books were aimed at a juvenile audience. He became a nationally known illustrator before he became an author. After he began writing novels for young people, he moved his family to the North Carolina mountains, and most of his books include that wild and rugged landscape.

His novel Escape to Witch Mountain was made into a popular film in 1975 and ag
More about Alexander Key...

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