Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Door in the Alley (The Explorers #1)” as Want to Read:
The Door in the Alley (The Explorers #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Door in the Alley

(The Explorers #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Featuring a mysterious society, a secretive past, and a pig in a teeny hat, The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the first book in a new series for fans of The Name of This Book Is a Secret and The Mysterious Benedict Society. Knock once if you can find it—but only members are allowed inside.

This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It’s not th
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Door in the Alley, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Amy Aelleah I would call this a middle grade book (the core audience of those books are 8 to 12 years old). In this book, one of our point of view characters is…moreI would call this a middle grade book (the core audience of those books are 8 to 12 years old). In this book, one of our point of view characters is twelve while the other is eleven.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  390 ratings  ·  113 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. First of all, let me say, if you're a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events, read this. Because, while wholly lighter in tone, this book encompasses a lot of what made asoue so great.

Endlessly humorous narration? Check. Kick ass kids? Check. Adventure? Check. Tantalizing mystery? Check.

I don't know, just read it. It's fun and fast paced and hilarious and interesting and I loooooved it. Plus. Pig in a teeny hat. How do you not love a book with a pig in a teeny h
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book.


Non-Spoiler review below.

Ok, I have finally worked up the courage to post my first review on Good Reads. Go easy on me, folks.

I was lucky enough to be given an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book. Don't tell anyone, but I didn't read it for weeks. What can I say? Life was busy, and I have a long reading list. Then I got dumped. (It's cool. He was awful.) So I needed a distraction. That night I picked up "The Explorers" thinking I could read a few chapters between ugly
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sebastian, a studious; no nonsense; all logic kind of boy, and Evie, an orphan who doesn’t mind a bit of nonsense and illogical adventure, are about to have their worlds collide. And it all starts with a pig in a teeny hat, a door in an alley, and a secret society full of explorers. The middle is full of nasty thugs, puzzles to solve, and adventure to be had. While the ending is all startling revelations, mysteries solved, and cliffhangers to dangle’s safe to say that Sebastian and Evi ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much fun! That was the first coherent thought that raced through my brain as I crossed the finish line of The Door in the Alley. Everyone knows that I love a good middle grade book. Coincidentally, my favorite type of middle grade book though, is the kind that doesn't talk down to its readers. The kind that is smart, funny, and filled with adventure. That, my friends, is exactly what The Door in the Alley is. It is a wonderful ride!

Our story begins with Sebastian, a studious and mild mannered
Pop Bop
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Way Better Than the Blurbs Might Lead You to Suspect

The reference in the blurb/summary to the pig-in-the-teeny-hat makes this book sound awfully twee. The gushing references to Trenton Stewart's "Mysterious Benedict Society" and Pseudonymous Bosch's "Secret Series" may grab one's attention, but to me they also make the book sound derivative. Well guess what? Across the board - characters, plot, humor, writing quality - this is a superior, more entertaining, and more rewarding book.

Brief summary
Meg Iwanowski
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Advanced Copy Courtesy Penguin Random House

One word to describe this book in its entirety is quirky. A book that speaks my language. From the pig in his tiny hat to the cute chapter titles and light-hearted babbling footnotes, "The Explorers" is a book I recommend to young readers who want to get lost in a realm of adventure, specifically, "The Door in the Alley."

Pragmatic and a bit of a brainy outcast, 12-year-old Sebastian stumbles into a new social realm one afternoon when he strays off the
Ms. Yingling
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC from

Sebastian lives a well ordered existence with his staid, science loving family, and he is rather annoyed when his cousin Hubert takes him down an unexplored alleyway on their way home from school one day, making him five minutes late getting home. They see a sign in the alley for "The Explorers' Society", and this intrigues Sebastian, although he knows better than to act on just any stray impulse. When he intercepts a pig in a tiny hat and is ordered by a man in a rumpled
Mar 22, 2017 added it
Advance copy courtesy Delacorte Press via Amazon Vine program

Needs A New Ending
spoiler-free review

I am incredibly conflicted about this book.

Right from the start, I loved the smart, bright wittiness Adrienne Kress brought to the page. Plays on words, a protagonist who wasn't a cardboard cutout, and an incredibly spiffy locale where much of the story unfolded? Great, I thought. A tale that eager readers could buzz through, with enough tendrils and scaffolds to support those for whom reading is l
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this with my young daughter and she loved it. When it comes to these kinds of books I defer to her opinion since they’re written for her audience and not mine. I was happy we could find a new series to read together. She thought it was funny but still had moments that gave her the creeps, the good kind, as she enjoyed this new adventure.

You’ll want to make sure to continue with the series because there’s no good closure in this book as the writing makes it clear it’s intended to melt into
Katie Lawrence
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, children-s-books
This was such a rollicking, delightful read! I loved every second of this book and its quirky characters. Aspects of this reminded me of the more unique details of Series of Unfortunate Events (without the darkness those books tend to exude) while other aspects had the humor of Adam Gidwitz's titles mixed with the joyous madcap adventure feel you get from Lemoncello's Library. I loved this book very much and cannot wait to share it during future school visits! Incredibly fun to read with endeari ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
he Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the newest release from Canadian author Adrienne Kress. There are certain things that always grab my attention when reading a book and animals in tiny hats is certainly one of them. Because you know something unusual is about to happen. The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the first book in what looks to be an epic series.

The book begins with Sebastian, a boy with a very structured life that doesn't waver, who happens upon a door he's never noticed that
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Door in the Alley was an utter delight! This adventurous tale featuring an adventurous girl and an unadventurous boy was full of whimsy and the unexpected. I was charmed! Not all authors can create a world and characters like Sebastian and Evie and still remain authentic - The Door in the Alley does just that.
May 30, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miriam by: Spectrum 23
I wouldn't have picked this up from the blurb, but the art looks fun.

Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at Log Cabin Library

12 yo Sebastian is literal, logical, and practical. Each day he follows the same routine and likes it that way. That is until he and his cousin Arthur get into a fight and Arthur huff's off, leading Sebastian to follow him down an alley with a mysterious sign for The Explorers Society. Once Sebastian's home, he can't help thinking about the sign and his curiosity takes him past the alley again. This time he rescues a pig wearing a hat, which he tries to ret
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
First sentence: This story begins, like most stories do, with a pig wearing a teeny hat. And I'm sure right now you're thinking to yourself, I've read this story before. But please let me assure you that this isn't that pig in a teeny hat story you're reading, but the other one. The one you haven't read. Yet. Unless you've read this story before.

Premise/plot: Sebastian is NOT looking for adventure...or excitement. And he's especially not looking for DANGER and INTRIGUE. He likes things just-so;
Amy Aelleah
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
You ever read a book that tries so hard to be cute and quirky and it just fails miserably for you? Yeah, that was this one for me. I love the idea of the book, I adored a previous book by this author that I read - but this book just doesn't work for me. Really, more than anything, it's the writing style that I had a problem with. It shatters the fourth-wall (which, in and of itself, isn't something I find funny) and the narrator is a character (no, I don't mean that the narrator is one of the ch ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 56

The Door in the Alley is a victim of the fact that I'm not super into any of my current reads, so one of them had to go. This book is cute and funny, and I'd have loved it as a wee thing, but I'm not invested as an adult.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Such a fun book! Can't wait for book #2!
Suzanne Maley
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can’t wait for #2! How can you go wrong with a pig in a hat. This one ends with a cliffhanger.
Scott Fillner
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ss are going to ❤this book! It has mystery, action, adv, strong chars & is the beginning of what seems to be a great series @AdrienneKress ...more
The first book in The Explorers series, The Door in the Alley introduces readers to Sebastian, a young rule-following, very smart young boy, and Evie, an orphaned young girl with great determination, as well as a number of other colourful and interesting characters. In addition to making sense of the mysterious organization and clubhouse they have stumbled upon, Sebastian and Evie are suddenly tasked with finding and protecting special treasures.

The Door in the Alley was one of those books that
Violet Sinclair
Main Reasons I LOVED This Book:

-THE FREAKING COVER (look at it, tell me that isn't awesome)
-ASOUE style writing
-The footnotes
-SEBASTIAN AND EVIE'S ADORABLE FRIENDSHIP (they are too pure for this world)
-THE CHAPTER TITLES (In which there is a Conversation and Also Llamas)
-FREAKING CATHERINE (she's literally a female Indiana Jones)

It's beautiful and glorious and wonderful and adorable and pure and hilarious and just- read this book, okay?
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't going to do any re-reading this year because I wanted my reading challenge to be all new-to-me books, but I found it impossible to get into the second book in this series (The Reckless Rescue) without reading this one again. This is in part due to the fact that there are a lot of small details I had forgotten, and also because this book ends literally in the middle of a sentence. Coincidentally, it's right where the second book picks up. :) Off to read The Reckless Rescue now!
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Was a good, not great book until the end. There was no ending. The book just sort of ended in mid-thought. Tacky.
Dorine White
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Sebastian is a very straight cut twelve-year-old. He does everything he's supposed to do and follows all the rules. A wrong turn one day leads him into an alley where he sees a lonely door with a sign that reads, "The Explorers Society."

Inside the building he finds a bizarre landscape of odd rooms and a giant tree that grows straight up the middle of the building with a tree house at the top. He is caught immediately and as punishment for being where he is not supposed to be, is asked to spend h
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With school winding down things at school have been really crazy. So I haven't managed to finish this book yet. But the part I have read is definitely amusing and strange. Sebastian stumbles upon the door in an alley near his home with a sign about the Explorer's Society, but he doesn't feel like it is something it is appropriate for him to be interested in as a logical thinking person. But when he crosses paths with a pig-in-a-teeny-hat he gets drawn into the society despite himself. That's as ...more
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sebastian's life has always been as logical as he, until some completely unexpected events (involving a pig in a teeny hat) lead him to the enigmatic but amazing Explorer's Society, whose headquarters could have been designed by Mr. Lemoncello. Even more unexpectedly, he gets a job there, which leads to him (again unexpectedly) to finding a hidden puzzle box that covers the fabulous exploits of the Filipendulous Five. Who are they? Why was the box hidden?

Meanwhile, orphaned Evie is a ward of the
Knock once if you can find it but only members are allowed inside. This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It's not the one you're thinking about. (This story is way better than that one.) This pig-in-a-teeny-hat story starts when a very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, there is danger and adventure; there are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, and famous explorers; and there is a girl looking for help that onl ...more
Kathy Martin
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Middle schoolers looking for action, adventure and footnotes won't want to miss THE DOOR IN THE ALLEY. Sebastian is a serious twelve-year-old attending a science and math magnet school. He is a rule follower. One day he discovers a sign on a door in an alley (that he only went down because his cousin took a wrong turn) that said The Explorers Society. He couldn't help but be curious about what the society did but was almost able to put it out of his mind until the day he rescued a little pig in ...more
Katie Wong
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
I "picked this up" through a library audio book app, for a couple road trips with 4 elementary and middle school boys. It was the perfect antidote to fights and complaining! There was near silence (from the boys) almost the whole trip, and the story was funny and fascinating enough to enthrall the driver too! :)

I didn't realize this was the first in a series from the way it was described on the app, so we were all disappointed to end on such a cliff-hanger (REALLY?!?!). I'm sure they'll read the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans (Samantha Spinner, #1)
  • Enter a Glossy Web (Enter a Glossy Web, #1)
  • Falcon Wild
  • Running on the Roof of the World
  • The Wizard's Dog
  • The Island of Thieves (Tom Trelawney #1)
  • The Stone Cold Age (Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, #2)
  • The Train of Lost Things
  • Max Tilt: Fire the Depths (Max Tilt, #1)
  • The Vanishing Island (The Chronicles of the Black Tulip #1)
  • The Hotel Between
  • The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming
  • Mercury Retrograde (Dark Alchemy, #2)
  • The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society, #1)
  • The Lost Expedition (Poptropica, #2)
  • How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel (My Life Is a Zoo, #2)
  • White Heart of Justice (Noon Onyx, #3)
  • Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave (The Shakespeare Mysteries, #1)
See similar books…
Adrienne Kress is a Toronto born actor and author who loves to play make-believe. She also loves hot chocolate. And cheese. Not necessarily together.

2016 saw the release of HATTER MADIGAN: Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X., an exciting collaboration with NY Times bestselling author Frank Beddor (set in the same world as his Looking Glass Wars YA books). And April 2017 she releases the first book in her ne

Other books in the series

The Explorers (3 books)
  • The Reckless Rescue (The Explorers #2)
  • The Quest For the Kid (The Explorers #3)