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The Door at the End of the World

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Step into the worlds outside our own as Lucy Eberslee must find a way to stop a dangerous force that threatens the fate of the eight worlds in Caroline Carlson’s latest middle grade novel.

What begins as a rather unremarkable Tuesday quickly turns to disaster when Lucy, the Gatekeeper’s deputy, discovers that her boss has vanished and the door connecting Lucy’s world to the
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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I read this book to my 10-year-old as his bedtime story (over the course of about a month) and we both absolutely loved it. There was one point in the climax when he was laughing SO hard and so was I! This is fabulously imaginative and fun with a Diana Wynne Jones sort of feel, filled with great characters, family complications, humor, magical adventures and kindness.

The embarrassing truth is, I'd originally hesitated about buying this book only because I'd had an idea brewing in the back of my
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of fun, and very Diana-Wynne-Jones-esque. So much so that I found myself comparing it directly, which I think the book suffered a little bit by. Not because of anything that this book did— it was delightful and I support the bees in everything they do— but because I kept expecting the book to zag when it zigged. DWJ had a not entirely linear style of writing, full of grace notes that seemingly don't contribute to the story (until the end when they all click into place), which I think hones ...more
Nicole Valentine
Caroline Carlson pulled off the perfect trifecta of middle grade adventure, humor and surprise in this sci-fi/fantasy novel. Part Diana Wynne Jones, part Pratchett - this book will easily be a new favorite. Lucy is the perfect heroine with both pluck and self doubt. Readers get to look at their own world a bit sideways, proving to them a new perspective is around every corner.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, rc19
I wish there'd been more; the story galloped along briskly in that really nice middle grade fantasy adventure way of magical happenings and bright changes of scene and mood (with, you know, a herd of magically intelligent cows arriving on the scene, as they do) and then there was the peaceful gathering of loose ends (which is one of the parts I like best in mg fantasy), and then...the last page and it was over. Sigh. ...more
Mary Schoeb
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4th-grade
Really cute story! Quick read, fun plot. I wish it was the beginning of a series. The characters were fun and engaging.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is spectacular and I can't believe I never saw any hype about this online anywhere! I know reading level says 8-12, but (as a 27-year-old) I still absolutely loved this.

I was searching for middle grade fantasy at the library and luckily it had been marked with a sticker, so I found this by sheer coincidence and I'm so glad I did!

MC Lucy Eberslee (LOVE her name) is such a wonderful character. And all the other characters introduced after her are also lovely (including the bees who ste
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! The story of an young girl who sees herself as others do - ordinary and unremarkable but who is anything but that. Deputy Gatekeeper Lucy takes a bold step when catastrophe strikes the Gatekeeper and the door to the other world is stuck closed. That one step leads to a wild adventure during which Lucy makes firm friends, discovers her own abilities and helps save the worlds.

Delicious world-building, sly humor and endearing characters make this a delight to read. Carlson's adroit wri
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like to read a children's book occasionally as kind of a mind cleanser. This was such a delightful contrast to my usual dark and devious fare. The concept of different worlds connected by openings children go through is familiar, but this story has a unique twist on the idea, plus strong and believable characters. Fun to read! ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am an adult, but this book was great. The characters were interesting and the idea of multiple worlds was complex enough to keep me hooked. The action was pretty fast, which made it all the more fun. It’s not always easy to find books that can be enjoyed by all ages, but this is one.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think my grade fives will love it too! Adventure, humour (loved the bees! ) friendship, mystery and gates to other worlds! What more could you want!
katayoun Masoodi
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children, ebook
a fun and delightful fantasy, thanks for the recommendation Stephanie and her 10-year-old.
Ms. Yingling
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

I have the budget and readership for about 10% of the fantasy books for middle grade that are published, and my students have rather specific needs. This didn't work for my collection because of the lack of world building at the beginning. We are rather thrown into the new environment, which I like, but which my students find confusing. My readers more often ask for books where there is magic in our world, and struggle a bit when entirely new worlds or planes of existenc
Leeanne Grover
There are eight worlds interwoven together. Each world contains two doors that lead to their neighboring worlds. At each door, there is a gatekeeper assigned to ensure that the fabric of time is held together. If these doors were to be sealed all trade would cease to exist. Lucy is the deputy to the gatekeeper between the Southeast and East door. When the gatekeeper disappears and all the doors are sealed shut, Lucy goes to the government for help. Along the way Lucy befriends a prince and a smu ...more
Kate M.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Door at the End of the World is a charming fantasy adventure written for middle-grade audiences but still tremendously fun as an adult. Clever humor and an offbeat perspective make this novel shine.

Lucy Eberslee, age 13, is a deputy Gatekeeper at the titular door. The "end of the world" isn't an apocalypse but a place where her world connects to another as part of a network of eight interconnected worlds. For someone living in a magical place, her life is a fairly sedate one featuring lots
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far in "The Door at the End of the World", Lucy the protagonist is the gatekeepers duty. There are 8 worlds and she works at a door between 2 worlds. At the start the gatekeeper leaves to clean the door. She doesn't return. Then to make things crazier, a kid from another world comes through the door without being invited. They travel together and find someone by another world gate. She comes with them, but later runs away. The gates begin shutting down. The kids try to find the other girl who ...more
Katherine Kelley
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was adorable! All the makings of the middle grades fantasy novels I loved so much as a young person. My favorite part was that the main character, Lucy, isn't a pre-destined heroine. There's nothing special about her. Quite the opposite, as she spends a great deal of time mentioning how average her family believes her to be. But her courage and sense of responsibility are what set her on a path to saving all 8 worlds and keep the fabric of space and time from unraveling. I would highly ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Carlson creates eight worlds that are connected by gates- each with their own gatekeepers. Lucy is the Deputy Gatekeeper at one of Southeast's gates. Strange things happen on maintenance day when the Gatekeeper disappears and Arthur comes through the gate accidentally.
Adventures follow as they attempt to find out why the gates have been sealed.
With the help of a third young person - Rosemary a smuggler, they save the eight worlds.
Enough action and fantasy to hold middle grade readers.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I identified with Lucy: small, over-looked by everyone (including by those in her immediate family), and good at organizing and bureaucracy. Who knew that these talents would become useful when the doors malfunction, and the malefactor behind the deed might also start unraveling the fabric of time/space itself? I did find it somewhat unbelievable as and adult that Lucy was working at age 13, but tweens will like her independence.
Debbie Tanner
This very fun middle grade adventure story is about Lucy, who is the deputy Gatekeeper at the Southeastern end of the world. In this world, there are gates between worlds that allow people to pass quickly and efficiently from one part of the world to the other, except that the Gatekeeper has gone to do maintenance on the gate and she's very late getting back and then a strange boy shows up. This is a fun and funny adventurous book with lots of plot twists to keep readers' interest. ...more
Todd Glaeser
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fun and entertaining book by Caroline Carlson. I look forward to reading anything by her. This one involves doors to other worlds and a smart girl who goes adventuring to find out why they are stuck closed.
Marycatherine Lowery
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I have read all of Carolyn's books and this may be my favorite. This was a creative sci-fi novel with fun characters mixed with humor. It kept me, an adult thoroughly engaged from start to finish. Highly recommended for any age. ...more
Delightful, creative, and funny, with a inspiring, relatable protagonist who has often been overlooked but discovers her courage and claims her agency. I've loved all of Caroline Carlson's books, and this new one is just as smart and fun as the rest. ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
3.8 stars. Fun story of an end-of-the-world gatekeeper who gets caught up into an adventure/conspiracy, along with a boy who falls through the gate into her world. I love the bees! Very creative and fast paced.
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
**Goodreads ARC recipient from forever ago!**

I’m sad I didn’t read this sooner! I loved every minute of this fun ride of a book! I think my kiddos will love it, too, when they are a wee bit older (more in the middle grade age range).

Cute, quirky, creative, silly, and awesome!
Erin Varley
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucy, Rosemary, and Arthur team up to help save the worlds- all eight of them! This part-fantasy, part-sci-fi MG novel is a thrill-ride adventure!
Elizabeth S
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars. Tons of fun. I love the characters, the universe, and the fun!
Joy Lane
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic, j, si-fi-futuristic
Creatve/an enjoyable adventure. No AR or Lexile yet, I'm going to recommend it to 4th-7th graders. I read the ebook, but hardbacks are soon to come to our library ...more
Great fun, good characters, spectacular bees!
Casey Robinson
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly original and enjoyable
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

Very fun read and super creative!
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Caroline Carlson is the author of funny and fantastical books for young readers, including The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy, The World’s Greatest Detective, and The Door at the End of the World. Her novels have won accolades from the New York Times, the American Booksellers Association, Bank Street College of Education, the American Library Association, and Junior Library Guild, ...more

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