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Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #1)
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Mister Monday

(The Keys to the Kingdom #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  35,161 ratings  ·  1,513 reviews
Arthur Penhaligon's first days at his new school don't go too well, particularly when a fiendish Mister Monday appears, gives Arthur a magical clock hand, and then orders his gang of dog-faced goons to chase Arthur around and get it back. But when the confused and curious boy discovers that a mysterious virus is spreading through town, he decides to enter an otherworldly h ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Scholastic (first published July 1st 2003)
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Rowena In my review of this book I think I said that able readers from 10 years. It would probably lose interest for 14 and over because the protagonist is a…moreIn my review of this book I think I said that able readers from 10 years. It would probably lose interest for 14 and over because the protagonist is a pre-teen boy. I think that girls would enjoy it too. Our school has a class set of it. Hope this answers your question.(less)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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I remember picking this book up because I liked Nix's Abhorsen trilogy so much, but this one is kind of a big letdown after the greatness that was Abhorsen. It's just a run of the mill mid-grade fantasy quest Arthurian/Christian symbolism story. And to make matters worse, for me anyway, is that it is just so whimsical and overly descriptive. Two things I dislike on their own, but in combination? STABSTABSTAB. Also, I pretty much just hate stories where the magic has no logic or rules or structur ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom #1), Garth Nix
Mister Monday is the first novel in the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. The other books in the series are: Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday and Lord Sunday. Mister Monday is afflicted with the deadly sin of Sloth.
On Earth, a boy named Arthur Penhaligon (the main character) is at a new school. He collapses during an outdoor cross country run during gym because of his severe asthma. Two of h
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is Garth Nix's series for middle grade. There's a book for each day of the week, so that's quite a commitment as far as a series goes. I found it very creative, unpredictable, and fast moving with solid writing and interesting characters.

Re-read to refresh my memory before continuing the series.
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff, locus_poll
The one where dangerously asthmatic Arthur gains possession of a clock hand that embroils him in a conflict with supernatural agents -- one that takes the form of a strange journey in one realm, and a deadly plague in another.

This was wildly original and yet also boring, which takes some doing. Part of the trouble was the writing, which was often clunky and weighed down with unnecessary details. Part of it was the plotting; sometimes the rules and complications were just right, but other times t
Apr 11, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
Okay, so I was all set to love this book. Like REALLY LOVE IT. I picked it up a few weeks ago but had to return it to the library, but because I was so SET TO LOVE IT etc., I went out and bought my own copy to take to New Zealand.


I just didn't believe a bit of it. I thought the dialogue was rubbish. Arthur came across really nothingy to me. I loved the actual concepts, but it felt badly executed. I'm bothered, because it could've been so fantastic, and I heard an interview with Garth Nix the o
A_ bookbound _soul
4 stars!

This is one of the books which I thought to be boring at first and set it down to read some other time. And months later when I picked it up again I was up all night! So I guess it basically depends upon mood. I definitely want to continue with the series.
The world the Garth Nix has created is eccentric , peculiar and full of surprises. It will surely take your imagination to next level... I loved the concept, which was definitely unique and highly creative and the characters were great
Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms by: a kind librarian who knew my taste in books pretty well
4.5 Silver Stars
with Golden Sparks

RTC after re-read

in the gap between waiting for Pendragon & the secrets of Nicholas Flamel I found this series, intriguing & cool; sometimes a bit confusing in plot or scene, with an interesting world building.
I liked it, I liked the characters, as always, Arthur was my favourite.
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's Garth Nix. Was there ever a chance I wouldn't like it?

That said, I wouldn't have read this book - let alone bought it - if not for a glowing recommendation from the great and wonderful Cillian/BB. And so here's a big thank-you to her, because while my mind wasn't (quite) blown, I am glad not to have missed out on what seems a fantastic series.

My primary reservation about the Keys to the Kingdom series is its target age group - and yes, I know that's silly, because how could the man who wrot
Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)
I enjoyed this just as much as I did the last time I read it, which was probably 10 years ago! A quick, easy read, with an enjoyable plot. Turns out I like middle grade as an adult if I read it when I was part of that age group. Hopefully, this continues with the few I never read back then!
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this first book to be extremely entertaining. Filled with mythological and folkloric motifs, mixed with plenty of steampunk settings, and stirred with non-stop action, I devoured this novel in (almost) one sitting. Arthur (the asthmatic, unlikely hero) was well-developed and loyal as was his equally heroic sidekick, Suzy Turquoise Blue (she’s my favorite). Everyone else was dubiously trustworthy for various reasons and I can’t wait to journey to Tuesday to find out. There were also numer ...more
Harold Ogle
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
The book starts off great, and then devolves into very dull and pedestrian YA fiction. I bought it from our local used book shop on the strength of the first several pages, in which the world is established. The beginning reads like a saga or a good role-playing session: there is an incredibly powerful artifact called the Will which must never be used but cannot be destroyed. So the powers that be have split the Will into seven parts, and scattered those seven parts across all of creation. We se ...more
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
An exciting fantasy adventure; can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mister Monday, the first of seven novels from Garth Nix, is a fantastical fantasy adventure which utilizes imagination.

Adventure fiction has always been a part of my childhood, from Gulliver’s Travels to The Famous Five. Amongst these beloved treasures is a series of books that should be read by every child, The Keys to the Kingdom. Within this series of books, Mister Monday introduces the world of dog faced security guards, ceramic komodo dragons that come to life, and an adventure that every c
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
This was a decent book, but it didn't really capture my attention. I think listening to the audio didn't help in this case as I kept getting distracted by a million other things.

Arthur was a decent narrator and I liked him a bit since he reminded me of my younger brother with his asthma problems. I also haven't read many books with a main character having asthma so that was different and unique.

The world that Arthur falls into, was weird and strange. I liked it but I didn't really understand h
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what to say about this book. I liked it enough that I'm planning on reading the second in the series, but I don't really know why. It was a little bit tough to get through the first half (maybe more) but I perservered and the story seemed to grow on me. That being said, I don't feel the author did a great job of helping the reader to identify, or even care about, the main character(s). I guess the mysteriousness of "The Will" has me intrigued and I've liked other books by this autho ...more
James Helgren
Feb 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
right now i am on page 175 when Arther had met the Will and Suzy. They almost got completly squashed when a elavator suddenly stopped! They are also getting chased by man eating dogs wearing coats and bowler hats. AWKWARD!!!!
Amanda Pearl
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, bir-2018
I'm re-reading these for nostalgia. This is a great middle grade fantasy series, excellent use of the days of the week and seven deadly sins. I'm so fond <3 ...more
This review and more can be found on Living for the Books

This book is very different from what I usually read and there's kind of a backstory to why I ended up reading it. I was at the library with my boyfriend and I really wanted him to read The Raven Boys because it's my fave, so I agreed to read a book that he picked out for me. Yeah, our reading tastes are not the same. It's not that I didn't want to like this book, it just isn't for me. Even when I was younger, I probably wouldn't have pick
Barbara ★
Arthur Penhaligon suffers from asthma and has been hospitalized many times. During a gym class at a new school, he suffers so badly that two of the students decide to get help and leave him alone. While he is alone, Mister Monday and Sneezer appear out of nowhere and gift Arthur with a clock minute hand which Arthur calls the key. They do this because they believe Arthur is going to die and they can immediately get the key back. (Mister Monday must relinquish the key as The Will dictates but the ...more
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Wealhtheow by: Gremlin Jane
Arthur has such terrible asthma that his main ambition in life is just getting a next breath, so when a magical key is pressed into his hand and he becomes imbued with extraordinary powers, he's more than a bit nonplussed. There's little time to ponder, however, and Arthur quickly learns how to use the key while being chased through his school by dog-faced men in suits. All too soon Arthur is lost in a magical realm where no one and nothing is as it seems. Through it all, Arthur never loses sigh ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book started off really well but became less interesting as it went along. It seemed to be leaning towards a children's book as opposed to being young adult and some of the dialogue in particular reflected this. I must admit to skimming some of Arthur's very long journey to find the hour key and I found the conclusion when it eventually arrived to be less than satisfying. An okay read but I will not be rushing out to get the sequel.
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
All in all a good read. With the idea that there are other realms that can and do have connection to this life isn't a new idea. The way in which it is presented however is new. As Arthur finds out that sometimes you have to do the hard things in life not only for yourself but for others, he discovers his own growth.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
Excellent! Not quite on the intricate levels of Sabriel etc., but as it's for younger readers that's to be expected. Looking forward to the rest of the series!
Riley Redgate
one of my favorites ever, which derailed my moving process because i had to reread it! what a brilliant, offbeat fantasy - it truly feels magic
First Look: 4/5 This looked so cool. I loved the concept, and the cover was cool and slightly creepy at the same time. Just goes to show you that you can't judge a book by its cover. Argh.

Setting: 1/5 It didn't make any sense. I was so confused. Yes, it was all explained in logical terms, but still. It just felt so out-there. I couldn't believe a word of it. Not for one minute. I had trouble imagining it, because it just felt so incredibly random. It felt just thrown-together. The characters wo
aPriL does feral sometimes
If Harry Potter had been raised as a fundamentalist Christian, and someone gave him LSD, a story like this might result, especially if he studied the myths surrounding King Arthur (originally an English Christian myth).

Even though I thought the fantasy elements were whimsically fun and interesting, most of the characters are disguised heroes and villains from the Bible. Although apologists try to make the case the author was using tropes from Joseph Campbell's world mythology books, which I have
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm going to be honest I was more than a little dissapointed with this book, but mostly I think I was just very confused for most of the time.

The main character is Arthur, a boy who gets dragged into a situation he knows nothing about and has to go on a dangerous mission to find out what's going on. Arthur is a very strange character who gets pulled into something he knows little to nothing about. He is very unsure and stumbles for most of the way.

There are some secondary characters but honest
Amber Scaife
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Arthur is a boy in a new town facing his first day in a new school, but his what-to-worry-about priorities sort themselves quickly after Mister Monday pops in out of thin air and hands Arthur a minute hand-shaped key. Adventure and danger follow, and Arthur finds himself in The House, an unthinkably huge and rambling place that stands outside of time and place and where all things are recorded and filed away.
Think Harry Potter as an asthmatic muggle, plopped down into Spirited Away. So, yeah, pr
Reviews May Vary
Ok Ok... let's see. The fact that I feel like I cannot remember, understand, or explain all of the details about what is going on is probably what makes this lose a star. It's, at times, unnecessarily complicated for a basic sort of plot line: loser kid with no friends is granted powers and has to save the world. Or two, as the case may be. But it's quick moving and mostly interesting. It's short, so I will definately give it at least one more book before I decide how I really feel about it. I'm ...more
Anika Claire
Review originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase on 27/7/2012.

I listened to the audio version of Mister Monday from Bolinda Audio, borrowed from the library.

Arthur Penhaligon is just an ordinary kid – that is, until he suffers a supposedly fatal asthma attack and a strange man, Mister Monday, appears out of nothing and chooses him to be the Heir to the Keys to the Kingdom, for a little while at least. But Arthur doesn’t die like he’s supposed to, and when the people around him start dropping from
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Mister Monday: How do you picture Monday's Noon? 1 3 Feb 10, 2019 06:49PM  
Mister Monday: When and where do you think the story is set? 1 2 Feb 10, 2019 06:36PM  
The Library Lived In: Mister Monday - April 2018 1 2 Apr 17, 2018 06:58PM  

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Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.


Other books in the series

The Keys to the Kingdom (7 books)
  • Grim Tuesday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #2)
  • Drowned Wednesday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #3)
  • Sir Thursday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #4)
  • Lady Friday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #5)
  • Superior Saturday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #6)
  • Lord Sunday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #7)

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