The Forgotten Door was written by Alexander Key and published by Scholastic Paperbacks (1986).

Watching the stars, Jon accidentally falls through a long-forgotten door. He hits his head and blacks out. When he wakes up in a cave, he can’t remember who or where he is. Reaching out with his mind, he senses a gentle doe and her fawn, and follows them down a game trail to a green valley. Jon is shocked when a man shoots at the doe. She runs away but the man catches Jon. He cannot understand what the man says to him, but he feels the ugliness of the stranger’s thoughts.

When Jon manages to squirm away and leap lightly over a fence, he feels the man’s astonishment and suspicion. Jon hides beside a road until a car full of kind, rational people drives by, and then he jumps out and waves to them. The Bean family takes him in. Now safe, Jon heals from his fall and learns English in a couple of days. He is so unusual; the Bean family realizes he must be from another place.

But the neighbors dub him “wild boy.” Soon there are gun-toting thieves, a determined sheriff, and a mysterious colonel all trying to get Jon.

Mr. Bean and Jon hike back to the place where Jon fell with the intention of  returning Jon to his home before he is hurt or exploited. But it’s a race against time and formidable opponents.

Although there are unkind people and suspense tugs the plot line along, this is a sweet tale of a boy who is shocked by evil and longs for goodness and home. Normal in his own world, his powers of communicating with animals, leaping high, and reading people’s minds are seen as abnormal and frightening in ours. And they are just the sort of things kids wish they could do. Upper elementary and middle school children will find The Forgotten Door an engaging and uplifting read.

Donna Fujimoto is a graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary. She has published both devotionals for adults and short stories for teens. Her children love to read.

Note from Nancy:  Alexander Key is also the author of Escape to Witch Mountain. If your child likes The Forgotten Door, he/she might want to look for Escape to Witch Mountain.  Donna’s review of that book was posted on September 5, 2011, https://nancyellenhird.wordpress.com/2011/09/

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