A Door Near Here by Heather Quarles

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Without even noticing it, 15-year old Katherine has become the head of her household.  Her single mother, who recently lost her job, has been drinking for weeks and has not gotten out of bed since.  Katherine is now left to take care of her three younger siblings, 14-year-old Douglas, 13-year-old Tracey, and eight-year-old Alisa.

Each day gets more difficult to maintain any stability, they are quickly running out of food and money, and their teachers are starting to get suspicious.  When Alisa becomes obsessed with finding the door to the imaginary land of Narnia, Katherine realizes that her youngest sister may be losing her grip on reality.  The longer they try to maintain their pretense of normality, the more they have to fear and to lose.

About Heather Quarles

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Heather Quarles received her M.F.A. from Emerson College. A Door Near Here was her master's thesis.
Published October 13, 1998 by Delacorte Books. 240 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Young Adult, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Door Near Here

Kirkus Reviews

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An overstuffed page-turner, both melodramatic and absorbing, with a tried-and-true premise: a sibling’s struggle to keep her family together despite overwhelming parental neglect.

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Publishers Weekly

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PW's starred review said, ""A candid narrative voice joins with skillful pacing"" for this story of 15-year-old Katherine, who tries to conceal her alcoholic mother's incapacity from authorities to prevent the family from being split up.

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Publishers Weekly

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At 15, Katherine is in charge of the house and her three younger siblings--the children's alcoholic, divorced mother has been in bed for weeks and weeks, and there is no outside adult to whom they can turn for help.

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