Behind the Bookcase by Mark Steensland

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A girl stumbles into a fantastic world in this tale perfect for fans of Coraline, Alice in Wonderland, and The Twilight Zone.

Spending the summer at her grandmother's house is the last thing Sarah wants to do—especially now that Grandma Winnie has died—but she has no choice. Her parents have to fix the place up before they can sell it, and Sarah and her brother, Billy, have to help. But the tedious work turns into a thrilling mystery when Sarah discovers an unfinished letter her grandmother wrote: Strange things are happening behind the bookcase. . . . 

Sarah's mother dismisses the letter as one of Grandma Winnie's crazy stories, but Sarah does some investigating and makes a remarkable discovery: behind the bookcase is a doorway into Scotopia, the land where shadows come from. With a talking cat named Balthazat as her guide, Sarah begins an unforgettable adventure into a world filled with countless dangers. Who can she trust? And can she face her fears, not only in Scotopia, but also back at Grandma Winnie's house, where more secrets and strange goings-on await her?

About Mark Steensland

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MARK STEENSLAND became a journalist at the age of 18, writing about movies for such magazines as Prevue and American Cinematographer. He has also directed, and produced numerous award-winning films that have played in festivals around the world. Behind the Bookcase is his first novel.
Published October 9, 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 290 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Behind the Bookcase

Kirkus Reviews

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She becomes the key figure in a battle of good versus evil as dangerous creatures attempt to foil Sarah’s efforts to keep the malignant cat from unleashing the sleeping souls locked inside the house.

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Publishers Weekly

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In Steensland’s lackluster debut, 11-year-old Sarah, who identifies herself as “cautious”—maybe even “a scaredy-cat,” as her annoying eight-year-old brother taunts—shows her courage when her late grandmother’s house turns out to be as haunted as it appears.

Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Behind the Bookcase

City Book Review

It was the biggest hand she’d ever seen…” This book is a mix between Coraline, Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and The Secret Garden, but with its own twist.

Feb 08 2013 | Read Full Review of Behind the Bookcase


Behind the Bookcase is a fun tale of spooky adventure for children by Mark Steensland.

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... The Book Report Network ... "Although author Mark Steensland is no stranger to
writing, publishing or ... have a key and the secret passageway Sarah finds
behind the bookcase all make ... Review · About the Book</b...

Nov 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Behind the Bookcase

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