Dodger's Doorway by Alessandro Reale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This first novel by Alex Reale,a former student, is an exciting adventure into many fondly remembered childhood fairy tales. A teen, Mark Bishop, who calls himself, Dodger, is bullied unmercifully at school, his parents fight all the time and belittle him so much that Dodger is really looking forward to turning 18 and leaving behind his sorry excuse for a life. But a chance trip into his closet one night leads him into a fairytale kingdom complete with castles, Humpty Dumpty, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Tinkerbell, who need his help as a "literary" to overthrow evil (Captain Hook and his pirates). Each time Dodger reaches within himself to help Humpty and Rump (I love this nickname!) he grows more aware of how unhappy he was and now is able to forget his fear and fight for good. It is not easy for him and Reale does a great job of showing Dodger's uneasiness and anger with situations. But with each encounter and there are many, you root for Dodger and enjoy the many adventures (some are pretty gruesome)that bring him closer to being able to confront his bully when and if, he returns home. I liked the mentions of Phildelphia, Temple, and University of Pennsylvania and I look forward to more books from Alex way to go!
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