With a variety of covers, this book was reviewed in our Scholastic Book Fair. I showed a movie clip of it to the students and it is intriguing for sure. The target audience is 9-13 year old girls, but boys could read it as well. The protagonist, Elise, finds clues about herself and her family that she didn't understand before, as she is able to unlock all 8 doors and see each gift her father left for her. She is struggling in school, her locker partner treating her poorly and she just doesn't fit in. It is a bit emotional, funny, mysterious and a part self-discovery. Here are some other helpful reviews from other readers. (The kids at my school are all dying to get their turn to read it since they saw the trailer from Scholastic. I think I need to get a few more copies this weekend.)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eight Keys to Discovery June 3, 2012
I am a homeschooling mom and this was one of the books I selected for my 10 and 11 year old daughters. This book isn't intended to be a mystery, but a journey into self discovery. Each key helps Elise learn something about herself or her family. As I was reading and writing comprehension questions I would frequently find myself laughing or crying. I think when my daughters read this and we discuss each of the rooms she opens they will also learn something about themselves.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend this for an eleven year old girl October 26, 2011
Category: Light adventure
Age Range: 10 - 11 years (the year before middle school)
Grade (Public school): the year before middle school or junior high school)
Preferred Gender: Boys and Girls (maybe slightly tilted to girls)
Elise lives with her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh. Her Mother and Father are dead.
Elise's mother died at child birth or shortly thereafter. Franklin (Frank) is Elise's next door neighbor, almost the only neighbor (they live out in the country) and her best friend. Don't worry about this being too maudlin for a child to handle. I had to go back and reread the reason for Elise's Dad dying. All it says is the doctor told him he had three years to live. He wrote out a number of letters which he gave to Uncle Hugh. I was concerned that all this death might have been somewhat difficult to swallow. It turns out to be just the opposite. Elise has such a nice group of parent substitutes; your child might regret not having the same.
Elise is s clearly the protagonist. Frank is a strong sidekick. Amanda, Elise's locker-mate, is the antagonist.
Elise's Dad, who is dead, made out birthday letters to Elise, one for each of her birthdays. Elise's uncle gives her one at the end of the day on her birthdays.
Elise discovers eight locked doors on the second floor of the barn. Slowly she acquires the keys to each door.
Her father had placed special stuff in each room. You'll have to read the book to find out what Elise found.
I highly recommend this for an eleven year old girl.