The Secret of Zoone

352p. HarperCollins. Mar. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062845269.
Gr 4–6—The door looks old and dull, but somehow magical to Ozzie. How could a magical door exist in the basement of the building where his prim aunt lives in apartment 2B? When the very tall lady with a hat full of birds—real birds—and a blue winged tiger named Tug appear on his couch, Ozzie can't help but believe in the magical door that takes him with a bang to the Land of Zoone. Unfortunately, when he arrives in the station that serves as the nexus of access to all magical lands, the door to his earthly world is blasted apart. Ozzie soon finds himself with a porter's job (he learns to not ask what is in the luggage), trying to figure out who he can trust, including a princess and an ornery wizard. Trouble is brewing for Zoone in the shape of the escaped evil wizard Crogus, and Ozzie might just hold the magical key to save it all. The world-building is detailed and rich; readers will want to travel the tracks to visit different worlds and stroll the magical market. The plot is fairly predictable, but there is enough suspense and mystery to keep most readers hooked.
VERDICT A solid fantasy for large middle grade collections.

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