Grim Tuesday

by Garth Nix

Scholastic, January, 2004.
Trade paperback, 368 pages.
ISBN: 0439436559
Ages 12 and up

Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix When we last saw Arthur Penhaligon in the first book in the Keys to the Kingdom series, Mister Monday, he had learned that he is the heir to the Kingdom, a mysterious world that parallels ours, but where time runs at a different rate. After great adventures, Arthur obtained the first key, the Key to the Lower House. Thinking that he is free to be a normal boy and grow up in the normal world before being called upon by the House, Arthur is disheartened to receive a summons back to the House so soon. Now Arthur must go up against Grim Tuesday, the holder of the Second Key. Grim Tuesday's domain is very different from that of Mister Monday. Tuesday has managed to buy up all the debt of the old holder of the First Key, and if Arthur doesn't win the Second Key or pay off the debt, Tuesday will bankrupt Arthur's family and pave over their house to make way for a shopping mall. So Arthur sets out to enter the House once again to save his family and fight for his inheritance.

Garth Nix takes readers deeper into the mysterious house in this second adventure in a planned seven part series. Grim Tuesday's domain is aptly named. Unlucky workers from all over the House are sent to help mine the giant pit, from which Tuesday mines the dangerous Nothing which he uses to make all sorts of horrible things. Garth Nix peoples his books with memorable characters: from Grim Tuesday, who can't make anything original, but only copies of things he's seen before (which infuriates him), to the irrepressible and practical-minded Suzy Turquoise Blue who can always be counted on to pull a rabbit out of her pocket, to Captain Tom who can fly a Sunship and the stuffy, uptight Sun Bear who personifies the second piece of the Will, but is too scared to make a decision. A tad darker than the first book, Grim Tuesday subjects Arthur to some serious challenges. Garth Nix continues to surprise and delight readers with his soaring imagination, his clever prose and his knack for creating an exciting adventure.

--Claire E. White

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This review was published in the March-April, 2004 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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