The Blue Door

Book review by
Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
The Blue Door Book Poster Image
Potboiler plot, but some good history.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Slaves love their masters on this family plantation.


An evil character blows up a steamboat, killing many, and attacks the main character.


A veiled reference that a minor character was sexually abused by her brother-in-law. The abuse is not described.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character's despised stepmother is addicted to opium.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that readers will get a sense of what it was like to work in the textile mills of Lowell, Mass., although the slavery on the Southern plantation is atypically benign.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6, 7, and 8-year-old Written bynagroundz February 3, 2009



There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

The Chelmsford family saga turns into a thriller as Abigail's granddaughter fights her way back to New England, escaping evildoers, exploding steamboats, and spies. She becomes trapped in the drudgery of her own family's textile mill. Still good history although the plot's a potboiler. Fans of the first two books will want to read it.


Is it any good?

Ann Rinaldi strains to concoct a plot that will bring the quilt and the family back together, and relies on remarkable coincidences to keep the story moving.

This last book in the Chelmsford sisters trilogy, following Stitch in Time and Broken Days, reunites the family and their pieces of quilt that the first two books divided. Wild coincidences abound. Grandmother Abigail forces the 14-year-old Amanda to remain silent for two weeks, teaching her an unusual skill that comes in handy later when Amanda can't betray her southern accent while hiding in the Lowell textile mills. When the evil Nicholas chases Amanda through the dark streets of Lowell he's certain to kill her. Fortunately, Nancy, Thankful's half-Indian daughter, formerly called Walking Breeze, just happens to be out and about, armed with scissors.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about working in the mills. Did anything surprise you about the working conditions? What do you think about allowing such young children to work?

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate