Parents' Guide to

The Door by the Staircase

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Orphan girl meets witch in exciting, imaginative tale.

The Door by the Staircase Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

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

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (1):

A plucky heroine, a lot of magic, and elements from Russian fairy tales add up to an exciting story of danger, mystery, and the power of love and family. Kids who have encountered the firebird, the chicken-legged house, and the scary Baba Yaga in other stories will get a huge kick out of their appearance here, and they'll root for Mary and her friend Jacob as they try to find a real home -- and not get devoured. Kelly Murphy's whimsical illustrations help bring the characters and setting to life. This isn't your ordinary simplistic fairy tale, as both the characters and the situations are a lot more nuanced.

"'Where are you going?' ...

"'Back to you.'

"Madame Z's eyes narrowed. 'And why would you want to do that? You know who I am.'

"Mary wanted to shrink back, but she forced herself to square her shoulders and look the witch straight in the eye.

"'I need your help.'"

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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