Series: Orca Currents
30 Jun. 2021
Paperback / softback
Emery’s neighbor, Richard, is the kind of kid who gets under your skin. When Richard suggests a game of “Nicky Nicky Nine Doors,” Emery can’t come up with a good excuse not to play. Using chocolate bars as “stunt poo,” the boys start playing the classic prank of the burning bag on the doorstep, but this game has a modern twist: they record their neighbors’ reactions.
The naked guy and the man in the apron are highly entertaining, but Emery starts to get cold feet when another neighbor is reduced to tears. Emery wants out, but he’s not sure how to stop the game without losing face. Soon the game gets serious, and Emery has a lot more to worry about than his reputation.
InformationBook Type: Junior Chapter
Age Group: 10 Years +
Traffic Lights: Green/Amber
Class Novel: No
Good Reads Rating: 4/5
Literary Rating: 4/5
Emery doesn’t know how he feels about Richard. On the one hand the other boy is charming and witty, but he is also very skilled at twisting words and manipulating people to get his way. Consequently, Emery is never sure where he stands with his supposed friend.
When Richard convinces him to play ‘Nicky Nicky Nine Doors’, Emery reluctantly goes along with it. Unfortunately, what starts out as a silly pranking game soon becomes more serious, resulting in anger, frustration, embarrassment, and sadness for Emery’s neighbours. Along the way Emery meets Bebi, an attractive girl down the road, and decides that he’d prefer to hang out with her than play Richard’s silly games.
Things escalate when the teens are kidnapped, until they discover their kidnapper is actually Marjorie, Emery’s kindly neighbour. Marjorie has a terrible fear of going outside, and when she saw what the boys were doing to her neighbours, she became so afraid that she panicked and grabbed them before they could come to her door. Thankfully, all works out in the end, and Emery learns a valuable lesson about taking silly pranks too far.
Nine Doors is an interesting story about the unintended consequences of one’s actions. Over the course of the story Emery becomes more and more disillusioned about the silly game Richard is playing, but he continues to participate, drawn in by the other boy’s teasing. These themes are important for younger readers, and this story approaches the topic in a humorous and easy-to-understand way.
Pranks, teenagers, consequences, police, arson, phobia of going outside, panic attacks
1. Emery mentions wanting to punch Richard early in the story, although he doesn’t actually do anything about it (p. 5). 2. Emery develops a crush on Bebi after meeting her which is maintained throughout the rest of the story, although nothing more happens with this scenario.
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