Mirror Door study guide, part 1
About the Author:
Clark grew up in a house full of books, where reading was a normal daily activity and imagination was encouraged. She was
filled with curiosity, and sought answers in books. Not content to stop at mundane facts, she liked to ask "what if"
questions. What if magic were real? What if cats could talk? What if you could climb a moonbeam? Since the answers weren't
always available, she sometimes made up her own.
Now that she's supposedly grown up, Ms. Clark
shares her questions and stories with other children of all ages. What if Lewis Carroll's Alice stories were true--only not
quite the way he told them?
Occasionally playing at being a grown-up, Ms. Clark also writes
poetry, essays, inspirational books, and reviews for The Fix. But the children’s stories are more fun.
About the Inspiration:
of Doors series started when I wrote a short story for a granddaughter who was mourning the loss of her cat. I asked
myself, “What if the cat didn’t really die, but just went somewhere else, to a magical world where she would be
young and healthy again?”
In the process of writing The Mountains of the Moon,
I discovered Selena's castle with its magical Hall of Doors. Naturally, I wanted to know what was behind each one, so I started
exploring. After seeing artist J. W. Kalin's wonderful cover picture, I had to take a trip through The Door in the Sky
So now which door to open? Many years ago, I helped my younger sister practice for the
part of Alice in a school play. I thought it would be interesting to put Sammy in a similar situation, but with a twist. What
if Sammy's friend Kerri got the part, instead? How would Sammy react? Could that lead to another trip up the moonbeam path,
and to another door?
About the story:
Sammy and Kerri have
become close friends, but the friendship is tested when Kerri is chosen over Sammy for the part of Alice in the school play.
Sammy's cat, Peaches, insists that Sammy follow her up the moonbeam path, where she's needed to play the part of the "real"
Alice on a diplomatic mission.
Sammy travels with the cats, BB and Peaches, through a series
of magic gateways, each a short-cut to their ultimate goal, but opening on many dangers. Sammy has to gather her courage and
think hard to meet the challenges, some of which are reminiscent of events in Through The Looking Glass, but not
quite the same.
With the aid of a group of fairy children, Sammy solves a mystery, recovers some
stolen property, and is able to smooth over a quarrel between two of Selena's allies. She realizes the importance of keeping
the peace, and goes home to exercise her new diplomatic skills.
Sammy (Samantha Jane Evans): A young girl with
a lot of curiosity and courage, but a bit of a temper--also called "Alice" by some of the other characters.
Kerri Wilson: Sammy’s best friend.
Sammy’s mom: a loving but busy
Kerri's mom: protective of her daughter, but likes Sammy.
(Princess Buttermilk Biscuit): A very old cat who used to live with Sammy, but now lives with Selena in her magic world.
Peaches: Another cat, one of BB’s descendants, who now lives with Sammy.
BB’s friend, a fairy princess who lives in a castle at the end of the moonbeam path; Selena's father is leading the
armies in the ongoing war against The Dark.
Miss Brown: the teacher in charge of the school play,
who won't take no for an answer.
Captain Thomas: a cat, captain of the house guards for the Duchess
Talking flowers, including a hungry dandelion
and an impertinent daisy.
The Red Queen (Rosara), The White Queen (Bianca) and The Duchess--cousins
who sometimes don't get along; allies of Selena and her father.
Other people at the Duchess' estate.
Students at Sammy's school.
Servants in Selena's castle.
children and kittens.
Two groups of crows who like shiny things and aren't too particular how they