Thresholds, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (Viking, 2010)

The night before Maya’s due to start seventh grade in a new school where she doesn’t know anyone, a fairy flies into her room and sleeps in her bed. This kicks off a series of events culminating with her delving into the mysteries of the bizarre family next door, who sometimes act like they come from another world. It only gets weirder when she’s entrusted with a strange glowing egg of immense value, and soon there’s no turning back. Neither fantasy nor science fiction, but an intricate mix, this intersection of the mundane and the weird is classic Hoffman, unfolding like an exotic bloom. Sadly, it feels like pure buildup for the sequel, ending just as it’s getting really good.

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