Mister Monday by Garth Nix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Anything written by Garth Nix is golden. The Keys to the Kingdom series is perhaps based off of Matthew 16:19 in the Bible: “To you I shall give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; everything that you will bind in the earth will have been bound in Heaven, and anything that you will release in the earth will have been released in Heaven.”
This is a deeply spiritual adventure/fantasy story about a young asthmatic boy named Arthur Penhaligon (Assumedly in honor of Arthur Pendragon?) who narrowly escapes death only to be awarded a partial key to the Kingdom. This key grants him access to the "House" of the "Architect" which has fallen into disarray since the Architect's disappearance.
Upon her depature, the stewards of the house disobeyed the Architect and locked her Will away in seven different places. There are seven stewards, all named for a day of the week, and all have fallen prey to one of the seven deadly sins. The "House," as a result, is suffering.
This first book "Mister Monday" is about the portion of the "House" that has succumbed to Sloth. A portion of the Architect's Will has escaped from Mister Monday's prison and is trying to regain control of Monday's Key through a natural heir- Arthur Penhaligon. Monday has illegally entered the Secondary Realms (our Universe) and has brought a plague upon Arthur's town. It is up to Arthur, and the friend's he makes along the way, to find a cure for the plague and discover how to defeat Monday without getting killed.
While this series is deeply layered with spiritual symbolism and moral ideology of an Agnostic and Humanistic nature, this doesn't detract at all from the excitement of the story. This series has been written for older children yet holds enough depth to interest teens and adults. There are seven books in the series which will keep readers engaged from "Monday" to "Sunday."
I highly recommend this series for Middle School Libraries.