Frank E. Peretti is one of American Christianity's best-known authors. His novels have sold over 10 million copies, and he is widely credited with reinventing Christian fiction. He and his wife, Barbara, live in the Pacific Northwest. www.frankperetti.com.
Gr 4 UpThe Door in the Dragon's Throat reads like a shortened version of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but the hero succeeds because, in his own words, ``we serve a mighty God who is greater than any curse.'' Dr. Cooper and his children, Jay and Lila, have come to Nepur, in the Middle East, to enter the Dragon's Throat and unlock the door which legend says hides a treasure. Every imaginable disaster befalls theman explosion, a kidnapping, falling boulders, a viper attack, earthquakesbut in spite of numerous setbacks, the expedition succeeds. The writing is full of cliches and inconsistencies: a desert setting, a greedy king and his sly aide, a cavern in the earth where the forces of good and evil are fighting for control, an archaeologist who brandishes a gun as readily as he prays to God. The dialogue is stilted, and the vocabulary is too difficult for young readers who might overlook the poor characterization and heavily imposed theme of Christian belief. Far better fantasy adventures are Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising (Atheneum, 1973), Nancy Bond's Country of Broken Stone (Atheneum, 1980) and Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword (Greenwillow, 1982). Constance Allen, Tabor Academy, Marion, Mass.