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(The Key to Rondo) By Emily Rodda (Author) Paperback on (Sep , 2009) [Paperback]

Emily Rodda
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Scholastic US (1 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545103819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545103817
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,013,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Key to Rondo There are three rules to the old, painted music box: Wind the box three times only. Never shut the box when the music is playing. Never move the box before the music stops. Leo wouldn't dream of breaking these rules, but does his stubborn cousin Mimi listen? She winds the box four times--and suddenly the paintings on its side come to life and a powerful witch is released. Now it's up to Leo and Mi Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 22 Mar 2010
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When Leo Zifkak inherits an ancient music box from his aunt Bethany, he's determined to follow the three rules. He won't wind the box more than three times, he won't shut the box when the music is playing, and he won't move the box before the music stops.

Leo isn't a rule breaker, but the same can't be said for his cousin, Mimi. She winds the box four times! This unlocks a hidden world and releases a sorceress who kidnaps Mimi's dog. Though he's angry with her, Leo must team up with Mimi and stop the witch from carrying out her evil plan.

They travel to Rondo to save Mimi's dog and meet strange characters along the way. They aren't sure who they can trust or if they can trust anyone but themselves. Their only hope is to discover THE KEY TO RONDO and unlock their way home.

Rodda does an amazing job of bringing Rondo to life. I loved the world and the characters, and am looking forward to reading more in THE WIZARD OF RONDO.

Reviewed by: Joan Stradling
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A key to friendship, comradeship and courage 17 Feb 2008
By Fernando Boccolini Filho - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a book for all ages. The plot develops at a fast pace and brings many surprises. The reader will not be able to lay the book down before the end! It tells of friendship, loyalty, courage and magic. It also tells of the fight to overcome the feelings of solitude and dejection.
A beautiful book, a beautiful story. For all ages.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for the eyes 23 May 2008
By Blue Herion - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I really liked this book. The characters were very fleshed out and I enjoyed having a strong female with a cautious male, it is nice to have things switched. It had alot of suspense, twist of characters, and some surprising discoveries. I felt like I could see the world she was creating and thought that bringing in so many fairytales, but with a unique play on them was fun.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rodda definitely has ended the book with room for sequels 11 Aug 2008
By KidsReads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Children's literature, like all other types, is full of conventions. Successful books can use those foundational conventions with enough originality to make the story seem at once comfortable and exciting. Emily Rodda has achieved such a balance in THE KEY TO RONDO. This fantasy tale employs the familiar "quest by unlikely heroes who have stumbled into another world" in a fresh and compelling package.

When Leo inherits an antique music box from his kind but dull great-aunt Bethany, he is flattered to be responsible for an object that has been in his family for generations. Little does he know that the beautifully painted box will be the source of an adventure that will bring him closer to understanding all the Langlander family stories that Bethany loved to share. Leo planned to respect the rules for the music box that had been handed down: don't wind it more than three times, don't turn the key or pick up the box while the music is still playing, and don't close the lid until the music has stopped. But when his annoying and defiant cousin Mimi comes to stay with him and his parents, she breaks the rules right away, thus setting in motion a perilous and exciting adventure that tests their loyalty, reveals much about the Langlander clan, and challenges Leo and Mimi to find strength and confidence in their true selves.

When Mimi winds the music box an additional turn, it brings to life the Blue Queen, one of the figures painted on the box. She snatches Mimi's dog Mutt and heads back to Rondo, the world painted on the box's sides. Despite Leo's warnings, Mimi is determined to follow the queen into Rondo to rescue Mutt. And against his better judgment, Leo goes with her. They find themselves in the street scene painted on one side of the box, but things are different from what they remember: there has been an earthquake in Rondo and much disorder.

A shady character calling himself Tom offers to help the two youngsters find their way to the Blue Queen's castle, but he is scared away by the police. Now Leo and Mimi are on their own and distrustful of everyone they meet. Do Conkers and his talking duck Freda really want to help them? What about the strange-looking Tye, who has the body of a woman and the face of a tiger? What are they to make of the tales of Jim and Polly, who tell them all about the Dark Times and a hero named Hal who thwarted the queen?

As they move closer and closer to the queen's castle, Leo and Mimi must work together to hatch a plan that will free the dog and get them home safely. They team up with a talking pig named Bertha and decide to confront the queen face to face. Along the way they learn about Rondo and begin to comprehend how Rondo and the Langlander family are connected.

THE KEY TO RONDO is great fun to read. Leo and Mimi make a fantastic pair, especially as they come to know each other better and work together to balance their strengths and weaknesses. The supporting characters are sympathetic, and the bad guys are just bad enough without being unbelievable. Young readers will enjoy the twists, turns and surprises; the writing is fresh and the adventure thrilling. Rodda's contribution to this otherworldly quest is a worthwhile one, and she definitely has ended the book with room for sequels. There are still many mysteries of Rondo to be revealed!

--- Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this Book 24 Feb 2009
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was really good. The character I liked best was Bertha because she really had attitude. Mimi got angry and was going to wind the music box 4 times instead of three. This book has inspired me to write when I grow up. I really want her to write a book 2. I think Emily is really good at books and I want to encourage her to write another book. I would recommend it to my class in school. Keep up the good work Emily!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun to read aloud 27 Oct 2008
By S. Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book to read to my 4 year old daughter who adored Emily Rodda's fairy realm books. This book is a big leap from the fairy realm books, with much more introspection on the part of mimi and leo, the heroes, which delays the action. Character development of misunderstood "tweenies" is not of great interest to four year olds. The concept of children disappearing into the music box was hard from my daughter to grasp at first but on the second reading she was laughing at the pompous pig and vain hidey holes and nagging me to read chapter after chapter.
If you're reading to young kids, start with the Charm Bracelet and the rest of the fairy realm books and the get this book.
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