Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor and The Perseverance of Christopher Columbus – Review

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Written by Jeralee, guest reviewer

The book series are short fantasy/historical fiction chapter books that center around Tyler Thompson, a quiet struggling student with few friends.  Many times he retreats to a corner in the back of a classroom to escape so he won’t be bothered.  It is there that he discovers a trap door that leads to a room filled with old books that are guarded by a magical talking dog, name Barnabus. With the help of Barnabus, Tyler is able to explore history first hand.

From the website:

“ The first book, Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor, introduces Tyler, a struggling student who accidentally discovers a trapdoor beneath his desk that leads to a magical world in which he can visit any time in history. Readers will join Tyler as he takes several brief visits back in time and learns the value of understanding history.”   

In the second book, The Perseverance of Christopher Columbus, Tyler  tries out for the basketball team, and has to prepare a report about Christopher Columbus, which he is quite unsure about.  Thank goodness for the trapdoor!  Tyler and Barnabus travel back in time and he witnesses all of the set backs of Christopher Columbus.  Tyler learns to persevere and not to give up,  just as Columbus did.

These books kept my 10 year old very engaged.  She read through them very quickly, then read through them again.  Then she read them out loud to her 8 year old sister, who really enjoyed them.  Then she proceeded to indicate that she wanted the rest of the books in the series for Christmas.  This was matched by disappointment when I told her that they haven’t been published yet!


  • The author, Lori Jordan-Rice is a former elementary school teacher, so she understands what appeals to children and perhaps the most creative way in which to teach students about important events which occurred in history.
  • Illustrations are bright, with clean lines and a picture is included in each chapter.
  • Chapters are brief, anywhere from 3 – 6 pages at the most.
  • Easy to comprehend without using complicated verbiage that an elementary aged student might struggle to read.


  • None!

The Bottom Line:

  • A short creative, fantasy/ historical fiction chapter book series, intertwined with facts and fictional characters.  This is a quick read and would appeal most to elementary school aged children, grades 2 through 5.  A good addition to any student’s library or elementary school teacher’s classroom.  Can’t wait for the next books in the series to come out!


  • List price is $12.95 for each individual hardback book, but I noticed that you can purchase them for less at Amazon.

Where to Buy: Available directly from the Author,  Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

The book series reviewed was a sample provided to Jeralee.  Opinions and views expressed are her own and she was not compensated from this review.

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  1. 2

    I will have to make a note of those books for when my son starts school. I love creative ways to make history more interesting. They sounds very engaging.
    .-= Andrea Kruse´s last blog ..Vtech and a little bit of sanity time! =-.

  2. 3
    Sarah Osborne says:

    This book seems so magical! I would have loved it when I was a kid!

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