DiscoverMiddle Grade Fantasy

Youngho and Chadori: The Door to the Spirit World (US Edition)


Loved it! 😍

A funny and heartwarming tale about family friendship, love and grief. A great Holiday reading for middle graders.

"Youngho and Chadori: The Door to the Spirit World" is a funny, heartwarming and clever book that catches the reader from the very beginning. Dynamic, colourful and with a sharp humour, the tale of a twelve-year-old boy – with a unique talent to get himself in trouble and awkward situations – captivates and it's hard to put the book down.

Especially for a first book, the author does an amazing job with developing the characters. Each have strong characteristics and interesting elements are explored. The more you read, the more it feels like you really know them. The dialogue is smart, engaging and relatable to middle graders. And so are the situations and the "dramas" and fears.

As a bonus, we get to learn many interesting facts about the Korean culture (even some words). And it being a sort of Christmas story makes everything more interesting (as Christmas is not broadly celebrated in Korea; not the same as in North America).

Following Youngho, his best friend Manu, his dog and companion Chadori and the boy's family, it's a journey about friendship, family, love, grief and resilience. We cheer for Youngho when he faces bullies, we cry when he struggles with losses and we celebrate the magical things that happen to him.

With a simple plot, the book explore emotions and fears common to middle graders in a fun, light and yet very intelligent way. Very well developed and written. The illustrations are also full of humour and personality. Above all: it's really attractive and engaging to the target reader.

Definitely a good option as a gift this holiday season. And enjoyable for grown-ups like myself, who enjoy children's literature. I can't wait to see what B. K. Chu writes next.

Reviewed by

I’m a mother, teacher and book lover/advocate. My goal with the Book Bug platform is to increase interest in reading, especially picture books, and assist parents and teachers. Also to provide resources, story telling, book reviews and advice. Above all, I want to connect our bookworm community.


Humorous and tongue-in-cheek, yet heartwarming, The Door to the Spirit World is a Christmas tale of family and friendship. It is the first book in the Youngho and Chadori trilogy. Full-color illustrations.

It’s December and Christmas is just around the corner. Twelve-year-old Youngho is a Korean boy with a unique talent: he can get himself in more trouble than anyone—faster, deeper, and messier each time. Chadori is his dog from Bristol, England. Chance brought the two together and now they are inseparable. But Youngho’s life begins to crumble when his grandpa passes away. Life just isn’t the same anymore. Little does he know, however, that he is in for an incredible surprise. An extraordinary gift awaits him—a miracle that will change him forever …

About the author

B.K. Chu was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1974. She graduated with a BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Bristol, before continuing her education and working in Europe, Asia, and America. She currently lives in Stavanger, Norway, with her husband and their four-legged son. view profile

Published on December 01, 2020

Published by

30000 words

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Reviewed by