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The Secret Shortcut: 04/19/12
The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague draws on the same idea of magical worlds being accessible from the most mundane places as is explored in The Lost and Found. Where The Lost and Found was located in a school, The Secret Shortcut is located somewhere en route to school.
Wendell and Floyd, the main characters from The Lost and Found are always late to work. They have magnificent excuses and given Teague's mixture of the urban and the fantastic, I take their explanations at face value. Their teacher, though, doesn't and makes them promise to be on time the next day — or else!
Nothing is ever that simple for Wendell and Floyd. They try the next day to save time by cutting through a neighbor's backyard. Unfortunately the backyard leads them to places unimaginable for the average American suburb (unless perhaps you're a fan of The Backyardigans).