Posts tagged ‘time travel’

TIME TRAVEL TROUBLES

Youngtimer: Adventures in Travel Book 1

Written by G.G. Fulton

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First book in a series of middle grade time travel adventures. Carly is a twelve year old sixth grader who is very bright. So bright that her school is determined to skip her two grades. When Carly gets wind of this, she comes up with an ingenious plan to prevent that from happening. Her scheme includes bribing a fellow student to pretend to be her boyfriend by doing his homework for him, and slacking off in school assignments so that she appears to be a love sick preteen incapable of earning her teacher’s trust and unenviable nerd status.

In terms of everyday life, Carly and her best friend Patti are pretty ordinary. Carly is very close to her grandpa who is a bit of an eccentric because he spends lots of time locked up in his workshop. When her grandfather unexpectedly passes away, he leaves her a box of instructions with a letter. He tells Carly not to open the box until she turns eighteen. Patti convinces her to give in to curiosity. After all, who can possibly wait six years, an eternity in a twelve year old’s life.

Now Carly often acts first and thinks second. That will lead the friends into trouble when they start experimenting with using the time machine locked in grandpa’s garage. The friends go back in time to visit a One Direction concert, the filming of their favorite movie on the island of Santorini, and visiting a school bully named Lulu, with unexpected consequences each time. But Carly receives her biggest scare when she attempts to go back in time to prevent her parents from meeting. What was she thinking? Now her life as she knows it won’t exist.

Readers in the middle grades will love the strengths and flaws in both the children and adult characters in this series. Targeted for grades four through eight, boys and girls will find a lot of familiar problems and situations. Good book for classroom discussion. I look forward to examining other books in the series.

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A MOVING EXPERIENCE

Benjamin Dragon: Awakening (Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon Book 1)

Written by C.G. Cooper

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Ten year old Benjamin Dragon is a very bright child who has already skipped two years in school. He is the son of Tanya and Timothy Dragon, a powerful lawyer and businessman. Their frequent moves plus Benjamin’s small statue and last name provide fertile ground for bullies. On the first day of a new school Benjamin is bullied on the playground. Egging him on to fight, Nathan lies on the ground bloodied and injured. But Benjamin is puzzled because he never even touched the boy.

When his parents urge him to go to the hospital to apologize, Benjamin discovers that he and Nathan have a lot in common. They become good friends, but Nathan is just as puzzled about what happened. When Benjamin is at the scene of a close-call car crash, and the car swerves away to avoid hitting a young girl, Benjamin begins to suspect he had something to do with it. Weird things begin happening. Benjamin swears Nathan to secrecy.

A strange old man named Kennedy pays a visit to Benjamin and explains that there are certain special people in the world. Some have the gift of healing, some the gift of growing, and others the gift of destruction, which roughly translates to telekinesis. He informs Benjamin that he will be trained in his gifts.

Benjamin is scared, but he is elated that he will be attending Camp Walamalican with his friends Nathan and Aaron. There he meets another gifted one named Wally who is a healer. On the other hand, Benjamin will come face to face with a destructor who threatens to corrupt him and destroy people that he loves. Will Benjamin learn how to use his powers? How can he adjust to living a normal live, while coping with extraordinary power?

Recommended for a middle grade, young adult and adult audience. The characters and plot are well developed. Addresses lots of issues pre teens and teens face like bullying, fitting in with peers, being gifted, and getting along with parents. Look forward to more in the series.

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! – GRANDPA’S SECRET

The Time Machine Girls:Book One:Secrets

Written by Ernestine Tito Jones

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Charming chapter book featuring two sisters, eight year old Hazel and six year old Bess. The girls could not be more different: Hazel is responsible, truthful and obedient, Bess is unrestrained, mischievous and prone to hide the truth.

The sisters are trapped in their grandparents home for the summer while their mother helps them clean out the house in preparation for downsizing. Because the girls have no TV and no internet, the opportunity for getting into trouble immediately presents itself. Hazel has been given a book of rules; under no circumstances can they go into the attic. When Hazel consents to play hide and seek with Bess, little Bess runs to hide in the attic. There the girls find some strange books about time travel and a unusual contraption, which Bess promptly decides to sit in. Sure enough, they find themselves back in time. The sisters find themselves in the year 1738 on the lawn of George Washington’s boyhood farm. He is a six year old boy. What connection does their time machine have with George? Will the girls be able to find their way back home to the twenty first century? If so, how can they explain what they did to their parents and grandparents?

This book is the introduction to a series that promises to hold lots of fun for beginning and early middle grade readers. A house full of secrets, strange grandparents, and two inquisitive and intelligent sisters sound like the beginning of an interesting adventure series for readers in the seven to twelve age group.

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FALLING THROUGH TIME

The Pendant Saga: Book One: Picaroons and Pembertons

Written by J.A. Knighted

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Well-written fast paced adventure, science fiction, fantasy, time-travel tale for middle school and young adult readers. Penny, Jade and Phillip Pemberton have been dropped off to spend the summer with their grandfather in the Colorado desert while their parents are off traveling.

The precocious trio forget to close the gate and grandpa’s dog, Old Scout escapes. They desperately search for him, Their grandfather punishes the children by demanding they go out and move a pile of old junk back to the house so that he can sell it. On their way out, Philip finds a skull sticking out of the sand and later a mysterious gold pendant. Soon the three children fall into what appears to be a well, but instead find out they have fallen into an ocean from another time and dimension.

Pirates, bullies, strange lands, sea monsters and kidnappers await the three children as they struggle to find a way back to their own time and dimension. Along the way, they will learn about themselves, their family, and a world that is not always as it appears.

These characters are compelling and well developed. Book One of the series is at once an adventure, fantasy, coming of age and commentary on issues like bullying and family relationships. Look forward to the next adventure. Recommended for readers ages ten and older.

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EGYPTIAN EXPLORERS

Hieroghyph (TC’S ADVENTURES BOOK 1)

Written by WJ Scott

Illustrated by John Helle-Nielsen

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I will be honest in saying that this book was different from what I expected. The cover is a bit of a mystery and the table of contents lists numbers only with no word clues. Once into the book, the reader is quickly drawn into the narrative. Thirteen year old TC is sitting in the Vice-Principal’s office trying to explain how she knew where a stolen ring could be found. TC lives with her Aunt Letty in New Zealand since her archaeologist parents were killed in a cave in. Aunt Letty is off on an environmental expedition, and TC will be going off to spend a weekend with her uncle in Australia.

Here is where the book takes a dramatic departure. The reader learns that TC has a special gift. She is able to time travel and connect with past history when she touches hieroglyphs. Her uncle Max is trying to get funding for an archaeological expedition to prove that ancient Egyptians traveled to Australia in search of gold.

I will not reveal details of the plot, but Scott seamlessly takes the reader back and forth as TC alternately explores the shipwreck and explorations of Prince Setka and Prince Kanefer in ancient times and back into the present with TC, her Uncle Max, her friends and enemies who seek to undo their discoveries. Characters are well developed and the narrative carefully written to make the plot believable. TC is a strong-willed female who faces modern problems and crises, while longing to solve the mysteries of the past.

Targeted for readers nine and older, the book will appeal to younger and older audiences. Promises to be a good series for lovers of ancient Egypt, adventure, mystery and intriguing characters.

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WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Suzie Sparkle and the Dragon Princess

Written by Steve Moran

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Princesses, dragons, lizards, time travel, castles and fantasy. What more could a middle grade reader want? This book is targeted for children in grades three to six.

Suzie is sitting in seat 32A feeling bored. Her mother is busy reading, Mom ignores Suzie’s important question, “Why are we flying backwards?” When Suzie gets up to walk to the back of the plane, she notices a group of people dressed in robes and hoods. A young girl asks her if she is bored and would like to play. Suzie says yes, and the adventure begins.

Before she realizes what has happened, Suzie finds herself falling through the sky holding the hand of her new friend, Allaya. Their adventure turns sour when they land short of Aruahua and find themselves on an island inhabited by starved dragons. Allaya apologizes profusely; they are about to die. Suzie uses her ingenuity to trick the dragons in time for rescuers to arrive. Soon Suzie finds out that Allaya is the Princess of Rainbow Island. Allaya and her kingdom believe Suzie to be the lost Dragon Princess. When a series of earthquakes and volcanoes threaten the kingdom, she and Allaya will have to fight for their lives, caught in a death struggle with the forces of nature, the dragons, and the lizards who have arisen again from the sea. Will Suzie be able to escape with her life a second time? Does the kingdom survive? Will Suzie ever get back to her own time and family on twenty-first century earth?

The characters are appealing and interesting, and the plot elements just intricate enough to hold interest and keep the story moving along, although there are a few instances where there might have been a bit less dialogue. A few illustrations would make the read more appealing to third and fourth graders or reluctant readers. This book would make a nice classroom read aloud as the chapters are short and manageable.

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CROSSING THE SANDS OF TIME

Sons of the Sphinx

Written by Cheryl Carpinello

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I received a copy of this book from Double Decker books as part of a blog launch for the author in exchange for an honest review.

First off, I will openly admit that I am a historian with an avid interest in the field of ancient history. The author has done a marvelous job of negotiating the disputed points of this era and woven them into a seamless time travel historical adventure for middle grade, teen readers and adults. Her characters are well-developed and manage to appear authentic in both the ancient and modern time periods. Carpinello includes a glossary to assist the reader in understanding the historical figures and background.

Rosa is a fifteen year old tenth grader who has inherited a special gift from her grandmother. This teen is able to speak to people of the past, who appear to her at most inconvenient times like during a math test. At the outset of this adventure, King Tut himself not only speaks but appears to her in her room. He urges her to travel back in time with him to find the spirit of his love, Hesena. Rosa has never dated, but finds herself falling for Tut. She agrees to help him, if they can get back before her parents return from dinner and the movies. Tut assures her that the time wrap will allow them to do so.

Rosa will need to draw upon her inner spirit to connect with Hesena, fight off tomb robbers, traverse the hot sands of the Egyptian desert, and fend off the evil Pharaoh Horemheb in their attempt to complete their quest and right the wrongs that have been done. She will travel back more than 3000 years in time, but never have the opportunity to share her experience with her family and peers. Yet Rosa’s talent and spirit shine through and allow her to fight her fears and grow stronger.

This was a perfect read to curl up with on a cold, snowy afternoon. Highly recommended for all lovers of history, adventure, fantasy and fun for all ages ten and older.

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MUSIC AND MAYHEM

Book 1: Heroes in a World Reborn (The Mind Trips of S.C.A.M)

Written by Nathan Ritter

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First in a series of adventure books for preteens and teens. The author adds an unusual twist by combining music with the story.

The main characters are two seventh grade friends named Rob and Max. Tale begins when Max and Rob enter Max’s uncle’s garage to feed the fish while he is away. At first, it appears to be a pile of junk, but when the boys look closer, they discover two strange looking helmets, an old record player, and some records from the eighties. Curious as to how it works, they randomly select a 1983 record from an artist named Asia and place it on the turntable.

Suddenly, they are transported through a tunnel to a beautiful land which later turns very ugly. An old creature named Falgorg informs them that it is their duty to erase the Black Horizon, defeat the Black-Smeared One, and save their world from extinction. How will two boys accomplish this task? They are soon dressed in swords and shields; their battle will take them through many lands. The boys will meet The Phoenix, who bestows on them golden medallions. Rob and Max slog their way through fire and darkness and are imprisoned by The Rock Beast, but meet a fellow prisoner who inspires them with her special gifts. The two friends are determined to defeat the evil that The Black-Smeared One has imposed upon her world. Will they be strong enough? Do the boys escape and return to the garage? Because this is Book One, the reader can assume there will be lots more of musical adventures.

This is such a creative way to encourage young students to read and develop an appreciation of music at the same time. I think that most readers age ten and older will be able to handle the text, and the tale appeals to young teen audiences both male and female.

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The Thirty-Sixth Dimension

Come Along with Me: A Children’s Fantasy Adventure

Written by Linda Lee Schell

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Written for a middle grade audience of children ages eight through twelve, this tale is a mixture of fantasy, culture, and history. Main characters are Gracie, a dwarf kangaroo from the thirty-sixth universe, Gibson, a Maine coon cat, and the farmer’s young daughter. One day Gracie is bored and decides to take an adventure to St. Petersburg on Earth to experience the culture of that Russian city renowned for its museums, ballet, architecture, and music. But Gracie makes a mistake and finds the portal opening into a small farm in Pennsylvania instead. Gracie appears to be trapped when she loses her direction card. As Gracie becomes better acquainted with Gibson, who has also been stranded on the farm, they become good friends.

Lots of adventures ensue and the two friends are “skunked,” schemed upon by the jealous farm rats, and become the two darling pets of the farmer’s daughter. Gibson begins to have strange visions. Could he be experiencing life in a parallel universe? How will these two new found friends assist their farm family? Will Gracie ever find her way to St. Petersburg and back to her distant universe? In any case, all the inhabitants of the farm both human and animal will have their lives changed forever.

This first book in the series will entertain tweens with lots of their favorite themes and reward them with lots of real life issues to ponder as well. Nice read aloud for the classroom or entertaining individual read. It reminds me of Charlotte’s Web.

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TRIP THROUGH TIME

Time Taxi: Book One: Back to Your Beginning

Written by Bruce Boyce

Illustrated by Daniel Demirdjian

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Jack and Jill (they hate their names) are bored twins on summer vacation who live in the suburbs. They are tired of reading, watching TV, playing video games and texting friends. When Jill gets a weird message on her cell phone with a picture of a taxi on Jack’s screen and an invitation to take a taxi ride, they are mystified. After a phone call to their dad who confirms that he knows about the taxi, they follow the yellow brick path down the road where the yellow taxi marked Timeless awaits them.

The driver named Numan, who is a cloud shape-shifter, explains that they are going to take a trip through time using a wormhole as a short cut. Here the twins will meet their ancestors and experience what life was like on earth before life was human. First stop is more than three billion years in the past when the moon was three times bigger and life consisted of slimy green forms on rocks. Their next stop takes them inside a small primitive fish named Astraspis diserata. Jack experiences life as an Ichthostega, a life form that has made the transition to land having both gills and lungs. Their journey proceeds through the evolution cycle to Dimetrodon and the ancestors of the dinosaurs. Then they arrive in the dinosaur age just before the meteor hits the earth destroying most of the planet. As they continue forward, Jack and Jill meet their mammal ancestors, Australopithecus, Homo erectus and the wild wolves that were tamed and taught men how to hunt for food. Now men could hunt for meat and their brain size increased dramatically allowing them to become superior. When the children and the taxi arrive home at last, they find an unexpected surprise on their doorstep.

This book is a fantastic way to teach evolution and history, while allowing students to experience a fantasy adventure at the same time. The reader can imagine herself inside these creatures as the twins go on their riding adventures. They probably won’t realize how much knowledge they are absorbing. Middle grade students should find the reading level comfortable, and the colorful illustrations are an added bonus. Highly recommended for teachers and librarians to add to their bookshelves. Lovers of fantasy, history, time travel and adventure ages eight and above should not miss this one!

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