Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jenn's Review: The Time Travelers (Gideon the Cutpurse)

 Summary:  1763. Gideon Seymour, cutpurse and gentleman, hides from the villainous Tar Man. Suddenly the sky peels away like fabric and from the gaping hole fall two curious-looking children. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer have fallen straight from the twenty-first century, thanks to an experiment with an antigravity machine. Before Gideon and the children have a chance to gather their wits, the Tar Man takes off with the machine -- and Kate and Peter's only chance of getting home. Soon Gideon, Kate, and Peter are swept into a journey through eighteenth-century London and form a bond that, they hope, will stand strong in the face of unfathomable treachery.

Review:  The cover proffers The Time Travelers as being for fans of Harry Potter and I'm not sure I quit agree. While I found it an enjoyable read, I'd say it was for a younger crowd which is why I'm placing it in this week's Children's Corner.


Linda Buckley-Archer writes accessible prose which can be difficult when dealing with time travel.  She doesn't over simplify things and even though she jumps back and forth from the past to the present. She always makes the time jumps clear starting with a character name.   Also, the children are young so there is no teen angst with which to deal.  I love that her chapter titles give descriptions of what is to come. It reminds me of some of my favorite Diana Wynne Jones novels.  It makes it somewhat like a chapter book and I think that it makes for a fun way for parents and children to read together, imagining what might come next. 

Peter and Kate have only just met and now they have accidentally fallen into 1763. They have to learn to trust and depend on each other. Whatever they may have learned about the 18th century in school, nothing quite prepares them to live in it.  They meet colorful and dangerous people in the past and they must work together to get back to the present.  Though they decide to keep their predicament a secret, they tell many people along the way and the amazing thing is the number of adults that believe them. I'd say that was the only part of the story that really bothered me in its simplification. 

I think this is the start of a great trilogy for the imaginative child mystery, history, and sci-fi all rolled into one adventure.  I will be reading this with my daughter ...when she gets a little older.

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