The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Time Travel - February 2012

Selected and annotated by Zoe Weinstein


Barrows, Annie. The Magic Half. Bloomsbury, 2008. 211p. Gr. 4-6.
Miriam is the middle-est of middle children, stuck between two sets of twins and left out of everything. She finds a piece of glass in her attic that helps her travel back to 1935 and meet another girl stuck in the middle—Molly. Miriam must figure out how to work her time travel device as well as rescue her unhappy doppelgänger from Molly's dangerous family.

Bell, Ted. Nick of Time. St. Martin's Griffin, 2008. 434p. Gr. 5-8.
Nick’s life isn’t that exciting…until Nick discovers proof that his father is an English spy keeping watch for German Nazi U-Boats and a chest floats up on the shore, containing a portable time machine—one of two floating through history. But the other time machine is held by the dastardly Captain William Blood, and Nick and his little sister not only must rescue the children who have been kidnapped by this time-travelling pirate but also defend the shores of their native England from invading Nazis.

Brennan, Herbie. The Doomsday Box. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2011. 336p. Gr. 7-10.
In this sequel, the heroes of The Shadow Project have a new mission—and this time it involves serious government conspiracies. While investigating a rift in time created by the government, these young heroes face a new problem: the Black Death has been brought through this hole in time to the present day. Real politics and ingenious science fiction combine to unravel this time-travel conundrum!

Card, Orson Scott. Pathfinder. Simon Pulse, 2010. 672p. Gr. 7-10.
Humanity is fleeing, and Rigg has a mission. After the unexpected death of his father, Rigg must use his strange ability to see the path of every living thing to find the sister that he never knew he had. Teaming up with his friend Umbo, who can slow down time, the two embark on an adventure. Everything is connected, from Ram eleven thousand years ago, to the literal walls that Rigg and Umbo must push down, changing everyone’s fate.

Cross, Julie. Tempest. Dunne/ St. Martin's Griffin, 2012. 352p. Gr. 9-12.
Jackson Meyer is a normal 19-year-old boy from the Upper East Side…except he can jump back in time. And when two men corner Jackson and his loyal and loved girlfriend, Holly, Jackson finds himself thrown back in time. Believing his girlfriend dead, he tries to find a way to manipulate the past to save his beloved in the present. But in the process, Jackson discovers information that changes his life altogether. His father may not be the man he thought, and it turns out that Jackson is the product of a government experiment called Tempest.

Henderson, J.A. Bunker 10. Harcourt, 2007. 253p. Gr. 7-9.
These teens are special—and it’s their last day to live. This ultra-fast paced novel tells the story of the last day at a secret military institution where one child can control others with their voice and another has discovered time travel. As the novel progresses in short chapters from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, these seven special children must find a way to escape the cold, calculating adults who put them in this situation.

McEntire, Myra. Hourglass. Egmont, 2011. 408p. Gr. 7-10.
Emerson’s brother thinks that the “ghosts” she sees are part of her healing process and hires Michael to help her get through it. Michael, though, knows that Emerson isn't seeing ghosts—she is seeing people through time. The two must combine their powers and communicate with a man who died just a few months before, a man who alone stands in the way of evil taking over time-travel.

Nelson, Peter. Herbert's Wormhole. Harper/HarperCollins, 2009. 295p. Gr. 4-6.
Alex has finished his last video game of the summer. He promised his parents, after all. But when his parents set him up on a play date with the geeky neighbor, what they don’t know is that that geeky neighbor, Herbert, has created a wormhole, and both Alex and Herbert are pulled 100 years into the future. Aliens with Australian accents and bad toupees team up with the two humans and their friend Sammi to rescue everyone from the GOR-DON. Peter Nelson’s illustrations complete this wonderful and ridiculous story.

Pratchett, Terry. I Shall Wear Midnight. Harper/HarperCollins, 2010. 368p. Gr. 8-10.
Tiffany has enough to worry about when the Baron dies and Amber Petty begins speaking Old Feegle. So what should she make of a time-traveling demon out to kill her and a strange specter that she can't quite see? This conclusion to the Tiffany Aching series combines Tiffany's strength with new challenges and a seriously evil opponent. This last installment comes across as slightly more serious than the first three, but this last book is a wonderfully touching goodbye to a fantastic group of characters.

Prevost, Guillaume. The Book of Time. Levine/Scholastic, 2007. 224p. Gr. 5-8.
Sam's father is gone...again. But this time, Sam decides that it's time to do some searching himself. He goes back to his father's bookshop and finds a stone and a coin—and when combined, they create a time machine. Sam must not only fight off bullies in school, but he must also figure out how to rescue his father from the mists of time.

Reeve, Phillip. Starcross: A Stirring Adventure of Spies, Time Travel and Curious Hats. Bloomsbury, 2007. 370p. Gr. 5-8. 
Art and Myrtle Mumby are back, and this time they’re supposed to be on vacation at Starcross, a time-travel seaside resort. But fate has other plans: Jack Havoc has returned as well to help overturn a dastardly plan, and a hatter has lured the family to the resort to steal Mrs. Mumby’s technology. Moobs (who often appear as proper Victorian top-hats), super intelligent plants, and knitting goblins feature in this quintessential action-adventure story.

Scarrow, Alex. Time Riders. Walker, 2010. 416p. Gr. 7-10.
Sal, Liam, and Maddy are on the brink of death when they are plucked up and trained to become time riders—but before they can finish their training, a time shift occurs which causes Hitler to win World War II and sends two teens to New York and then hurtles them far into the post-apocalyptic future, where humans have evolved into something quite different to survive. A porter from the Titanic, a girl who narrowly escapes being burned in a house fire, and a robot named Bob all feature in this thrilling adventure of time gone wrong.

Shiga, Jason. Meanwhile. Amulet/Abrams, 2010. 80p. Gr. 4-8.
Got some time on your hands? Dive into this graphic-novel-choose-your-own-adventure-thriller by starting on page one and deciding whether Jimmy should get chocolate or vanilla ice cream. A perfect introduction, with the help of Professor K, to quantum mechanics without the messy math and physics.

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. Lamb, 2009. 208p. Gr. 4-7.
Miranda and Sal are best friends, until suddenly they aren’t. And when Marcus, the brainiac, poses a question that questions everything about A Wrinkle in Time, Miranda’s favorite book, things start getting weird. Miranda gets a note from the future which says “I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. First, you must write me a letter.” She begins writing back. And when things start coming full circle, you may want to reread the entire novel.

Vaupel, Robin. Rules of the Universe by Austin W. Hale. Holiday House, 2007. 265p. Gr. 5-7.
Like his grandfather, a Nobel Prize winner for science now dying of cancer, Austin is fascinated by molecules. When Austin finds a mysterious star in his father’s briefcase, he discovers that he cannot harness its power. Austin’s grandfather wants Austin to take care with his experiments, but Austin’s love for his grandfather causes his science to spiral out of control as he causes his dog to become a puppy, his best friend to become a toddler, and his bunkmates to become old men.

Webb, Philip. Six Days. ChickenHouse/Scholastic, 2011. 336p. Gr. 5-8.
Cass and Wilbur live in a post-apocalyptic London, and they are scavengers, but not for food. Instead, they are looking for something that their Russian overlords are convinced is hiding somewhere in the rubble. These siblings team up with Peyto and Erin, who claim to know what the artifact the Russians are looking for is—it’s a Finder, and it’s special. It can also repair Peyto and Erin’s spaceship. A fantastic adventure follows this discovery, with hideouts and close shaves that jump in and out of space. Cass’s cockney voice unfolds the story expertly and leaves the reader wishing for more.

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