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Simultaneously, he continues with his own life: As he figures out ways of returning Agatha to her past, he learns about life in the s — so much so that he is inspired to enter the Scottish Borders young historian of the year competition. This is a well-structured time-slip story that cleverly keeps its momentum and manages, largely through the sympathetic character of Saul, to draw the reader in.

The ever-present landscape of snow and slush, thick fog and dark winter skies — and Christmas warmth — adds atmosphere to this enjoyable story. Email me at timetravelmagic at yahoo dot com. This entry was posted in Book reviews and tagged Book reviews , Janis Mackay , kids' time travel stories , middle grade fiction , The Accidental Time Traveller , time travel books for children. February 10, at I love the different ways writers approach time travel.

I have a time travel this week too. February 15, at 8: February 11, at February 12, at Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public. Click image to go to Amazon. Create a website or blog at WordPress.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The essay uses no transitions, detail, or organization. Most of my fifth graders write better than Saul. That's fine - I'm glad to see him trying and getting into it. This was just too Mighty Ducks for me The Accidental Time Traveller would be a great book for children who are interested in 19th century history and are willing to be confused when reading dialect.

Sep 03, Peter Schott rated it really liked it. The Accidental Time Traveller by Janis Mackay tells the story of a young man named Saul who has become frustrated with his life in Scotland. He is sent out to the store by his mom and you can hear his frustration as the story opens and his mom is preoccupied with the twins.


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  • The Accidental Time Traveller by Janis Mackay - review?

Agatha asks to be shown around the town and reminisces about how much things have changed. Saul goes about his normal routine at home, taking some extra food along the way so he can bring it to Agatha. Saul and Agatha grow to be friends and Saul learns more about Scotland in the past. Along the way, we see how Agatha looks at the world from her years in the past and how Saul sees his world through new eyes.

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The Accidental Time Traveller by Janis Mackay – review | Children's books | The Guardian

We watch Saul grow a little bit through his adventure with Agatha. He thinks of himself a little less, gains some confidence, and gains an unexpected friend in Agatha. Does he succeed in helping Agatha return to her own time? Does Saul win the History prize and get his new bike? Janis Mackay tells a great story to answer all of those questions. This was a great read for young adults and adults as well. I would have no problem giving this to my 5th grader to read and I think it would be appreciated.

As I got to know Saul, I saw that change and appreciated the story more. I think this is a good read for its target audience and can recommend it. I was provided with this book by the publisher with no expectations on their part. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by anyone else. Oct 20, Daniel rated it liked it Shelves: This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book.


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Saul is a young boy from the present, in Great Britain. One day he meets a young girl who is quite different. Her name is Agatha. Agatha Black is from and is somehow we never quite learn 'how' transported to the future. Knowing that no adult could possibly believe the truth - that This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book.

5 Extraordinary Time Travel Stories & Mysterious Time Slip Experiences

Knowing that no adult could possibly believe the truth - that Agatha is from the past - Saul hides Agatha until he can come up with a convincing lie and bring her in to the home. He involves his buddies, after careful consideration. Agatha teaches Saul what it was like to live in the past and in turn, Saul learns how much of what he takes for granted, is such a luxury to someone from her time.

With thanks to Agatha's lessons on life in , Saul writes an essay about what it was like to live in the past, and of course his essay wins a prize. There's a fair amount to like in this book, especially for a young reader, but there might also be a little too much extraneous detail, moving the story too slowly to really keep a young reader's attention. While I typically enjoy reading YA and Middle Grade books, and I liked the premise for this, it's not the sort of book that I can recommend.

Everything here was just a little too convenient and easy, and the pay-off at the end I don't want to give too much away I get in trouble sometimes on Goodreads when I reveal too much in my reviews , but what should have been a nice summation and powerful ending really fell flat. Even if it was very real and written as though it might have been written by a middle schooler, I think the author would have done better to take the story and the characters up a notch.

I know this seems a little vague, but if you read the book, you'll understand. This is a very middle-of-the-road book for me. The idea is really great and the characters are wonderful and identifiable. It should be a real knock-out of a book, but it just isn't. Looking for a good book? The Accidental Time-Traveller , by Janis Mackay, has a lot of promise and many things going for it, but it doesn't quite become a book that can be easily recommended. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Mar 07, Melissa rated it really liked it. The characters that she creates are well rounded and easy to relate to. I fell in love with Saul. He reminds me so much of some of my students it a little crazy.

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Mischievous, bright, sometimes self-concerned but with a good heart, he is sure to appeal to boys and girls of that tween age. His first person thoughts as he gets to know, not just Agatha, the time traveler, but Agnes a girl who has more economic troubles than he does. Then all of a sudden a girl appears, literally out of nowhere, and sets him on an adventure that changes how he views himself and those around him. Agatha, having had a time traveling mishap, finds herself now years out of her depth and she places her faith in Saul. I will say if you are looking for a Sci-Fi about time travel, this is not it.

The time travel part takes a decided back seat to the relationships between the characters. Plus, when it is discussed, the ability to time travel is dependent on believing that it is possible and the addition of a few supplies. Most of the supplies are easy to find except for the gold. Finding a piece of gold to help make it all work winds up being the reason Agatha stays as long as she does. I did not find the ending as fulfilling as I had hoped. Even so, I really enjoyed the book and will be recommending it to my students. Although, I am curious if it going to be reedited for American audiences.

Some of the British slang could be a challenge to some younger readers. Dec 03, MaryBeth Isaac rated it liked it. This was a nice little story appropriate for pre-teens. I did feel that the story started out slow but the pace improved as the story developed. Stylistically the author's writing also seemed to grow stronger as the story progressed.

The Accidental Time Traveller is a story about a boy named Saul who stumbles across a girl named Agatha. Agatha has somewhat accidentally traveled through time and is dismayed to discover that she is stuck in 21st century Scotland - very unfamiliar territory for a gi This was a nice little story appropriate for pre-teens. Agatha has somewhat accidentally traveled through time and is dismayed to discover that she is stuck in 21st century Scotland - very unfamiliar territory for a girl from Scotland in the 's.

It does not take Saul long to believe her account of jumping over years into the future and he resolves to help her return to her own time while helping keep her and her secret safe with a great deal of creativity and with the help of a few trusted friends. There are several things in Saul's life that young readers will relate to - loving but un-attentive parents due to the recent births of twin siblings , tight budgets, an annoying teacher, a relentless bully, a motley crew of school friends, lofty wish lists and the desire for recognition.

Saul finds that by relying on those in his life, but especially himself, even the impossible can be possible. There are several underlying themes that the reader will take away - here are just a few: I received an e-copy of this book for review from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. May 04, Eustacia Tan rated it really liked it. Forget falling into the past, it's time to fall into the future. At least, that's what happened to Agatha Black, the that Saul met. In the middle of the road. With a car coming at them.

With such a dramatic start, and with her seriously old-fashioned clothes, Agatha convinces Saul that she really is from the past. Of course, Saul agrees to help her Although he's also thinking of a pound history essay competition that he could use her help in. But eventually, the two become fast friends, and Forget falling into the past, it's time to fall into the future.

The Accidental Time Traveller

But eventually, the two become fast friends, and well, let's just say it's a happy ending. I liked both characters, but I think the smartest move on the part of the author was to write the book from Saul's point of view. Sure, it would have been more fun to see how kids from the past view the future, but I don't think it's possible to sustain that over a novel.

And how do you find new ways to explain "car" and "popcorn" and other modern inventions?

The Accidental Time Traveller by Janis Mackay – review

It's more effective to have your other protagonist the one that's not narrating the book show wonder and note it all down. And that, became a writing tip. I wonder if that was the point of the story Nah, that's me over-analysing. The book was a decent length over pages if I remember correctly , and I did like both characters. The supporting characters, on the other hand, felt a bit weak.

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I would have loved more characterisation. Overall, this is a decent book about time travel in Scotland - I almost forgot, the book's set in Scotland! I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile May 08, Julie Williams rated it liked it.

I really like time travel books. In fact, they are one of my favorites so I really wanted to like this. But, it didn't totally work for me. Saul lives in Scotland with his mom, dad, and new twins. He has some good friends, a cool hang out, and he deals with normal boy stuff - school, a bully, wanting a new bike.