Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Time Slip Tuesday

Time Slip Tuesday is a recurring feature at Charlotte's Library.

Ungar, Richard. Time Snatchers.
Caleb works for the evil Uncle, traveling through time and stealing famous objects for wealthy customers. Based in 2061 New York City (which is now called New Bejing because of a new friendship between the US and China), Uncle has a group of orphans he sends through time, using rather vague technology, (I do like the fingernail apps) but he is unusually cruel to them if they don't complete the tasks in a timely fashion. Caleb's life is made even more difficult by the bully Frank, who shows up at Caleb's assignments and takes the objects, getting Caleb in further trouble. He has an ally in Abby, but life is grim. When traveling back into the 1960s, Caleb meets the family of his dreams, but when their son, Zach is kidnapped as part of Uncle's master plan to expand the business with more children, Caleb knows that he must finally try to break free. Once Uncle punishes him by sending him to "the Barrens", will he be able to rescue Zach and get him back to his family?
Strengths: I liked the idea of children traveling through time to steal objects; there could hvae been a lot of interesting historical events that they attended. The one's Ungar picks are smaller, but still interesting (seeing the first photograph developed, etc.)
Weaknesses: This was really dark. Uncle abuses the children dreadfully, and there's no FUN in the time travel. This gives Caleb a reason to make the choices he does about Zach, but if time travel isn't fun, what's the point? Have to agree with Charlotte about this one-- there are a lot of logistical inconsistencies. Just didn't love this one, and as we know that as much as I love time travel my students don't, I don't think I will buy it. The cover is great, though!

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