(Originally published as Gideon The Cutpurse) Peter Schock and Kate Dyer walk through the hallways and locked doors of Dr. Dyer's laboratory to see the work Kate's father is doing in antigravity. He's working with NASA scientists and talking about dark matter. The best part about their visit is the static electricity that makes their hair stand on end until suddenly Kate's dog, Molly, takes off and Peter and Kate are in for the ride of their lives. The static electricity somehow sets off another scientist's time travel machine and in the next instant, Peter and Kate find themselves waking up to England in 1763.
Most time travel books have a sense of the impossible about them. It seems all an exercise of the imagination. This story isn't like that. These two young people are lost in time. It takes them a bit to understand that they have left their own century and all they know and love and they aren't thrilled about it. In fact they want to go home. It's a bit like Dorothy in Oz wishing for Auntie Em and it feels exactly the way you'd expect them to feel.
Turns out as they're figuring out where they are, they also find themselves embroiled in the nefarious life of a Cutpurse named Gideon. Gideon finds the pair when they land in the 18th century and he pledges to help them. He is headed to a new place of employment and he takes the children with him where they are accepted as oddly dressed but apparently hailing from Scotland and the victims of a highwayman who stole their clothes.
This is a wonderful story that blends 21st century scientific theory with the rogues and dangers of the past. Peter and Kate discover that if they concentrate deeply, they can "blur" their lines and send themselves forward to their real time where students and passersby can see them floating through the air.
The parents are desperate to find their children and a determined detective tries to add up the clues surrounding their disappearance.
Time travel. What if it happened to you? How would it feel to be suddenly dropped into another century? How would you get home? Curious and frightening and filled with adventure. This is a thoughtful and thought provoking adventure story that begins a worthy trilogy. 400 pages Ages 9-12 978-1416915263
Recommended by: Barb