Broadbent, A. (2014). Trouble in time. Auckland, NZ: Scholastic. [Fantasy]
Twelve-year-old Ben is grumpy that he has to move out of his bedroom into a caravan in the backyard. In fact, he’s almost as grumpy as the 91-year-old great-grandfather that has displaced him from his room. Ben knows right away they are not going to get along.
But then Ben gets a bit of a fright. One day, after school when no one else is home, the old man is not moving in his chair – and he doesn’t respond when Ben calls out to him. Could he be…dead? When Ben goes to shake his great-grandfather to check his status, he suddenly finds himself transported back to 1935, and face to face with 12-year-old George, his future great-grandfather!
The two relatives begin to enjoy their time slipping for different reasons: Ben enjoys participating in the rural activities that are not available to him in his modern city life, while George enjoys reliving his youth and his body feels younger when he returns to the present. However, it is not all positive when time travel is involved. The two quickly learn that what they do in 1935 has consequences in 2014; they need to take care with what they do, limit the visits they make – and they certainly shouldn’t tell anyone else what they’ve been up to.
There soon develops an understanding, respect, and friendship between the two generations. Especially when they discover that someone else is time slipping – and that their intentions may not be so benign…
I really enjoyed the interplay between Ben and George. The time travel has a neat explanation, and timey-wimey plot holes are avoided. This book really makes me hope that when my 94-year-old grandmother appears to be dozing, she has actually time slipped back to Mackford Farm up the Mokau River and is having a grand old time making mischief with her sisters. Thanks for this, Adele 🙂
I got my copy of Trouble in Time from Napier Boys’ High School Memorial Library.
If you’re not allowed to take our books out try Napier Libraries.