Posts Tagged ‘time travel’

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The Green Door

April 17, 2012

The Green Door is short and admonitory and — before I forget — by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman. It’s also a timeslip book, which is the reason you’re hearing about it; books in which exciting adventures make young girls decide to be more boring in the future have very little appeal for me.

Letitia Hopkins is, from the start, a bit of a drip. Her Aunt Peggy seems like a pretty nice adoptive parent, and she provides Letitia with a nice home, but, as Letitia doesn’t actually like to do anything but sit still and daydream, she’s dissatisfied. She’s also really curious about the green door in the cheese-room, which doesn’t seem to exist on the other side of the wall — curious enough that one day while Aunt Peggy is out, she steals the key and opens it. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Gauntlet

June 4, 2011

I while ago Eleanor recommended Ronald Welch’s Carey family series, which follows various Careys as they participate in pretty much every major conflict England’s been involved in in the last thousand years. We have similar taste in historical adventure novels, so I had pretty high hopes for Welch, and Knight Crusader, the first Carey book, was enormously fun — both bloodier and more educational than I expected. But the next Welch book in the New York Public Library’s collection takes place several hundred years later, and I get kind of weird about reading series in order, so now I’m just hoping to randomly stumble across the next book somewhere.

But the NYPL also had another Welch book, written shortly before Knight Crusader. It’s called The Gauntlet, and it’s a timeslip novel in which a young boy spending a vacation in Wales picks up a metal gauntlet and finds himself in the middle ages, where he is taken for the son of the local Norman family. It’s even more intensely educational than Knight Crusader, but that’s sort of what timeslip novels are for most of the time: you get to listen in on the protagonist getting everything explained to them.¬† And Welch knows his stuff, as far as I can tell.

It’s sort of exactly what you would expect of a children’s historical novel written in the fifties, and I mean that in a good way. It’s not the most emotionally engaging book, but it doesn’t need to be. And Welch is one of those writers who knows how to give you as much revenge as you want without giving you so much that you wish you hadn’t wanted it in the first place, although that might be a matter of opinion. I’m not sure how my thirst for revenge on fictional characters stacks up against other people’s.

Anyway, a pretty good book.