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Children's Lit-Books concerning time.

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Hi-thank you again to everyone who posted on my previous topic about fantatsy literature for children. I discovered many new books which I enjoyed greatly.

I have just returned from a meeting with my tutor who has suggested that I need to narrow my topic down further, therefore I would appreciate any suggestions of children's books concerning time/disruption of time/time travel.

I have already looked at the more obvious one such as Peter Pan (not growing up/time not passing), Moondial (setting ghosts free) Children of Green Knowe (children from the past), Tom's Midnight Garden (the past again) and others, but would love to hear of any suggestions you have, as you all seem to be well-read :)

Any suggestions will be much appreciated, thanks xx

Edited by rebekah
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Although not specifically children's lit, J.R.R. Tolkien's mighty trilogy seems to inhabit the Earth, but in some age unproved by current science. Just the question of "how" is sufficient to provoke hours, days, weeks, months, years of debate among Tolkienophiles, even into the Ninth (or will it be the Tenth?) Age of the World.

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Two wonderful young adult novels:

1. The Devil's Arithmetic (Jane Yolen) crosses a contemporary teenage girl (at a Passover seder) with an ancestor in Hitler's Germany.

2. Another Shore (Nancy Bond), crosses a contemporary teenage girl spending the summer at Louisbourg Fort in Nova Scotia with a young girl of that era. This title is especially interesting for the window into Canadian history--seldom afforded to those of us in the States--and possibly the UK too?

I give both of those titles my highest recommendation. In fact, a few years ago when I visited Louisbourg I spent lots of time discussing the Bond title with all the kids I encountered there. Librarians never rest when reading is concerned! Eh, Juliet?

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Edward Eager: The Time Garden. There's also a sense of time passing in Eager's books as a set: the characters of some of the books are parents of the characters in later ones.

Rudyard Kipling: Puck of Pook's Hill, Rewards and Fairies. A couple of youngsters meet visitors from England's past.

Diana Wynne Jones (again): Hexwood. Time and identity are very woozy; a demanding book for young adults, but worth the effort. Archer's Goon. More fun with who and when, but funnier and for younger readers.

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Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time is excellent, and I would like to add the three sequels; A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters.

A Wind in the Door is not as much about time or time travel as the others, but is still excellent.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet is one of my favourites; its relation with what was going on only a year or two ago is amazing, considering it was written in 1978. An exerpt from the back cover: "Meg Murry O'Keefe and her family are just sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner when her father gets a phone call from the White House about a madman's threat of nuclear war..." A unicorn comes when Charles Wallace (Meg's younger brother) recites an old Irish rune and takes him on a journey through time to advert disaster. This is one of my favourites.

Many Waters is about Meg's twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys, who accidentally send themselves back to the time of Noah and the Great Flood. For a book centering around this theme, it isn't as religious as you might think. However, this book deals with more mature subject matter and I would only reccomend it for ages 12+.

Another book dealing with time is Kit Pearson's A Handful of Time, which won the Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for children. I loved this book, especially because of its setting in Canada in surroundings that sound, except for the factory and Rec Hall, oddly familiar (anyone who lives on a Canadian Lake other than the Greats or the Winnipeg will say that--they're all the same!).

I know it sounds much too book reviewish (I read too many of them), but I hope this helps!

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I think all these suggestions are great! I do this for a living, so I'm not chiming in....

While we're at it, and only tangentially off topic, I think it would be great to suggest plays, mythology and folklore which are the basis for ballets. You would not believe how many audience members have no inkling of Midsummer Night's Dream, Orpheus, et al. There is a good deal to be said for a classical education....I know of several dancers who are reading Homer this summer as well as Harry Potter.....

I think Ballet 101 or Balanchine's Stories of... ought to be in everyone's dance bag..... :(

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Alison Uttley's A Traveller in Time - a girl goes back to the time of the first Elizabeth and gets involved in a plot to overthrow Elizabeth and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots.

Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer - Clare goes away to boarding school and changes place for days at a time with Charlotte, who is living in 1917.

To a certain extent, E. Nesbit's Story of the Amulet is also about time travel.

It's interesting that all these books deal with children who go back in time from the 'present' time of writing while we are in fact far removed from that 'present' time - both chronologically and in spirit. For instance, the protagonist of A Traveller in Time is sent from London to the country for her health!

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Add The Homeward Bounders to all the other Diana Wynne-Jones things mentioned; E. Nesbit also has, I think, a few (but definitely one, about Atlantis again) short stories about time travel in addition to the Story of the Amulet, most of them in a collection called The Magic World.

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