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Charlie's the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, his own mother can't remember his name. So when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don't take him seriously. Still, this isn't all bad. Who needs school when you can learn about history first hand, like from Ben Franklin himself. And there's this girl... Yvaine... another time traveler. All good. Except for the rules: boys only travel into the past and girls only into the future. And the baggage: Yvaine's got a baby boy and more than her share of ex-boyfriends. Still, even if they screw up history -- like accidentally let the founding father be killed -- they can just time travel and fix it, right? But the future they return to is nothing like Charlie remembers. To set things right, he and his scrappy new girlfriend will have to race across the centuries, battling murderous machines from the future, jealous lovers, reluctant parents, and time itself.
Poor Charlie-- he's the type of boy that nobody notices or remembers. Even his mother has to keep his name written down so she can remember what it is--to the extent that when he erased his name from the chore list, his mother did all the chores! But, he discovers there's a reason: he can travel through time.
He discovers this quite by accident--and then there's another accident and another, until suddenly Charlie has royally messed up his present and has to find a way to fix it.
Andy Gavin has taken one of my favorite sub-genres (time travel) and given it a wonderful new twist! I'm so glad this is the beginning of a new series--it's one I think any older child or youngish teen would completely enjoy! And...who knows? They might even learn a little despite themselves as Charlie and Yvaine run into historical figures. Good job, Mr. Gavin, good job!!
Enjoy the following excerpt--you'll see what I mean!
“You think me daft, do you?” the girl in the refuse pile says. “You’re from the future.”
Living the last hour in a high-budget documentary has made me a time travel believer, so I’ll take her word for it.
“How do you know?”
“Boys always be from the future. What’s me name?”
“Yvaine?” I say.
Her smile is so genuine it startles me.
“There you go. I haven’t never heared that since I was a wee bit.”
I know how she feels even if I only mostly understand what she says.
“Help a lady up, Charlie.”
I take the hand she extends, pull her upright, then kick my feet into the dirty pair of shoes I took off when I ran after her. Her scruffy outline stands out with unnatural clarity.
This cinches it. I know how to spot the historically homeless!
Dad’s history books, all his lessons, swirl in my head. He totally knew! If us extra-in-focus-no-names are time travelers, and he and Sophie have been off visiting the Crusades or whenever, why’d they wait till right before the clockwork cop showed up before trying to tell me?
“Are you from the future too?” I ask.
“You know nothin’, dinna you?” Yvaine cuffs me on the arm. “Boys are from the future, girls are from the past.”
“Where? I mean when? And when is now?”
“Let’s cosy someplace warm.” She tugs me toward the alley entrance. “We’ll be lucky not t’catch cold.”
“That’s what my mother would say.”
“I’m not your mother.”
About the Author:
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