Apparently, my new favorite genre is time travel historical fiction. This is the third book I’ve read in just a few months that fits in that highly specific category, and it was great! Time Switch is a kids’ book that involves two perspectives: one in 1879 and the other in 2000. In 1879, Edward and his twelve-year-old brother Will are experimenting with a machine that Edward invented (*spoiler alert, I guess, although you can probably guess from the title: it’s a time machine). In 2000, Jed, fourteen, and Lizzie, thirteen, have moved with their family to a new part of town and are trying to make friends and settle in. When their lives intersect, Jed and Lizzie must try to help Will get back to his own time, but long-lost relatives and mysterious authorities make the process a race against time (see what I did there?).
The kids (and Edward) struggle with the ethics of time travel, as they see the consequences of their actions in reshaping the lives of people around them. The way the story was resolved was, in my opinion, one of the best time travel resolutions I’ve ever seen. It mostly made sense, and (*actual spoiler here*) the characters don’t forget everything that happened! I love that.
One thing that I enjoyed about this book (a little thing, but it’s unusual enough in children’s books that I noticed it) was that the parents, while not the main actors, were also not idiots! Once Jed and Lizzie talked to their parents about their predicament, the parents actually believed them! Incredible. Anyway, if you or your kid enjoys time travel stories that are light on the science and heavy on the history, pick up this book.
Rating: Pretty Darn Good