Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Time School by Nikki Young. It’s a pleasant introduction into the history of WW 1 and the concept of time travel. It’s a short read suitable for all age groups.
About the Author
Nikki Young is a writer and lover of stories and ‘The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants’ is her first book. Nikki credits her lively imagination to an amazing childhood, growing up in Yorkshire and living in a cul-de-sac in the days when children were allowed to run free and left to make their own fun! Now a mum of three, she says that in her head, she hasn’t really grown up and those memories of her childhood days remain strong and active.
About the book
A power cut and a series of mini disasters means friends, Jess, Nadia, Tomma and Ash barely make it to the station to catch their train to school. What they find is a far cry from the usual packed commuter train they’re expecting…
When they arrive at Hickley School, the children are surprised to find some of the buildings missing and they don’t recognise any of the other pupils, who are all dressed in a different style of uniform. The only person who takes the time to help them is Martha, despite being preoccupied by her own worries about her family being hungry and not hearing from brother, Henry whom she says is away fighting. The children soon realise this is no normal day and it’s not until they return home that they’re able to figure out what happened. What they don’t know is whether it was a one-off day, or if they will get to see Martha and the other pupils again. Jess hopes so. She has something she needs to tell Martha. Not knowing how or why, she feels a connection and an obligation to this girl she can’t explain.
Imagine getting on a train you get on every morning only to be whisked away through a gap in time to the past. To a time of great upheaval, struggle and sorrow, with the only option to return being the same train. Just you and a few of your friends thrust into one of the most traumatic periods in the 20th century. How, why and for what purpose?
I think it is a gentle and non-abrasive way of introducing young readers to the World Wars, specifically the Great War. Having bought and read similar books with a historical context for children, and for my own children, it is fair to say that young readers of our era are capable of dealing with a lot more reality and facts. The premise offered up a lot of potential and Young shouldn’t be cautious when plotting and delving into that potential. Children and younger readers are capable of embracing and enjoying more complex and realistic storylines.
This premise also allows for further ventures into the past, regardless of whether the fictional story collides with an important historical event or not. Books like these can be great teaching tools, because readers learn historical facts in a fictional setting.
What I really liked about it was the fact I could read this to a child of any age or give it to them to read, without having any concerns they might be overwhelmed by the subject matter. At the very least readers will come away with a basic understanding of how the war had impact on everyone regardless of age or status. Rationing, clothing, war orphans and refugees, and having to deal with the death of a loved one.
More advanced readers could discuss the butterfly effect of the time travel. Did the event the children were there to change or stop only occur because they were there in the first place?
Given a little more depth I can see this becoming an interesting series (hint, hint) and a scholastic possibility. I would like to see Young spread her wings a little more and allow for the creative ideas to flourish instead of curbing them. Saying that, I would buy this book for a reluctant reader or as an introduction to the topics of history, war and time travel.
Publisher: Troubador Publishing ( pub date: 28 Jun. 2018)