Sunday, March 27, 2016

Once Was a Time by Leila Sales

Charlotte's father is a scientist and he believes time travel is possible.  Since it's 1940 and wartime in England, time travel doesn't sound too bad to Charlotte.  But since you don't know where you'll go and can't find your back, it doesn't sound very feasible.  You see, Charlotte's father believes they are a natural phenomena and not man-made.  He's trying to create one but hasn't been successful.

Chronicle Books graciously sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 5th.

Charlotte and Kitty are best friends; they do everything together.  When her father doesn't come home for a couple of days, Kitty comes over for a visit.  When someone knocks on the door, Charlotte opens it hoping that it's her father.  Instead it's a woman with military ID that tells her she needs to come with her, her father is in the car.  Charlotte's not sure but she does want her father back so she and Kitty go out to the car.  She's told the woman that Kitty is her sister.  When they are kidnapped and taken to a military base, she's sure they are German.  Especially after she finds they holding her father in the same facility.  

The woman asks him for the info on portals.  He tells her he hasn't figured it out yet but he's close, just give him a bit more time.  She tells him he's lying and threatens to kill Charlotte and Kitty!  While Charlotte is panicking, she suddenly notices an open portal.  She manages to get away and throw herself through the portal but she doesn't know where she's going or what time period she will be in when she gets there.

This is an interesting time travel story with Charlotte learning about life as she gets older.  She knows she can't go back but she misses her family and Kitty so much.  She finally decides to use the library to find out what she can.  As she reads about everyone's death (including her own), she grieves.  But the library also gives her one clue to where Kitty might be.  She follows that clue and makes a friend she should have years ago.  Charlotte is growing up.

More fantasy than fact, I found this one fun to read and enjoyed the story.  It's written for middle graders but can be read by all ages.

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