WENDY NIKEL GUEST POSTS! @_BookMistress
SIX WAYS TO TIME TRAVEL WITH YOUR KIDS! by Wendy Nikel
As a teacher, one of my favorite activities was read-aloud time. Now, as a homeschool mom, my “class” may be smaller, but it’s still one of the best parts of the day, when we pile together on the couch and dive into an adventure together.
At six and eight, my kids are a bit young yet to appreciate my new time travel novella, THE CONTINUUM, but here’s a list of time travel books we’ve enjoyed together, or that I look forward to enjoying with them soon!
– Alistair’s Time Machine by Marilyn Sadler
This picture book is a bit difficult to come by, but it was my kids’ first introduction to the time travel genre. Child genius Alistair Grittle builds a time machine for a school science fair and ends up jumping through time on all sorts of adventures. One thing to know about the Alistair books: there’s always a surprise on the last page!
– The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne
Jack and his sister Annie discover a tree house in the woods near their house and, over the course of more than forty books, travel through history, learning about everything from dinosaurs to Shakespeare to life on the prairie. Last year, we built our weekly homeschool units around a different one of these stories each week.
– The Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka
A boy gets a book from his magician uncle that sends him first back to the time of King Arthur, and — in subsequent books — on all sorts of other adventures. My boys particularly appreciated the slapstick humor in this book.
– When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
I haven’t read this one to my kids yet, but I’m looking forward to someday sharing with them this story of a girl in late 1970s New York who wants to win a game show and begins receiving strange messages that seem to predict future events. As an adult, I appreciated the glimpse back on how things used to be, but I think young and old can appreciate this sweet story about friendship and second chances.
– Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
If it’s been a while since you’ve read the series, you may have forgotten that this one includes a time travel element (which worked a lot better here, in my opinion, than in The Cursed Child). The boys and I are currently in the middle of reading this one — their first time, my 2949th (approximately) — with the fabulous new illustrated edition that just came out a few months ago.
– The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This was one of my very favorite fantasy novels when I was a kid, and the old BBC movie version was one that was so well-loved in my childhood household that the VHS tape had started to deteriorate at certain points. I’m looking forward to sharing this adventure, with its hint of time travel, with my kiddos!
About The Author
Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Daily Science Fiction, Nature: Futures, and various other anthologies and e-zines.
For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency’s ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn’t abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.
But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she’s got more to worry about than just the timespace continuum. For the first time ever, she’s the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.
“Nikel is a solid writer with vivid description, an imaginative future, and a command of accurate historical speech.”
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“The spinning slows. Suddenly, everything stops.
My legs flail, searching for solid ground, until I plunge abruptly into dank, smelly water. I gasp, and my mouth fills with brine. I’m being dragged in one direction, but instinct pulls me the opposite way. I kick against my heavy skirts and break the surface. For one dizzying moment I’m utterly confused. The concrete slabs of the nearby docks sharpen my fuzzy memory.
I Extracted while on the gangplank—a gangplank that doesn’t exist in 2012. This is exactly why our travellers are encouraged to use pre-approved Extraction locations. The Wormhole dumps travellers at the same place they’ve left from, which can make for some awkward (or dangerous) entrances.
Across the way, Marie does a frantic doggie-paddle towards the steel rungs leading up to the dock. With labored strokes, I swim after her, clutching the sphere in one hand. When I reach her, she’s still clinging to the bottom rung, too exhausted to climb to safety.
“Hang on.” I slip my Wormhole Device into my handbag and pull my dripping body up to the dock. Water streams out around me, forming a dark puddle on the concrete. The evening sun, balancing on the very edge of the horizon, casts an eerie glow on the water.
“Okay. Come on up—”
My encouragement is drowned out by the sound of retching. Lovely.
I clench my jaw to stop my teeth from rattling and focus on retaining my professionalism—not easy, considering the mucked-up circumstances.
Finally, Marie starts up the ladder, ascending tentatively, with gasping breaths. When she’s close enough to grab my forearms, I pull her up with much grunting and tugging. Her eyes widen as she takes in the industrial warehouses, giant cranes, and sprawling parking lots that seem to have appeared instantaneously.
“What have you done?” Her voice rises in pitch with each word.”