A Circle of Time

A Circle of Time

4.8 8
by Marisa Montes

View All Available Formats & Editions

"I helped you. Now you help me."
As fourteen-year-old Allison Blair lies comatose in the hospital, she hears in her head the voice of Becky Lee Thompson, pleading for help and pulling Allison back in time to 1906--and into Becky's body. But why? Is it to prevent Becky's tragic death, or the death of Joshua, the boy who loves her? Allison must remain in the


"I helped you. Now you help me."
As fourteen-year-old Allison Blair lies comatose in the hospital, she hears in her head the voice of Becky Lee Thompson, pleading for help and pulling Allison back in time to 1906--and into Becky's body. But why? Is it to prevent Becky's tragic death, or the death of Joshua, the boy who loves her? Allison must remain in the past--fortified by her own growing feeling for Joshua, and Becky's will--to make sense of the layers of mystery, blackmail, and mistaken identity so that history will be altered.
Becky's spirit struggles to keep Allison's body alive. Can Allison save Becky and Joshua and return to her own body before time runs out?

Editorial Reviews

After being struck by a car while riding her bike, fourteen-year-old Allison is forced back in time to 1906 to stop the death of a young couple, Becky and Joshua. Becky's spirit pulls the comatose Allison into her body so that Allison can change the events of the past. At first an unwilling participant, Allison begins to care for Joshua and runs a frantic race against time and the impending San Francisco earthquake. Allison also knows that Becky's spirit is weakening, but Allison must return to her own body or she will die. The mystery revolves around who killed Sadie, Becky's stepmother. In her first trip to the past, Allison finds Sadie's body in the woods. When the scenario begins to play itself out again, Allison and Joshua are able to stop the grief-crazed daughter of the local landowner from killing Sadie, an event that opens the door to Becky's real identity. Montes effectively transports a feisty modern-day teenager back in time to help solve a mystery supported by two strong Spanish female characters, the landowner's daughter and her friend Mada, who thwart the conventions of their day but stay within acceptable boundaries for early 1900s California. This time-travel mystery will be a welcome addition to middle or junior high school library collections. Those girls who love Cooney's time travel Cox
A Circle of Time opens with a dramatic accident that simultaneously thrusts fourteen- year-old Alison Blair into a coma, and into the body of Becky Lee Thompson, a teenager living in California at the beginning of the twentieth century. Alison's mission—which she has no choice but to accept—is to save Becky from the disastrous fate that awaits her. Initially, Alison has little understanding of the source of Becky's danger. However, when Teresa Cardona Pomales, a daughter of a wealthy Spanish landowner, takes Alison under her wing, she begins to unravel the mystery, which lies within the complex history and relationships of the Pomales family. Joshua Winthrop, Becky's attractive and sensitive boyfriend, also helps Alison, and in so doing develops a bond that extends through time. Middle school readers who enjoy fantasy, mystery, and romance will especially appreciate this ambitious second novel. Although the plot is somewhat repetitive and predictable, the writing is strong and the ending creative. The exploration of issues such as life after death, and cultural change and diversity, makes this novel not only entertaining, but educational, with potential for readership across many different ages and grade levels. 2002, Harcourt, 261 pp.,
— Tom Philion
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-This time-travel, historical mystery begins as 14-year-old Allison Blair is struck by a car and almost killed. While she is grasping onto life in a coma, she is whisked away in time by Becky, who has come to 1996 from 1906 to gain Allison's help. The book flashes back and forth between the hospital, with Becky in Allison's body and about to undergo brain surgery, and 1906 on a California estate owned by a wealthy Spanish family. There, Allison meets Joshua, who was Becky Thompson's boyfriend before her untimely death. Once she convinces him of her situation, he becomes her ally and helps her change history. The focus shifts to Sadie Thompson and Don Carlos, the estate owner, and the mystery of what happened to his daughter's baby years earlier. While Allison's lessons to Joshua about feminist history detract a bit from the sense of urgency, this is still an enjoyable, compelling read. Much like Caroline B. Cooney's Both Sides of Time (Laurel-Leaf, 1997), it takes on a romantic spin, along with the old Wizard of Oz theme of Allison's just wanting to click her heels three times and be back in the comfort zone of home.-Nicole M. Marcuccilli, Glenview Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A tiresomely perfect heroine travels back in time in a melodramatic fantasy. When a car accident leaves 14-year-old Allison Blair in a coma, her spirit is sent back to 1906, to occupy the body of poor, downtrodden Becky Lee Thompson. While Becky stays in 1996, keeping Allison's body alive, Allison must somehow prevent a tragic death-but whose? Her abusive stepmother's? Joshua, Becky's boyfriend, with whom Allison is falling in love? The insane daughter of the neighboring wealthy Spanish family? Or Becky's own? And can she save them before her own body, in the future, dies during brain surgery? This might have been an entertaining thriller if Montes (Egg-napped!, 2001, etc.) hadn't stretched credulity until it snapped. Allison is brave, resourceful, clever, and (in Becky's body) beautiful; everybody loves her, as she inspires Joshua to feminism, heals the ailing matriarch with modern medical notions, softens the crusty patriarch, awes the local psychic herbalist, patches up a star-crossed romance, reveals a lost heir, and predicts the San Francisco earthquake. Aside from the latter geological deus ex machina, there is nothing in the setting to indicate turn-of-the-century California. The aristocratic Cardona Pomales family may sprinkle their speech with Spanish, but with their golden tresses and soap opera intrigues might as well be transplanted fairy-tale royalty, while spooky Magda plays the part of the witch in the woods and Joshua is the stereotypical shepherd-prince. For young teens looking for a good romantic cry. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
File size:
391 KB
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

MARISA MONTES is the author of Something Wicked's in Those Woods. She lives in Walnut Creek, California.

MARISA MONTES is the author of Something Wicked's in Those Woods. She lives in Walnut Creek, California.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

A Circle of Time 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I simply loved this book. I would recommend this to anyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read an abudance of young adult books, but of all them, this one has stuck to me. (Maybe because it does not involve vampires) It is not a life shattering book, but it is a quite an entertaining, easy read. THe book is about a girl who has to save the life of another girl to save her own. If you want to read a novel that has relationships, mystery, and a little romance in it, this is the book for you.
DelphineShore More than 1 year ago
I'm 17 and I read this book a really long time ago. I wanted to read it again but I couldnt remember the title or author so help me! I remembered that it was such a fantastic book, I wanted to read it again and see if I'd still love it even though I've gotten older.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I was bored. I had read all of the books from my favorite series and read this book because I was bored. I ended up writing to the author asking to write a sequl. This is an amazing book and I highly recommend it for book projects. I did, and I got and 'A'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is the best book i ever read. i dont read alot of books but this book i can read over and over!! this book is good for kids that like to read about love and friendship. i told my other friends about it and they loved it too. so if u r reading this buy the book asap and lay back and juss read it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing and outstanding.Its about love,trust,and building relationships. 'A circle of Time' is one of the best books I have read,from all the books I've read this one is on my top best list.If you haven't read this book I seriously recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing!! i read it in like 5 hours!! I wasnt sure about it when i found it on the shelf at the library but i was hooked after the very first chapter!!! This book was unbelievable!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. At first I didn't think it would be good,but please continue reading. The relationship created through time,though painful when parted,you are rewarded at the end with a surprise ending.