This time-travel adventure by a French author reads like a book-long prelude to a much longer story, and it does, in fact, turn out to be a series opener. Fourteen-year-old Sam lives with his grandparents; since the death of his mother three years earlier, his incurably eccentric father, the owner of an antique bookstore, has gotten stranger and stranger. Prone to disappearing, he has been missing for 10 days, and Sam decides to investigate. While searching through the bookstore's basement, he finds a "totem or a voodoo object, the kind of thing you see in horror films, where a terrible curse will strike whomever discovers it" along with a "dirty coin" engraved with strange lines and symbols. Fitting the coin into the object, Sam wakes up in the era of the Vikings, just in time to save a monastery's illuminated manuscript from a raid. Subsequent adventures take him to WWI France, ancient Egypt, medieval Bruges-and give him just enough clues to point to his father's whereabouts, as a prisoner of Vlad the Impaler. Prévost sets up the various locations with lightning efficiency as Sam hurtles through one period after another; readers cannot afford to blink. This is a souped-up, older relative of the Magic Tree House books; kids who liked that brand of history and adventure but have outgrown the format will welcome the more sophisticated presentation here. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Book Of Time - Library Editionby Guillaume Prevost, Holter Graham
A statue; a coin; an old book. They look as dusty as everything else in the Faulkner Antiquarian Bookstore, where 14-year-old Sam Faulkner seeks his father, who's been missing for days. But when Sam slips the coin into the statue, he's swept back in time -- to Scotland in 800 A.D. -- where he must find both the statue and another coin in order to return to the present… See more details below
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A statue; a coin; an old book. They look as dusty as everything else in the Faulkner Antiquarian Bookstore, where 14-year-old Sam Faulkner seeks his father, who's been missing for days. But when Sam slips the coin into the statue, he's swept back in time -- to Scotland in 800 A.D. -- where he must find both the statue and another coin in order to return to the present. It's the first step in an adventure that will take him to ancient Egypt, World War I, even Dracula's castle -- and a mystery that will end only when Sam saves his father, or loses him in time . . .
Sam Faulkner knows that it's not unusual for his father to disappear, but he's never been gone for ten days before. Sam searches his father's bookstore and discovers a secret room containing a mysterious book, a statue, and a coin. The boy places the coin in the center of the statue and is transported back in time to Scotland during the Viking invasion. He doesn't find his father, but he does help save the day. The next turn of the coin transports Sam to a World War I battlefield where he intervenes at a crucial moment. Another turn takes Sam to a tomb where he assists an ancient Egyptian priest. And then it's on to Renaissance Belgium. This story by Guillaume Prevost, translated by William Radarmor (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007) just doesn't work. The pace is too rapid and character development is non-existent. Listeners have little reason to care about Sam or his father. Holter Graham's narration seems exaggerated to compensate for a thin plot and mundane language. Youngsters will feel cheated by the ending that doesn't answer any of the book's questions. A better choice for time-travel stories is Dan Gutman's baseball card adventures or Susan Cooper's King of Shadows (Margaret K. McElderry, 1999).
Tricia MelgaardCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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