Book Of Time - Library Edition

Book Of Time - Library Edition

by 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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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
Fourteen-year-old Sam Faulkner is living with his grandparents because his father, rare book dealer Allan Faulkner, has gone missing again. The police are no help, and Sam's pushy Aunt Evelyn and her controlling boyfriend Rudolph are ready to write off Sam and his father. Sam undertakes his own investigation and finds a strange stone statue in the basement of his father's store. Placing a coin in a declivity on the statue sends Sam back in time to the isle of Iona, where he helps monks save their treasures from Vikings before finding another coin. He journeys on to World War I France and then to Ancient Egypt, where the priest Ahmosis gives him clues to the statue's origins and workings. Back in the present, Sam and his twelve-year-old cousin Lily work out Allan's location in time and the first steps to saving him before the teaser ending of this first volume of a trilogy. Prevost is an author of adult thrillers in France. His first for a younger audience is a make-up-the-rules-as-you-go-along fantasy; Sam's clothes change when he travels because they are made of synthetic fabrics, but questionably Lily's cell phone travels without a problem. The adventure never ignites because the volume is setup for a longer story. The wrestling subplot in the present feels tacked on, and there is no character development of which to speak. Whether problems in translation or with the original, the teen characters often speak with a stilted formality and there are many awkward turns of phrase. Wait for an omnibus edition of all three novels or pass entirely on this flat, French fantasy. Reviewer: Timothy Capehart
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8
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.

Kirkus Reviews
Sam Faulkner's mother is dead, his father's been missing for two weeks, he's being threatened by a bully at school and he's just turned 14. Unhappy at his grandparents' home, having little interest in school, he turns back to his old house, hoping for some clue to his father's disappearance. What he finds is a way to travel through time. He hops from time period to time period, country to country, convinced he's following in his father's footsteps, but never finding him. Wrenched back into his own time, confiding his adventures only to his cousin Lily, he discovers that his body is beginning to change as well. Written in short, almost jerky vignettes, there is not a lot of depth to this story. That may well be in the future, however, because it is clearly just the beginning. This volume establishes characters and relationships without really fleshing them out. That must come with successive volumes, which are sure to follow. Lily has found evidence of where Sam's father is-being held prisoner in Vlad Tepes's (aka Dracula's) castle. Finding how to get there, rescue his father and bring them both home safely is now the mission. A light read, with glimpses into other times and places, with the promise of better to come. (Fantasy. 10-14)

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Book Of Time Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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