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Don't Know Where, Don't Know When (The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 1)
     

Don't Know Where, Don't Know When (The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 1)

4.4 5
by Annette Laing
 
What a nightmare.
Hannah Dias, California Girl with Attitude, and Alex, her laid-back brother, have moved from exciting San Francisco to boring Snipesville, Georgia. Life doesn't improve when they meet Brandon, a dorky kid who is plotting his escape from the Deep South, and the weird Professor, who has a strange secret.
Suddenly, the kids are catapulted

Overview

What a nightmare.
Hannah Dias, California Girl with Attitude, and Alex, her laid-back brother, have moved from exciting San Francisco to boring Snipesville, Georgia. Life doesn't improve when they meet Brandon, a dorky kid who is plotting his escape from the Deep South, and the weird Professor, who has a strange secret.
Suddenly, the kids are catapulted thousands of miles and almost seventy years to England during World War Two.
They fall into a world of stinging nettles, dragon ladies, bomb blasts, ugly underwear, stinky sandwiches, painful punishments, and non-absorbing toilet paper. They learn so much more than they could ever learn in a history class. Not that they want to learn it.
But they can't go home unless they find George Braithwaite, whoever he is, and whatever it is that he has to do with Snipesville.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2015-05-26
With help from a mysterious professor, three intrepid children travel back in time and then must figure out how to get home. In this first installment of the Snipesville Chronicles, Laing (Look Ahead, Look Back, 2012) introduces three plucky children who accidentally stumble across the ability to travel back in time. Hannah Dias and her brother, Alex, have just moved from San Francisco to the sleepy town of Snipesville, Georgia, and Hannah especially is bored by her new surroundings. On their first day at a new summer camp, they meet Brandon, a young, nerdy African-American kid interested in World War II history. When the three encounter a mysterious professor, they suddenly find themselves in WWII-era London during the Blitz. With occasional help from the professor, who appears to guide them, Hannah, Alex, and Brandon must find a lost boy named George Braithwaite before they can return home; in the meantime, they must quickly adjust to their new surroundings. Laing, herself a history professor, crafts an endearing, clever story that remains coherent despite the perils of a time-travel plot. Her keen eye for historical detail of the period and the struggles the kids face (particularly Brandon) helps bring her setting vividly to life. Moreover, the lessons they learn and the dangers they face ring true as the kids slowly get a sense of life's difficulties in the era. There are a few instances where dialogue and characterization fall a bit flat; for instance, sulky teenage Hannah has a few too many lines like "Why don't you mind your own stupid business?" that feel a little canned. Nevertheless, the story's charms will draw readers in and keep them engrossed until the very end, and the tightly structured narrative ensures that the pieces of the mystery come together well and that each twist feels plausible. This being the first of a series, let's hope the next installments continue to infuse historical fiction with the same sense of joy and wonder. A clever and charming time-travel adventure.
Georgia Library Quarterly
Engrossing first novel... We eagerly await future volumes.

Rebecca Ziegler
Engrossing first novel. We eagerly await future volumes.
Charlotte Taylor
Brisk storytelling, likeable characters, and a great plot.
Becky Laney
Don't Know Where, Don't Know When is an enjoyable treat of a novel.
Allison Fraclose
A fun, educational mystery, this story does a successful job of bringing history within reach.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979476945
Publisher:
Confusion Press
Publication date:
11/28/2007
Series:
Snipesville Chronicles Series , #1
Pages:
204
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Annette Laing was born in Scotland, raised in England, and spent many years in California, where she earned a Ph.D. in American and British history. Since 1996, she has taught and written history at a university in Georgia. Annette is a published scholar of early America and the Atlantic World, and is the creator of TimeShop, a nationally-recognized time travel experience for kids. Don't Know Where, Don't Know When is her first novel.

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Don't Know Where, Don't Know When (The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Lawral More than 1 year ago
The opening of this book was a little slow for me. All the time spent with Hannah and Alex before they go back in time, didn't really do anything for me. BUT, if you stick it out through Hannah's whining about how unfair her life is (actually, this continues throughout the book), they'll meet up with Brandon and end up in WWII England where things get very cool. In WWII England, Hannah, Alex and Brandon are all evacuees for the London, sent to the English countryside to escape the Blitz. Hannah and Alex are taken in by an almost welcoming couple. Brandon, who is black, is taken back to London. Though black children were also evacuated during the bombings of London, it was much harder to find people to take them in. Also, black people weren't all that common in England during this time, so Brandon spends the entire book being kind of a novelty. Hannah and Alex are left to get used to the British countryside during the war and desperately try to find out what happened to Brandon in a society that doesn't tell unpleasant things to children. Meanwhile, Brandon runs away from the man who took him back to London and is presumed dead. But he's not dead; he's really in WWI England. He's even in the same town as Hannah and Alex, just 25 years earlier! Brandon manages to find friendly people and even a job, but being black is a much rarer thing in 1915 than in 1940. And the attitudes toward black people weren't all that great either. In her acknowledgments, Laing states that the past is not particularly politically correct, and neither is her portrayal of it. The scenes set both in 1915 and in 1940 are rich in historical detail, including the attitudes of the people in them. While Alex seems to go along pretty fine throughout the story, Hannah is constantly bristled by the treatment of children (what she considers a beating, everyone else considers a well-deserved spanking) and Brandon is constantly affected by peoples reactions to him as a "colored" young man. Though Brandon makes it through his time traveling experience suffering from nothing more than hateful words, the black people he meets do not always fare as well. I managed to get completely caught up in this book. There is a story inside a story that needs solving in order for Hannah, Alex and Brandon to make it back to 21st century Georgia, and though they don't understand how or why, it is connected to their present day lives. Also, given that he's in the same town, Brandon's experiences in 1915 England have some really close ties to the people he, Hannah and Alex meet in WWII England. There were so many ways that all of these connections and different-name-same-person instances could have been screwed up or over simplified, but Laing manages to make them all make sense and even manages to make some of them surprising. My only disappointment in this area was Peggy, and it totally wasn't Laing's fault. I simply wanted 1915 Peggy to grow up to be a different person, but not everyone can live up to their full potential. In short, this is a great time travel book. I wasn't so caught up in the logistics of the time traveling that I lost the ability to be caught up in the times where they ended up. It's also a great look at the day-to-day lives of some of the people left behind in England during the fighting of each world war. Book source: Review copy provided by the author PS - This book has a new cover, not shown here, which is a big improvement!
VickiLN More than 1 year ago
This is book one in "The Snipesville Chronicles. It's a fun and informative book about a group a kids who travel through time, to England during WWI and WWII. Besides learning about the hardships of the wars, they also learn other historical facts, especially how fortunate they are due to modern conveniences. They also learn the importance of acceptance and of being accepted and the strength of friendship. This is a very good book that's full of emotion and I would recommend it to adults as well as children.
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
When Hannah and Alex move to Snipesville, Georgia from San Francisco with their father they are incredibly bored and somewhat resentful. Their mother has died in a car accident, and when they leave California they also leave their grandparents behind. But their dad says he's being transferred, so off they go to an area of the country totally alien to them. To occupy their time, their dad enrolls them in summer camps at the local community college, which is where they meet Brandon. None of the kids really wants to be in the camp they signed up for, so they sneak away and hide out in the library. But something odd happens when they leave to go home. The community college buildings disappear, their clothes change, and they suddenly find themselves outside of London during World War II. Mistaken for children being sent by their parents to the countryside to escape London's bombings, they find an ally in a woman they recognize as a professor at the community college they just left. So begins the adventures in Don't Know Where, Don't Know When, Book 1 of The Snipesville Chronicles by Annette Laing. Hannah and Alex are billeted with a local couple who don't seem happy to have them. Brandon, who is black, ends up being singled out and runs away, then taken to London by Mr. Smedley, who is with the Ministry of Health. When London is bombed, Brandon ends up going even further back in time to 1915 and the days of World War I. These time traveling kids are lucky: their clothes and accents change and they have money in their pockets. So while their sensibilities are modern, they don't stick out right away. The professor occasionally shows up to check on them, and she gives them clues about tasks they need to complete before they can go home. Don't Know Where, Don't Know When is like the Magic Tree House for older readers in some ways. There's a clue to a former time that shows up in their current lives, and suddenly they are transported back to that time to solve a mystery. I really liked Alex and Brandon's characters. They were smart and inquisitive, and while they occasionally slipped up and said things that didn't fit with their times, they were always aware of their mistakes. Hannah was hard for me to like as a character. She didn't exhibit much curiosity about the time or place she was in, and she didn't care if the things she said were out of time and place. But I suspect that kids reading this books wouldn't have the same concerns about Hannah that I did. I think girls and boys aged 9 to 12 are more likely to see this is an adventure and happily read about what all three kids experienced when they went back in time. Don't Know Where, Don't Know When gives a great sense of the people of wartime England. The kids realize that while they know Hitler eventually loses, the people around them don't know that. The bombings and shortages and insecurity everyone feels are very real. Mother-daughter book clubs that read this book can talk about the historical time period as well as the fantasy of time travel.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Although her little brother, Alex, might find their new hometown of Snipesville, Georgia, a welcome change, Hannah Diaz still thinks it's way more boring than California.

To curb her whining, her father signs her up for a creative writing camp at the local college. She's so reluctant that, when she can't find the classroom on her first day, she instead finds solace in the student union café. Meanwhile, Alex attends the baseball camp held at the same college. There, he meets Brandon, a local African American kid who only dreams of escaping Snipesville. When baseball camp ends up being a drag, the two boys escape to the student union and run into Hannah.

To kill time, the three children head up to the library.

An encounter with a woman who calls herself "The Professor" leaves them spooked, and Brandon comes across an old identification card belonging to someone named George Braithwaite. As the kids leave the library, they notice a strange change in their surroundings. They find that they are no longer in present day Snipesville, but in England...in 1940!

While the children acclimate to their new lives, The Professor appears, and tells them that they need to find George Braithwaite to go home. This sets them on a long journey through time, one that will familiarize them with events and people that existed long before any of them were born.

A fun, educational mystery, this story does a successful job of bringing history within reach. Interesting details--such as the quality of the food and everyday luxuries, such as toilet paper--leave the reader with a clear picture of life in the past, and how people and places change over time.

DON'T KNOW WHERE, DON'T KNOW WHEN is the first in a series, and I'll definitely be looking for more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago