The ALAN Review - Jennifer Moreland
In this third title in the Time Travel Trilogy, sixteen-year old Devonney Stratton, a headstrong girl, finds herself a pawn in her Victorian father's plot to gain power by marrying her off to a shallow and conveniently impoverished English lord. At the very threshold of the church, however, she is rescued by the unlikely appearance of Tod, a visitor from the twentieth century, who whisks her away to his world of computers, automobiles, and fast food restaurants. While Devonney admires the independence of women in the 1990's, she misses the elegance, charm, and security of her own century. In spite of Tod's attempts to make her feel at home, Devonney feels like a prisoner of time. Readers who enjoyed the first two books of the trilogy will be eager to read the conclusion of the saga of the 19th-century Strattons and their 20th-century counterparts, the Lockwoods. Devonney's revulsion towards a lifestyle that today's youngsters take for granted points out that, while great strides have been made in our time, perhaps some of the finer things of life have been lost along the way. Middle school readers will relish the conflict as "Titanic" meets "Hackers."
VOYA - Nancy Eaton
Nineteenth-century heiress Devonny Aurelia Victoria Stratton takes center stage in this companion to Both Sides of Time (Delacorte, 1995/VOYA August 1995) and Out of Time (Delacorte, 1996/VOYA April 1996), which focused on Devonny's brother Strat and his adventures with time-traveling teen Annie Lockwood. Desperately trying to avoid an arranged marriage to a minor British nobleman, Devonny pleads aloud for help. Annie's brother Tod, an average twentieth-century high school boy interested in computers and making money by selling designer water, is reluctantly pulled through time to the rescue, snatching Devonny from her father's arm as she walks up the aisle. As is typical for this series, larger-than-life characters and melodramatic situations abound, but there is a greater emphasis on how the status of women has changed over the last century. When Devonny visits Tod's time, she is both scandalized and dismayed at the differences she finds. Young ladies of her acquaintance are raised to be decorative and acquiescent. Devonny's vague dream of being a nineteenth-century business woman is considered outrageous, while Tod warns her that "secretary" is a swear word to his thoroughly modern mother. A subplot about the "shocking" romance between Devonny's society friend and an Italian immigrant laborer underscores the class separation at the turn of the century. With more stress on cultural changes than the earlier novels, this satisfying tale will leave contemporary teens both glad to live in their own time and nostalgic for the graces of an earlier age. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects, For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6-9Third in a time-travel series, this story continues the saga of the wealthy Stratton family in the 1890s. Tod Lockwood travels from the 1990s to save 16-year-old Devonny Stratton from an unwanted arranged marriage. He manages to rescue her on her wedding day by bringing her into the 20th century. After spending time with Tod's family, the girl feels called to return to her own time to untangle the problems she has left behind. Subplots involve Devonny's best friend Flossie's plan to elope with an Italian immigrant from the laboring class, and her father's scheme to lock his ex-wife, Devonny's mother, away in an attic room. Meanwhile, Tod and Devonny are falling in love. This tale, like its companions, is pure melodrama. Its characters are more types than fully fleshed-out individuals. Plot contrivances are numerous. Why, for instance, does Tod's mother so readily accept Devonny as a foreign exchange student from England? And would Devonny's disappearance cause a complete change of heart in her obnoxious intended husband? The book presents a very oversimplified view of the mores and morals of the wealthy class of the day. It is fun, however, to observe the reactions of the time-traveling teens to ages very different from their own. The story is not as well written as Cooney's Driver's Ed (Delacorte, 1994) or The Face on the Milk Carton (Dell, 1991) and its sequels, but adolescents are sure to enjoy the drama and romance. Prisoner belongs in collections where Both Sides of Time (1995) and Out of Time (1996, both Delacorte) are popular.Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Read an Excerpt
Laced up by corset strings and bound by a forced engagement to a stuffy English lord named Hugh-David Winded, Devonny Stratton barely has room to breathe. More spirited than her nineteenth-century peers, Devonny tries to fight back. But is the Victorian Era too much for any woman?
"There are uses for Americans," said Miles.
"No," said Hugh-David, "one use. Money."
Devonny now understood all too well. She stormed out onto the porch. "Who do you think you are, you pitiful excuse for a man?" she shouted at Lord Winden.
Three mouths gaped open in shock above their starched collars.
"You can't even earn a living!" yelled Devonny. She felt herself getting taller and thinner, literally towering with rage.
The Englishmen got to their feet quickly, because one stood in the presence of a lady, even a screaming, misbehaving lady.
"You haven't asked me to marry you, Hugh-David Winden, and I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man on earth! I will marry a man with spunk, and you are horse manure!"