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Tanglewreck

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Overview

Something frightening is happening with time. One moment, a time tornado rages through the streets of London, and those caught up in its path vanish without a trace. The next moment a woolly mammoth is seen lumbering along the banks of the River Thames. At the center of these bizarre time warps is a house called Tanglewreck, which is home to eleven-year-old Silver, her bony and bad-tempered aunt, Mrs Rokabye, and a mysterious clock known as the Timekeeper. Silver doesn't understand exactly what the Timekeeper ...

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Tanglewreck

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Overview

Something frightening is happening with time. One moment, a time tornado rages through the streets of London, and those caught up in its path vanish without a trace. The next moment a woolly mammoth is seen lumbering along the banks of the River Thames. At the center of these bizarre time warps is a house called Tanglewreck, which is home to eleven-year-old Silver, her bony and bad-tempered aunt, Mrs Rokabye, and a mysterious clock known as the Timekeeper. Silver doesn't understand exactly what the Timekeeper does, but when two sinister figures come looking for it, she knows instinctively that she must guard it with her life.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Time seems to fly faster and days seem to be shorter as society become more technologically advanced. On one such frantic day, a bus full of school children disappears off a bridge in London. They have been caught in what comes to be known as a "Time Tornado"—distortions or disruptions in time. Abel Darkwater, an evil, power hungry man, longs to stop these events and control time through a device known as the Timekeeper. The last place it was known to exist was at a house in the country, called Tanglewreck, now inhabited by Silver and her mean spinster aunt, Mrs. Rokabye. Abel convinces Mrs. Rokabye that she will be wealthy and rid of Silver if she can find and sell the Timekeeper to him. Silver, realizing the scheme, sets out on a strange journey through time and space on a quest to find the Timekeeper and keep it safe. Narrator Vicky Licorish clearly narrates Jeanette Winterson's time-warping novel (Bloomsbury, 2006), providing slightly differentiated voices for all the characters. The novel's little twists and details balance out the predictability of the major revelation in the plot. An additional purchase for most collections.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Publishers Weekly
In her first book for young adults, Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit) delivers a romp through space and time with an intrepid 11-year-old heroine, Silver Rivers. The story opens with "the first of the Time Tornadoes," which merges a contemporary school bus and a pharaoh's chariots on the River Thames. It then moves to the 16th-century rambling house that had been Silver's family home before her parents and sister disappeared four years ago. Now Silver lives there with her greedy "aunt" who is helping an ageless and sinister alchemist, Abel Darkwater, find the lost Timekeeper. A prophecy states that this clock, to be found by the Child with the Golden Face, controls the most precious commodity of all time. Silver discovers she is that Child, with the help of the underground people called "Throwbacks," who help her travel across the universe and back. Winterson playfully peppers this journey with references to John Harrison, the Einstein Line, Schr dinger's cat, quantum physics, Black Holes and Egyptian deities. In Silver's quest to fulfill the prophecy, she teams up with her special Throwback friend, Gabriel, to take on Darkwater and his nemesis Regalia Mason, leader of a powerful corporation for centuries into the past and future. While the text may be somewhat fragmented and overworked in places, the sheer exhilaration of the adventure and the many fascinating historical and scientific allusions will keep readers engrossed through to the satisfying conclusion. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Strange events are happening to time all over the world. A Time Tornado whirls a school bus full of children away as a woolly mammoth appears on the banks of the Thames. The secret to these time warps seems to be centered in the old house, Tanglewreck, inhabited by eleven-year-old Silver and her guardian. Hidden in the half-ruined mansion may be the family treasure, the Timekeeper. Whoever holds this talisman, controls time-and life itself-forever. Can Silver find the Timekeeper, or has it too slipped outside time? Silver is a plucky hero in the mold of Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Philip Pullman's Lyra, a creature of action rather than introspection. Thwarted by Dickensian villains like her greedy guardian, Mrs. Rokabye, and Abel Darkwater of the Tempus Fugit Society, Silver is aided in her quest for the Timekeeper by Gabriel and the other Throwbacks, fugitives from the eighteenth-century Bedlam Asylum. Although the author sometimes skimps on character development and description and occasionally sacrifices wit for slapstick comedy, the novel is still well paced and cleverly plotted. Quick shifts of scene and viewpoint might bewilder readers accustomed to more leisurely fantasy tales, as the story leaps breathlessly from present to future and back. Sophisticated readers will find echoes of His Dark Materials, Diana Wynne Jones's A Tale of Time City (Greenwillow, 1987/VOYA February 1988), and Coraline (HarperCollins, 2002/VOYA Octoer 2002), but at its best, the book tells its own story and leaves the reader wanting another glimpse into the lives of Silver and Gabriel. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, definedas grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2006, Bloomsbury, 416p., Ages 11 to 15.
—Jamie S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-A Time Tornado drops ancient horsemen and chariots into present-day London and causes a busload of school children to disappear into thin air. A mysterious, self-proclaimed scientist known as Regalia Mason secretly seeks to profit from this event and other disturbances so that she can harvest spare time and sell it through her company. Meanwhile, a sinister alchemist named Abel Darkwater seeks a clock known as the Timekeeper in order to become even more powerful than Mason. At the center of this struggle is an orphan named Silver and her 500-year-old house, Tanglewreck, where she lives with her "aunt" as the prophesied Keeper of the Clock. She embarks on a prophecy-fulfilling interstellar journey to locate the Timekeeper and guarantee the safety of time as we know it. Winterson masterfully weaves together an imaginative array of settings and characters to bring the story to its exhilarating fulfillment. Silver's varied relationships add even more depth, encapsulating family, friendship, deceit, and abuse. Some explanations of futuristic technology, concepts of time and space, and even humor will likely be too challenging for most children younger than the book's 11-year-old protagonist, but this time-bending sci-fi adventure will be a fine addition to young adult collections.-Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Quantum mechanics, psychic powers and alchemy blend with adventure in an appealing read for fantasy and science- fiction fans alike. Silver Rivers is seven years old when her parents and younger sister disappear. Four years later, time becomes unstable and a school bus filled with children disappears into a time tornado while a wooly mammoth is spotted on the banks of the Thames. Silver has the central role in finding a mystical relic, the Timekeeper, which will resolve all the problems with time. The complex plot has many subordinate threads and plays itself out in two universes, rural England and above- and below-ground London. Well-developed main characters add liveliness and suspense to the story, while secondary characters (a pair of inept thugs, the original Schrodinger's cat) add touches of humor to a basically sober story. The climax is chaotic and exciting; the resolution is realistic, bittersweet and a little too quickly achieved. Give this book to readers of William Sleator's Marco's Millions (2001) and Last Universe (2005), and Suzanne Collins's Underland Chronicles. (Fiction. 10-14)
From the Publisher
"Jeanette Winterson's novels for adults have been praised for their experimentation, their hypnotic use of language, and their exploration of intellectual concepts of science and philosophy. Her first novel for children, TANGLEWRECK, contains all of these elements, wrapped up in a playful package and a genuinely captivating story."

—KidsRead.com

"The sheer exhilaration of the adventure and the many fascinating historical and scientific allusions will keep readers engrossed through to the satisfying conclusion." —Publishers Weekly

"An appealing read for fantasy and science- fiction fans alike."—Kirkus Reviews

"The adventure unfolds in a lucid, lyrical blend of fantasy, physics, and theology reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle, but excels on its own terms, with a stubborn, fully developed heroine who overcomes the limitations of a commercialized world to earn the friendships and victories that save her life and country, if not her vanished family. Unabashedly intelligent, Tanglewreck guides readers through an exciting new level of the familiar universe of speculative fantasy."—Horn Book

"Winterson masterfully weaves together an imaginative array of settings and characters to bring the story to its exhilarating fulfillment." —School Library Journal

"Winterson seamlessly combines rousing adventure with time warps, quantum physics, and a few wonderfully hapless flunkies. Her clever science will draw fans of Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, and her dastardly villains and resourceful youngsters will remind readers of the Lemony Snicket's books about the hapless Baudelaires." —Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405654869
  • Publisher: AudioGO
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson is a Whitbread Prize-winning author of books for adults, including Lighthousekeeping and Written on the Body, as well as The King of Capri. This is her first novel for young adults. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

    Time is not behaving itself. Trains stall in time, then rush ahead as if to catch up, pyramids appear in London, a school bus gets sucked into a Time Tornado and vanishes, and there have been woolly mammoth sightings in the park. Most people can't make any sense of it, and it's getting worse. And the people who do understand it, well, they might be the most dangerous of all. <BR/><BR/>Silver is an eleven-year-old orphan, alone in the world. Well, not completely alone. She has Mrs. Rockabye, the aunt who mysteriously appeared after the death (or maybe disappearance) of Silver's family. Silver thinks that she'd rather be alone than with Mrs. Rockabye, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen any time soon. For now Silver's greatest comfort is her house, Tanglewreck. It comforts her, soothes her, and even speaks to her. She knows about the strangeness of time, but as long as she can stay at Tanglewreck, she doesn't seem to be too concerned. <BR/><BR/>Abel Darkwater knows about time, and he understands why it's behaving strangely. Abel is sure that time can be controlled, and that whoever controls time will control the universe. Abel intends to be that person. He's sure that all he needs is the Timekeeper. And he's positive that Silver knows where it is. After all, Silver's dad was bringing it to Abel on the day the family died. <BR/><BR/>Silver is in a race against time, literally, to keep the Timekeeper safe. If only she knew where it was. Or what it was. With the help of her strange, new, old friend, Gabriel, Silver will have to travel to unknown places and times on a quest for something she's never seen. <BR/><BR/>I've always loved time travel stories, and this one is no exception. This is the first story I've read that has dealt with the actual alteration of time as opposed to the adjustments of the main character inside a particular time. Although that's in here, too. And, I have to say that this is the closest I've ever come to understanding Quantum Theory. (Something I'm sure would be very disappointing to all of the science teachers I've ever had.) Don't let that intimidate you though. Previous knowledge is (obviously) not required. Whether or not you come away with an understanding of that is not really even the point, though a nice side benefit. The point is that this is a very good, interesting, and well-written story. Plain and simple. You should read it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2006

    Good ideas but poorly executed

    I think the author tried to take every stray thought she had about time and cram it into a book whether it belonged there or not. I'd rather she had developed one or two main thoughts into a decent story. My main gripe is that the story is not consistent with itself -- I'm willing to believe in a world if it follows it's own rules, this one doesn't. The characters are one dimensional & seem like poor knock-offs from other books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2013

    I found this book to be a really well written sci-fi novel. I a

    I found this book to be a really well written sci-fi novel.
    I am a fan of time travel and found the time facts very interested and well blended into this fictional tale.

    I also found the subjects about gaining and losing time to be very relatable as this seems to happen to me all the time. I love how the author explains these things in the book.

    I believe that those who like books about time travel or who often find themselves feeling as if they are often losing or gaining days will enjoy this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2011

    um whatever carrie said iam saying smaller

    this book rock if you like sci-fi

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 21, 2010

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    Posted February 6, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

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    Posted May 1, 2009

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