13-year-old, Jeff’s dad trusts him to test an advanced computer called the Magus. It mysteriously disappears, traveling back in time to 1937. Jeff has to get back the Magus before his father returns. Claire, seriously ill with tuberculosis, finds the Magus. The kids e-mail across time and have to save Claire's family from traveling on the Hindenburg.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read The Time Magus while in search of a book for my older grandchildren. What I found is a first class read that I could not put down. There is much to recommend this book. The young teens who are the two principal characters are real kids, not cardboard characters. They are so well drawn that the reader cannot help but care about what happens to them. There is also a science-fiction dimension to the plot, which is incredibly clever and engaging. And of course there is the Time Magus itself, a futuristic piece of technology which becomes in effect the third principal character in the story. I highly recommend this book for pre-teens and young teens alike who will find in it young people they can relate to as peers and technology that members of their generation will find irresistable. And of course Mrs. Haislip being who she is, they will learn some history along the way. The Time Magus is not to be missed.
Phyllis Haislip has succeeded in producing a wonderful page-turner. Although aimed at the teen market it certainly entertained me as an adult and indeed had me trying to work out how such a feat as going back 70 years could be achieved, so totally believable were the two stories which ran in tandem between 1937 and 2010. The modern day lad Jeff who is sensible, kind to his mother, in awe of his computer scientist father is equally solicitous to the pre-war teenage heroine incarcerated in a sanatorium with TB. Clearly the author has researched very diligently the conditions which existed within the walls of those austere and frightening sanatoriums where people did not always return to the real world as thoroughly as she has explored the limits of computer science. On neither thread could I fault it and I do recommend this historical novel which touches on conditions in Germany prior to the second world war as well as the demise of airships. Whether young person or adult it should make you think!
In The Time Magus, Phyllis Haislip delivers a neat twist on her previous middle grade historical stories(Anybody's Hero: The Battle of Old Men and Young Boys, Lottie's Courage: A Contraband Slave's Story, Lili's Gift: A Civil War Healer's Story (American Civil War Adventure), and Divided Loyalties: A Revolutionary War Fifer's Story). Thanks to the Magus, the reader gets to travel from the familiar present day with Jeff to a 1930s Sanatorium in the Blue Ridge Mountains where Claire is struggling with not only tuberculosis, but also the separation from her family. Claire's situation, strength and courage made me root for her. Jeff's determination to do what was right and to help his new friend makes him a true hero. My favorite thing about reading historical stories is that I get to learn how people lived in other times and places. This story made me feel like I was right there with Claire and all the other children. I smiled at the wonderful, satisfying end of the story even though I was sorry it was over. Thank goodness I can go back and visit with Claire and Jeff again anytime I open this book!