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- author Jackie French

Monday 29 May 2023

Review: A Message Through Time

Step back in time in this action-packed time slip adventure from the author who brought you the much loved The Boy who Stepped Through Time.

One time travel book just wasn’t enough for Anna Ciddor, so she’s brought her magical writing skills back for round two in A Message Through Time — a standalone companion novel to her first, featuring a new cast of characters.

In A Message Through Time, Felix and his new stepsister Zoe are travelling in France with their parents. Their relationship is… fragile. They’re still getting used to their new family and new reality as brother and sister, and they don’t exactly agree on most things.

But when Felix finds a message in a bottle and follows the magical instructions he finds, they’re transported back to ancient Roman times where boys wear dresses and mule dung in the streets is normal.

But it’s okay. Zoe has everything under control. And soon they find their way back to their own time. Except… they accidently bring someone with them. A very important and demanding someone who really does not fit in well in the future.

Felix and Zoe need to get 12-year-old Petronia home to her own time. But what seems a simple task, soon turns into a rollicking adventure through the past. Not only might they not be able to get Petronia back to her family, but they may never be able to return to their own time and be reunited with their parents.

Felix and Zoe must learn to work together, navigate strange customs AND make sure no one finds out the truth about who they are and where they’re from.

Ciddor masterfully weaves truth with fiction in this book. The details are all based on archaeological evidence of what it was like to live in Roman times, making the book super interesting to read. At the back of the book, you’ll find details of the research that went into the book and the facts Ciddor weaves into the story. There’s also a fun glossary to help readers learn some of the names and concepts that might be difficult to remember or understand.

But beyond the details, the story is also packed with fun and adventure. It’s a roller coaster ride from start to finish. Middle grade fans of fun, action, adventure, history and time travel are going to love it.

Title: A Message Through Time
Author: Anna Ciddor
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $17.99
Publication Date: 4 April 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781761180125
For ages: 8 - 13 
Type: Middle Grade