Noah Zarc, Mammoth Trouble,

Percy Jackson Fan? Try Noah Zarc

Time Travel Adventure Books for Middle School

 Time can’t exist without space, and space can’t exist without time. The two exist as one: the space-time continuum.

Any event that occurs in the universe has to involve both space and time.

If you could travel on a beam of light,  time slows down and distances tend to shorten, particularly if you are near a massive object like a sun or planet.

I honestly didn’t expect to like this action adventure thriller as much as I did. True, I LOVE Percy Jackson and the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan but  it is because of the mythology mixed in that makes me pre-order the books before they come out.

Like Riordan’s mythology series, the plot for Noah Zarc  is interwoven from an ancient story.   In this case it’s the Biblical Noah’s Arc story — which simply is too straight forward to be riveting, or so I thought!!! The special needs twist on the characters also appeals to me. Percy Jackson’s ADHD is actually a mark that he’s a demigod with sharpened reflexes necessary for hand-to-hand combat, and Noah is a paraplegic whose disability makes him an exceptional pilot.

The plot is thus: humans a thousand years in the future time travel back in time to capture pairs of animals now extinct so that they may be eventually be returned to future earth for repopulation after Cataclysm. It seems that humans have destroyed the earth and killed off every last species of animals in our not so distance future during a bad time called Cataclysm but can easily be imagined as nuclear disaster. Only Noah’s family is allowed to time travel back for the animal rescue mission but it’s a dangerous job, more so because of Haon who wants this repopulation of earth’s animals plan to fail.

I like that the “bad guy” is multi-faceted. Not only are there twists and turns to xx’s true identity but there are two sides to the story. In the future, humans have relocated to Mars and Venus. Plausible, indeed. The conditions on Venus are inner-city barrio like while Earth, now cleaned up, remains a haven set aside for just animals. Humans in the future, it seems, feel guilt for ruining Earth and plan to keep humans out. Earth is to become one giant animal sanctuary.

Like the blockbuster Riordan series, Noah Zarc has comrades (namely his siblings) plus a friend that he picks up along the way when he returns to the Ice Age, but this adventure is largely conducted without adult help. In fact, it’s the adults that need rescuing. Fast-paced and well written, Noah Zarc is perfect for any Percy Jackson or Maximum Ride fan who needs a new series to embrace. At least, I hope this becomes a series. I think it will!


I just rediscovered an old friend while blogging on the 50th Anniversary of A Wrinkle in Time. Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle is the last book of the quartet and is a back-in-time version of Noah’s Arc story starring the twins, Dennys and Sandy. It was sort of fun to go forwards in time with Noah Zarc and then backwards with Many Waters along the same Biblical story of Noah’s Arc. Let me know if you are nerdy like me to enjoy this!


p.s. I met Charlotte’s Library at KidLitCon and she has a fantastic list of Young Adult and Tween Time Travel books. The books are catalogued by period in which the book travels to (both backwards and forwards in time!).

p.p.s. For kids who are fascinated by science and want to try out interesting phenomenon like The Famous Rubber Hand Experiment or conduct eye experiments, give them a copy of Science on the Loose: Amazing Activities and Scientific Facts You’ll Never Believe by Helaine Becker.

It also covers Black Holes and Time Travel (pages 58-61). This book would appeal to a fairly wide age range also … from ages 6-12. I like how this book is a great combination of interesting factoids and experiments. It’s the kind of book a child can pick up and read and enjoy OR get up and do something. It would also be fun to use as part of a kids’ book club. Kick the Can to make ice cream is really appealing!!

Science on the Loose: Amazing Activities and Scientific Facts You’ll Never Believe by Helaine Becker

p.p.p.s. For more simple-but-accurate explanations of The Physics of Time Travel, here’s a great link. Here’s another link from How Stuff Works.

p.p.p.p.s. I’m part of a blog tour for Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble. For more reviews, please go here.

Finally, some other truly excellent time travel tween/teen books:

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. never heard of Noah and am excited to read it, thanks for the suggestion!

    • To Melissa,
      Pease really does make the Ice Age come alive. I guess I always thought of our Ice Age ancestors as primitive, but he really humanizes them. Also, now that the Northeast is experiencing cold weather, I had deep sympathy for how perpetually cold they were. He really brings that aspect out.

      For a Percy Jackson experience now that we are waiting once again for nearly a year, it’s a very similar ride.

  2. Thank you so much for this nice review. I feel honored to have Noah Zarc mentioned in the same article with Mr. Riordan’s works.

    • To D Robert,
      I’m so glad to have discovered your book and to be part of your blog tour. You really are talented and your book was a great read. I think my oldest will love it. I can’t wait for your next one on Cataclysm! It won’t be depressing, right?

  3. Ann

    p.p.p.p.p.s. I’m totally interested – sound like a really clever plot-line – Thanks for the review!

  4. Melissa and Ann, I do hope you’ll check it out. If you do, let me know what you think.

  5. Pragmatic Mom, Oh, definitely not depressing. A bit darker, a bit meatier, but not depressing. I’m actually getting super excited about it. I just had an aha moment yesterday on how it will end. I can’t wait to have people read it. I’m about 75% complete with the first draft.

    Thanks so much for championing the book… Now if I could only find a few hundred more of you 🙂

  6. vanita

    sounds wonderful. i love these types of books. my teens have outgrown them for now, but i’m still a huge fan. will definitely check it out. thanks so much.

    • To Vanita,
      I love these books too … so much so that I am pretty much abandoning adult lit, even though I’m in a Moms Book Club. LOL! KidLit and YA is much more fun to read!

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