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 straightforward 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-distant future during a bad time called Cataclysm but can easily be imagined as a 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 Haon who wants this repopulation of earth’s animals plans 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:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.