TOP 5 FRIDAY: Time Travellers
I love history. I love science fiction and fantasy. AND I love children’s books. So time traveller children’s books are literally MY CUP OF TEA (ok, not literally) and the perfect curl-up companions. Reading is a little like travelling through time, isn't it? Here are a few of my favourites.
Merry, a feisty teen archer and all-round action adventuress, travels backwards in time through a mysterious underground river in the Brecon Beacons – a river of time (ooo!) – in the hope of saving her family fortune. Merry holds her breath, and holds, and holds (displaying impressive lung capacity) as she swims the amazing underwater tunnel. A wilder, older landscape awaits on the other side – a dark castle, a tournament, and Henry VIII himself. Gotta love the H-man!
2. Jacob from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Visiting the orphanage where his granddad grew up, Jacob encounters an odd girl who, even more oddly, transports him back to the 1940s. In its heyday, the orphanage was no ordinary institution. Miss Peregrine, the headmistress, gathered together a group of children with incredible powers – but they’re all trapped in a time loop and (naturally) only Jacob can sort it out. Fantastically spooky and persuasively peculiar …
3. Penelope from A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley
I devoured this classic story on a single rainy day, aged ten. The present is 1934, and day-dreamer Penelope (who has ‘too much imagination’ – I sympathize!) visits atmospheric Thackers, an ancient farmhouse full of magical nooks and crannies. Soon, she finds herself slipping into Tudor England, and embroiled in a plot to save Mary Queen of Scots. She even falls in doomed first-love with Francis Babbington (long-dead and devastatingly handsome). I cried at the end – like a BIG FAT WIMPY BABY.
4. Tom from Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
Another classic weeper – oh gawd! Box of tissues at the ready, ok? It’s the fifties. Tom’s brother has measles so he’s sent to stay with his aunt and uncle in a big old house. One night, he hears the clock mysteriously strike thirteen. He creeps downstairs and opens the back door to find a sunlit garden and a playmate from Victorian times, Hatty. Soon, they’re inseparable, but their two timelines are tragically out of sync … and some things happen … SNIFF.
5. The Tardis from Doctor Who
A HAPPY ONE (hurrah!) and my only time traveller who ventures into the future. Woo-wee-woooooo! Although Dr Who steals the show, the Tardis is the real star for me – and yes, it definitely has a mind of its own. How many times has the fate of the human race rested on its deceptively fragile police-box shoulders? Plus, it’s bigger on the inside, in case you hadn't heard …
Who would you want to travel through time with? Let us know at @chickenhsebooks!