Friday, January 01, 2010

Gideon the Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer

My daughter loaned me this one, a sort of historical sci-fi novel for children that she thought I might enjoy. Two British children, Kate and Peter, become victims of the unexpected side-effect of an experimental gravity machine which throws them (and the machine) back in time to the mid 18th century. While their parents, including Kate's scientist father who was working with the machine, sit at home in the present waiting for the police to uncover their children's whereabouts, the children struggle to find a way back to their own time.

I enjoyed reading this novel, but I can't say it was one of my favourite children's books. To me the mark of a great kids' or young adult novel is that I can enjoy it every bit as much as any adult novel that I read, yet with Gideon the Cutpurse I couldn't forget that I was reading a kids' book. The story was just a little too simplistic, I guess, and too many conveniently helpful events took place at *just* the right time. I would have liked to have seen Kate and Peter treated with a tad more suspicion by the adults they encountered back in 1763. Aside from the obvious "bad guys", everyone else was glibly helpful and accepting of the presence of two children from the future.

At any rate, I have decided to follow up with the second book in this trilogy and see whether the series warms up a bit. If I finish it, I'll try to post my thoughts here.

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