(Revised 2/14): I couldn’t find a comprehensive list of kids’ time travel book series, so I compiled this list of 33 series. If I have previously reviewed a book, you can click on “my review” to get to that post.
Some notes on my process: Some of these series may be aimed at a younger audience than Middle Grade, (it would be nice if all middle grade books had a big MG stamp on them, no?), but all are chapter books. I don’t think there are any Young Adult books on this list. I defined a series as consisting of at least three books. If I could not find a description for the series, I pasted a description of the first book in the series. Clicking on the title will bring you to one of the books in the series on Amazon.com.
Additional note: I did not provide descriptions for series of which only one book is a time travel tale. These include Molly Moon’s Hypnotic Time Travel Adventure; Twisted Journeys #6-The Time Travel Trap; This Isn’t What it Looks Like (my review) from The Secret Series; Children of the Red King #2: Charlie Bone and The Time Twister, and Zack Files 08: My Son the Time Traveler.
If readers of this blog have read any of these series I would dearly love to hear your opinions of them in the comments section! Also, if I have left out any series, please let me know!
Time Travel Book Series for Kids (updated 8/13)
1. Abbott,Tony, Time Surfers. 8 books. From Amazon: Ned Banks is miserable. He’s the new kid in school–and he sticks out like a sore thumb. His life is going downhill fast. Until something happens. Ned’s not sure how he did it–but he beamed two kids from the year 2099 into his bedroom closet! Roop and Suzi are Time Surfers–cool kids who travel through time. And they want Ned to join them! Of course Ned says yes. He’s ready for excitement! Action! But he might get more than he bargained for.(My review)
2. Baccalario, P.D., Ulysses Moore. 4 books. Amazon: An action-packed series full of mysteries, puzzles, and codes that will keep kids turning the pages. Eleven-year-old twins Jason and Julia have just moved from London to an old mansion on the English coast. Their new home is filled with twisting tunnels and strange artifacts from around the world, and the twins can’t wait to discover all its secrets.
Before long, Jason, Julia, and their friend Rick stumble upon a mysterious-looking door hidden behind an old wardrobe. But none of the keys in the house will open it.
What lies behind the door? And why has someone tried to conceal it? Jason, Julia, and Rick are determined to find out, no matter what it takes..
3. Bailey, Linda, Good Times Travel Agency. 6 books. From the publisher: The Good Times Travel Agency series offers a lively and adventurous blend of fact and fiction. Join the Binkerton kids — twins Josh and Emma and their little sister Libby — as they return again and again to the magical travel agency and find themselves lost in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, the Middle Ages and other times past. Their time-traveling escapades are presented in comic-book style, while the non-fiction “travel guide” sections provide historical information on each era they visit
4. Banks,Lynn Reid, The Indian in The Cupboard. 5 books. From Goodreads: The Indian in the Cupboard is a children’s book by British author Lynne Reid Banks, and illustrated by Brock Cole – it was first published in 1980, and has received numerous awards, as well as being made into a film in 1995. The original book was followed by four sequels: The Return of the Indian (1985)(my review); The Secret of the Indian (1989); The Mystery of the Cupboard (1992); and The Key to the Indian (1998). Readers are advised to start at the beginning and to read in order for full enjoyment, but each could stand alone.
The first one in the series is a classic and one of my top ten favorite time travel books. (My review)
5. Dashner, James, Infinity Ring. 4 books. Amazon: History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right! When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the secret of time travel — a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring — they’re swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course. Now it’s up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks . . . and to save Dak’s missing parents while they’re at it. First stop: Spain, 1492, where a sailor named Christopher Columbus is about to be thrown overboard in a deadly mutiny!
I read the first book in this series. (My review)
6. Duey and Gould, Time Soldiers. 6 books.
Amazon: Six young friends become Time Soldiers when they stumble onto a secret time portal, leading them to an ancient world of dinosaurs and danger. The Time Soldiers fight to survive, escape the T. Rex’s fury, and make it home alive.
7. Gormley, Beatrice, Travelers Through Time . 3 books. From the The The publisher: Action, adventure, science, and discovery come together in this fascinating and educational story about three enterprising kids who find a way to travel through time to save the Titanic from sinking.
My Take: Love the charmingly cheesy book covers of this series. Back to the Titanic (’94) (my review) was the first in the series, Back to Paul Revere (’94) was second (my review), and Back to the Day Lincoln was Shot ‘(96) was third.
8. Gutman, Dan, Baseball Card Adventures. 11 books. Amazon: Joe Stoshack lives for baseball. He knows everything there is to know about the game — except how to play well. His specialty is striking out. Stosh feels like a real loser, and when he takes a low-paying job cleaning a bunch of junk out of his neighbor’s attic, he feels even worse — until he comes across a little piece of cardboard that takes his breath away. His heart is racing. His brain is racing. He can hardly believe his eyes. Stosh has stumbled upon a T-206 Honus Wagner — the most valuable baseball card in the world! And he’s about to find out that it’s worth a lot more than money….
( My review) I love Gutman, love the three books I’ve read from this series.
9. Haddix, Margaret, The Missing. 7 books. Amazon: One night a plane appeared out of nowhere, the only passengers aboard: thirty-six babies. As soon as they were taken off the plane, it vanished. Now, thirteen years later, two of those children are receiving sinister messages, and they begin to investigate their past. Their quest to discover where they really came from leads them to a conspiracy that reaches from the far past to the distant future—and will take them hurtling through time. In this exciting new series, bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix brings an element of suspense that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
This is a best selling series of six books, with a seventh planned: Found (’09)(my review), Sent (’10), Sabotaged (’11)(my review), Torn (’12), Caught (’13), and Risked (’13). I was very impressed with Sent. (My review)
10. Hering and McCusker, AIO Imagination Station. 9 books. From the publisher: Climb aboard, kids! Travel back in time and sail with the Vikings, meet a Roman Emperor, come face-to-face with China’s Kublai Khan, and experience a host of other historical adventures in the Imagination Station series for young readers. My take: weak series title. (But what do I know–they got 9 books published.)
Keep reading for many more!
11. Jarman, Julia, The Time-Travelling Cat. 6 books, published between 2006-2010. Goodreads: Topher’s cat, Ka, is not always who she seems to be. Sometimes she disappears for days and all that Ka has left by his bedside is a little stone carving of a cat. One days Ka leaves a clue on Topher’s computer. She types Bubastis and soon Topher finds himself time-travelling to Ancient Egypt where Ka is in terrible danger.
I read The Time-Travelling Cat and the Great Victorian Stink, it was sub-par. (My review)
12. Laing, Annette, The Snipesville Chronicles. 3 books.
Goodreads:What a nightmare. Hannah Dias, California Girl with Attitude, and Alex, her laid-back brother, have moved from exciting San Francisco to boring Snipesville, Georgia. Life doesn’t improve when they meet Brandon, a dorky kid who is plotting his escape from the Deep South, and the weird Professor, who has a strange secret.Suddenly, the kids are catapulted thousands of miles and almost seventy years to England during World War Two.They fall into a world of stinging nettles, dragon ladies, bomb blasts, ugly underwear, stinky sandwiches, painful punishments, and non-absorbing toilet paper.
13. L’Engle, Madeline, The Wrinkle in Time Quintet. 5 books. Amazon: The Time Quintet consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time. The digest box set features the art of Taeeun Yoo. A Wrinkle in Timeis one of the most significant novels of our time. This fabulous, ground-breaking science-fiction and fantasy story is the first of five in the Time Quintet series about the Murry family
14. Morris, Gilbert, Time Navigators. 3 books.
Amazon: Danny and Dixie Fortune are frantic when their father, James, disappears without a trace. The police investigation is at a dead end, and the twins are ready to do almost anything to help!
15. Myers, Bill, TJ and the Time Stumblers. 6 books. Amazon: This six-book series centers around two 23rd century goofballs, Tuna and Herby, who travel back in time to study TJ Finkelstein for their history project. TJ will someday become a great leader who demonstrates honesty, integrity, thoughtfulness, self-sacrifice, respect for others—all traits she hones and grasps through her adventures in this series. Unfortunately, Tuna and Herby get stuck in TJ’s time (modern day), so she has to deal with their schemes while juggling the normal issues of a seventh grader who has moved to a new city, is trying to fit in, and is coping with her mother’s death and her family’s new life.
16. Osborne, Mary Pope, Magic Tree House. 48 books. From the Publisher: Jack and his little sister Annie are just two regular kids from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. Then they discover a mysterious tree house packed with all sorts of books…and their lives are never the same! Soon they are traveling through time and space in the magic tree house and having amazing adventures. Whether it’s watching baby dinosaurs hatch, finding a secret passage in a castle, helping a ghost queen in an Egyptian pyramid, or finding pirate treasure, readers won’t want to miss a single story!
My take: Who hasn’t read some MT books? Osborne’s got the formula down, that’s for sure.
17. Prevost, Guillaume, The Book of Time. 3 books. Amazon: A statue; a coin; an old book. They look as dusty as everything else in the Faulkner Antiquarian Bookstore, where 14-year-old Sam Faulkner seeks his father, who’s been missing for days. But when Sam slips the coin into the statue, he’s swept back in time — to Scotland in 800 A.D. — where he must find both the statue and another coin in order to return to the present. It’s the first step in an adventure that will take him to ancient Egypt, World War I, even Dracula’s castle — and a mystery that will end only when Sam saves his father, or loses him in time . . .
18. Robertson, Barbara, Hourglass Adventures. 6 books. Amazon: On her tenth birthday, Rosemary Rita receives ten packages in the mail from her grandmother, each full of old postcards, clothes, and antique trinkets. She is warned not to open the last package until her grandmother arrives, but how can she resist? Among the gifts is a beautiful hourglass. She turns it over while holding an old German postcard, falls into a deep, deep sleep, and wakes up in Berlin, back in 1870, where she’s face-to-face with ten-year-old Rosemary Berger, her great-great-great-grandmother!
My take: My daughter and I were ho-hum about the one we read. (My review)
19. Scieszka, Jon, The Time Warp Trio. 16 books. From Scieszka’s website: What would happen if three regular kids from Brooklyn got a mysterious blue Book with silver designs that could transport them anywhere in time or space? What if these three guys met up with King Arthur, the knights of the Round Table, Merlin the magician, one burping and gas-leaking giant, and a fire-breathing dragon? The Time Warp Trio series would happen.
My take: Scieszka is a funny, funny dude. (My review)
20. Silverthorne, Judith, Dinosaur Adventure Series. 4 books.
From the publisher: Daniel once again travels back to the time of dinosaurs to learn more about the prehistoric creatures he loves. This time he has an unexpected companion.
My take: Never read them but I admire good succinct titles so am awed by these: Dinosaur Stakeout, Dinosaur Breakout, Dinosaur Blackout. Brilliant!
21. Stanley, Diane, The Time Traveling Twins. 3 books. From the publisher: What if you could close your eyes and open them to find you were amongst hundreds of pioneers in 1843, packing up your covered wagon to travel the 2,000 miles of the Oregon Trail?Meet twins Liz and Lenny and their unique grandmother, who, with the help of her magic hat, can transport the twins to any time in history. In their first journey, the twins…
My take: Who could resist the cuteness of this cover?
22. Stone, Rex, Dinosaur Cove. 9 books. Amazon: Just the right mix of dinosaur action makes this the perfect chapter book series for boys!
My take: Is my six-year-old son the only boy who is not enthralled by dinosaurs?
Added 2013: (8 series)
23. Kehret, Peg, natural disasters series, 3 books. This series includes The Volcano Disaster (1998) (my review), The Blizzard Disaster (1998) (my review), and The Flood Disaster (1999) (my review). I love this series! I read one, then I had to read another. I look forward to reading the third. Ms. Kehret makes you feel you are right there in the middle of the action. Great books for reluctant readers.
24. Ransome, Candice. Time Spies, 4 books. Amazon: In this brand-new series by acclaimed author Candice Ransom, three children meet unsung heroes who shaped America’s history. Follow the children as they hop in and out of various eras, learning important life lessons along the way. Children will enjoy the fun, easy-to-read style, and librarians, educators and parents will appreciate the learning their young readers pick up along the way. Each book ends with a fun, do-it-yourself craft project that encourages readers to delve deeper into the subject of the story. (My review)
25. Jeffries, Mark. Max Quick Novels, 3 books. Series consists of Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendent (’11) (My review), Max Quick: The Two Travellers (’12), Max Quick: The Bane of the Bondsman (’13). In the first book, everyone in the series freezes in place except Max and a few other kids. Everyone can also run super fast and has the power of a superhero. Too much fun.
26. Malone, Marianne and Call, Greg, Sixty-eight Rooms Adventures. 3 books. Goodreads: Almost everybody who has grown up in Chicago knows about the Thorne Rooms. Housed in the Children’s Galleries of the Chicago Art Institute, they are a collection of 68 exquisitely crafted miniature rooms made in the 1930s by Mrs. James Ward Thorne. Each of the 68 rooms is designed in the style of a different historic period, and every detail is perfect, from the knobs on the doors to the candles in the candlesticks. Some might even say, the rooms are magic.
Imagine—what if you discovered a key that allowed you to shrink so that you were small enough to sneak inside and explore the rooms’ secrets? What if you discovered that others had done so before you? And that someone had left something important behind?
This unique series consists of The Sixty-Eight Rooms (’11),(my review), Stealing Magic: A Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure (’13), and The Pirate’s Coin: A Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure(’13)(my review), and The Secret of the Key (2014). I think anyone who has ever peered into a dollhouse and imagined themselves a resident would enjoy The Sixty-Eight Rooms. The boy-girl friendship depicted was also very nice.
27. Deutsch, Stacia. Blast to the Past. 7 books. Goodreads: Third graders travel through time to keep history on track. Abigail loves Mondays, and so does the rest of class 305. That’s the day Mr. Caruthers asks them cool questions about history. Today Mr. C asks, “What if Abraham Lincoln never freed the slaves?” Abigail and her friends are ready to put their thinking caps on. But this time Mr. C wants them to do more than put their heads together-he wants them to travel back in time. Turns out the “What If?” questions are real, and Mr. C has just come back from a visit to the past. He needs their help because it looks like President Lincoln might quit and never free the slaves With a time-travel gadget and only two hours to spare, Abigail and her friends are going back to the past. But even though time traveling isn’t hard, convincing Abraham Lincoln not to give up isn’t going to be easy….
28. Soup, Cuthbert, A Whole Nother Story, 3 books.
Goodreads: The three Cheeseman children, their father, and their psychic dog are all on the run. From whom? Well the CIA, naturally. But also corporate agents #5, #29, and # 207, plus two international superspies — one of whom happens to be a chimpanzee. They all want Dr. Cheeseman and his late wife’s greatest invention–a machine with unspeakable powers–OK, I’ll say it. It’s a time machine. But it’s not working right yet, so put all ideas of time travel out of your head.
Instead, please enjoy this high stakes, high action, hijinx-filled chase, and the bizarre characters our Cheeseman friends will meet as they protect not just their parents’ invention, but their mother’s sacred memory. It’s an adventure novel like no other.
Oh yeah, and did we mention the entertaining, plot-exposition filled, unsolicited advice you’ll receive along the way? So you didn’t ask for it? Yeah, that’s why it’s unsolicited.
29. Scarrow, Alex, Time Riders, 4 books.
Goodreads: Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand …”. But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren’t rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose—to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That’s why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world.. (my review)
30. Citra, Becky, Orca Echos, 5 books.
Goodreads: Jeremy should be at home eating his supper. Instead he has traveled through time with a cat named Aristotle to Mount Olympus, home of the Greek gods. Neither he nor Aristotle has any idea how to get home, let alone how to help Mr. Magnus lift Zeus’s curse on his theater, where no play has been performed for years. Not knowing what else to do, Jeremy and Aristotle climb toward the summit, finding adventure all the way.
31. Graham, J. Lee, Andy Mackpeace Time Travel Adventures, 3 books. This series starts with In the Nick of Time,( ’08),(my review) and also includes The Time of his Life, (’11), and All the Time in the World, (’13).
Amazon: When thirteen-year-old Andy Mackpeace’s psychic grandmother Geri bequeaths him some mysterious incense sticks, he lights one in her memory, and the smoke hurls him back to March 5, 1770 in Massachusetts. There he meets Samuel Maverick, a soon to be victim of the Boston Massacre. Andy experiences the horrible event and is almost killed. He discovers that lighting the unused portion of the stick brings him back to his New Hampshire home in the present. Andy and his best friend Roger Stanley tempt fate to light a different stick for another time travel adventure. In the midst of the smoke, Miranda Roberts barges in, and Andy drops the stick. All three transport back to Antebellum Georgia where Andy and Miranda are the children of a plantation owner. Roger, who is black, is a slave. Without the stick, they are hopelessly trapped.
32. Lothian, S.W. The Quest Series, 3 books.
The Golden Scarab, 2012, The Cursed Nile, 2012, and The Fallen Pharoah.
Goodreads: A storm is brewing in ancient Egypt, and chaos threatens the peace. It’s God against God, brother against brother, and pretty soon everyone’s gonna be in deep trouble.Fast forward to the modern world where 12 year old, JJ visits a museum for a day packed full of boredom. Little does he know that he’s about to get mixed up in the adventure of his life.
Desperate to fix the past, an ancient mummy from an exhibit recruits JJ and his best mate, Linc, to embark on a quest that’s full of danger and adventure. It’s not long before the pair head back in time to ancient Egypt and team up with another unlikely hero named,Rani.
Join them as they search for a mystical amulet, known as the Golden Scarab, which has the power to save the day. All the while, a gang of cranky beasts called Uberdiles (half-man half-crocodile) will stop at nothing to crush them before they can find the amulet.
Goodreads: While exploring The Treasure Chest, Felix and Maisie are transported to a Massachusetts farm in 1836. Disappointed that they have not landed in their beloved New York City, they wonder why they were brought to Massachusetts to meet a young girl named Clara Barton. Perhaps Clara has a message for the twins? Or maybe they have one for her?