This week I read Rosemary in Paris: The Hourglass Adventures #2, Barbara Robertson, (2001, 118 pages). It is among the simplest of time travel stories, geared toward readers at the younger end of the middle grade spectrum. My two-word review of this book: nothing special. But I wondered if an eight or nine-year-old might appreciate the book more than me. Conveniently, I have such a person living close at hand–my third grade daughter! And she was interested in being a “guest blogger”. So I read parts of the book to her, she read parts by herself, then I interviewed her. She is eight and will henceforth be referred to as DJB. (I’m SMO.)
SMO: What is this book about?
DJB: This girl whose grandmother gave her an hourglass and let her travel back in time. The girl, Rosemary Rita, had to wear boots from those days that made her have blisters. She traveled back in time so she could visit her great-great-grandma. But her great-great-grandma was ten when she got to visit her.
SMO: Where did she go?
DJB: She went to France. At first she thought she was in the Wild West but she was really in a big carnival.
SMO: Right, the 1889 World’s Fair. What did you like best about the book?
DJB: The most interesting thing was when there was one thief that stole her great-great-grandma’s locket and the girls tried to get it back. The girls had to be really quiet and they spied on the thieves through a fence. Then they saw that there were about ten thieves. But Rosemary Rita stepped on Gracie’s foot… (I’ll leave a ‘dun-dun-dun’ on the end.)
SMO: What did you not like about the book?
DJB: Well, you had to read the first book, kind of, to understand the second book. And, it just doesn’t make sense that her grandmother’s sending her off with a magic hourglass and if she loses it she’s stuck back there forever. The part where they looked at all the art paintings was kind of boring.
SMO: Do you want to read another book in this series?
SMO: Would you recommend it to your friends?
DJB: (Long pause.) You have to be a different type of personality to like this book. You have to not like action as much as I do.
SMO: How could a time travel book be more interesting?
DJB: More action. I like when you think someone’s going to get saved but they don’t yet.