Who could resist this picture on the front of the book The Silver Tree by Ruth Williams, (1992,213 pages)? I couldn’t. The story proved just as appealing as the cover art.
Here is a thorough summary from the School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6– This first novel by a promising new author will not disappoint those fascinated by time-travel stories. Micki, 11, is disagreeable and determined to spoil the day for her family when rain ruins their picnic plans. Her father takes them instead to a toy museum, where Micki runs off by herself, uttering a fateful phrase: “I wish I had never been born.” That wish launches the plot to its satisfying, full-circle conclusion. She discovers a dollhouse, and through the attic window can see and hear miniature, real people, who are expecting a visitor. The next morning Micki wakes up among the dollhouse inhabitants, now a full-size family living in a large Victorian house in 1891. Somewhat marred by a slightly stilted style in the early chapters, the story picks up momentum when the time travel begins and as Micki’s struggles to adjust to the details of daily life 100 years ago are sharply delineated. Her growth from a petulant whiner to a young girl who can accept the consequences of her behavior is quite believable, and her intricate relationship with the past is well developed. A fine debut. –Connie C. Rockman, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Love, love, love the idea of entering the world of dollhouse inhabitants. This is a super fun time travel portal. Like the character in the story, I think most adults can either remember being a cranky tween who is determined to be negative, or knows such a young person. Of course, most kids don’t really mean it when they say they wish they lived with a different family, or wish they had never been born. But what if a mysterious woman with magic powers heard these wishes and made them come true?
Micki goes back in time and ends up with some of her relatives, several generations back. But the boy who is meant to grow up and be her father’s great-grandfather is gravely ill. What will happen to Micki and her family if he dies? She feels she has to help him.
If you like time travel stories about girls that go about 50-100 years back in time and have to trade their jeans for uncomfortable dresses, you might also enjoy Switching Well, Charlotte Sometimes, Beswitched, Time at the Top, and The Time Traveling Fashionista, and The Magic Half, the titles of which you can click on to the right under “stuff I write about” if you’re interested in reading my reviews. Strong friendships between girls are featured in most of these six titles.