Going, Going, Gone, by Nicholas O. Time, (2016, 160 pages), is the first book in the brand new series In Due Time. In each book in this series, two or three friends from Sands Middle School travel into the past via a magical book. Now, Matt, Luis, and Grace in Going, Going, Gone are much sweeter than typical 7th graders. I live with a seventh grader, so I should know. There is a lot of snark and sarcasm on a daily basis. I get suspicious if there isn’t, and wonder if she is covering something up. But the fact that the trio seem younger than twelve is totally fine, because this book will be most popular among younger middle grade readers, and Matt, Luis, and Grace are good role models. They are kind to each other, and they have respectful and warm relationships with the adults in their lives.
Going, Going, Gone opens in the library at Sands Middle School where strange things are happening…
When Librarian Valerie Tremt tells three students that one of the library books, The Book of Memories, is actually a time travel portal, the kids don’t believe her at first. But when they ask to see a dinosaur as proof and suddenly there is a terrifying T-Rex in the library, they realize she isn’t kidding around.
Now that he can time travel, twelve-year-old Matt knows exactly where he wants to go. In the summer of 1951, Matt’s grandfather Joe was on the path to becoming a major league baseball player. But at a 4th of July BBQ, Joe danced a little too close to the edge of a swimming pool and—splash!—he fell in and hurt his ankle. What should have been a minor injury turned out to be a career-ending one…
Matt wants to go back in time to prevent the accident from ever occurring, so his grandfather can have the career he deserved! But can he successfully alter his grandfather’s past without changing his own future? Only time will tell…
There is nothing scary or violent about the time travel in Going, Going, Gone–it’s just a light adventure sprinkled with bits of 1951 popular culture. My favorite aspect of this book was the quick problem solving the kids had to do on their adventure. Since they are only allowed three hours in the past they have to think fast on their feet. In each book in this series, the time-traveling kids are allowed to make one small, positive change to the past, usually something personal relating to one of the character’s or the character’s family. There are three books in this series available now, and three more are in the works.
You may also like these time travel series…
if you like baseball:
Baseball Card Adventures, by Dan Gutman
if you want a funny, light read:
Time Warp Trio, by Jon Scieszka
if you want an early chapter book with kids that are good role models: Blast to the Past, by Stacia Deutsch
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