Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

An Escape in Time; A Chase in Time & A Christmas in Time (series) by Sally Nicholls & illustrated by Isabelle Follath and Rachael Dean

An Escape in Time is the third book in the exciting time travelling adventure series by Sally Nicholls. This time, Ruby & Alex step through the mirror at their aunt’s house to meet an aristocrat fleeing the French Revolution. Once again, the children face gender expectations they aren’t used to and the unusual challenges of living in another time. But now, there is even more at stake – lives are at risk and for the first time, they aren’t sure if they’ll make it back alive. Have they met a witch? Who can they trust?

A Chase in Time and A Christmas in Time are an exciting duo of time travelling adventures. With a fourth story still to come in, A Secret in Time, it’s a series children can really get their teeth into.

Alex and Ruby have discovered a portal into the past through the antique mirror at their aunt’s house. Not only can they see their ancestors going about their daily lives but they are able to step through into another time to meet them and help to solve their problems.

In A Chase in Time, Alex and Ruby find themselves in 1912. They meet Dora and Henry who are preparing for a summer family wedding. Eccentric world travellers, antique treasures and strange happenings lead to a mystery that must be solved in order to save the wedding and get Alex and Ruby back home.

A Christmas in Time finds Alex and Ruby back at their Aunt Joanna’s house for the holidays. Tasked with helping to look after the bed-and-breakfast guests, the children would much rather explore the house and check out the mysterious mirror. Sure enough, they spot another ancestor through the magic glass. It doesn’t take long for them to find themselves in 1872. A Victorian Christmas is in full swing. They must do all they can to right the wrongs that are about to happen and use their knowledge of the future to save one of their own family from danger.

These stories are wonderful for helping children to build a picture of life in the past. Every detail is carefully described, putting the reader right inside the story. Clothing, food and details of the historical home are vividly painted making this series a perfect accompaniment to history topics at school or for history buffs at home. The description of the Victorian Christmas is wonderful with so many of our traditions making an appearance in their original form.

My daughter has thoroughly enjoyed these stories. She been captivated by the time slip element and loved the idea of seeing the same house at different points in history. The adventures are easy to read and follow with enough challenge to make them engaging. She suggests they would be perfect for children in Year 3 and 4 – although both older and younger children would enjoy them too.

Thank you to Nosy Crow for these fun books!

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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