(I received an ARC from NetGalley to review.)
I work in an elementary school library and was excited when I read the book description. A boy runs into a girl from 200 years in the past. That combined with the cover art suggested it would be a book the students would enjoy. But my enthusiasm waned as I started reading.
The main character is Saul, an 11 year old who is a sly and shifty character. He's being punished for breaking the rules. All his thoughts seemed to be focused on getting one over on his parents, including his poor mom who just had twins. When he's allowed to run to the corner store, he meets and saves a strange girl, Agatha. Agatha shares her story about how her father sent her through time, but she landed too far ahead.
While part of the time travelling theory was interesting, part seemed unnecessary. (She had to stand on a yew branch, while holding a piece of gold, and sing a song.)
Saul agrees to help get her back to her own time, but he's focused on how Agatha's problem can reward him. He's frequently impatient with her inability to deal with information overload. As an adult, I also had an issue with certain things glossed over in the story. Agatha hides out in Saul's clubhouse for five days, without showering or changing clothes. She also has a sweet tooth, which Saul feeds, but there's no mention of brushing her teeth. I find it hard to believe that a well brought up girl from the 1800's would be ok with being this dirty.
There's also a side story involving a bully, which I felt detracted from the main story.
But the book improved towards the end. There was another girl, Agnes, who came into the story and added an interesting twist. I also felt Saul's character was redeemed at the end. I do wish I knew what happened with Agatha's family.
On a sidenote-I read the story via Kindle and there was an issue with strange breaks in paragraphs and, in one instance, dialogue between two characters pushed into one paragraph. My first time reading an ebook and I don't know if this is normal.
So, I think the story was ok, but could have been better.