I know that this is a book recommended for 9-12 year olds, I'm an adult, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this story. Not just from trying to appreciate it from a young person's perspective, but simply as a reader. The author, Todd Fonseca, has a wonderful gift for storytelling and he obviously put a lot of love into crafting this tale and bringing his characters to life. They seem as real as any characters I've ever read. There are many touching moments; the author has a perfect grasp of the dynamics within a young family and the motivations and thoughts of a young boy pushing the boundaries to gain some independence and his desire to explore his new surroundings.
The plot of The Time Cavern is very engaging and had me rapidly turning pages eager to get to the core of the mystery presented. The young protagonists stumble across the story of an Amish child who went missing a hundred years ago, and find clues that might relate to the missing boy. Some spooky and supernatural events lead them to a strange place that they cannot resist investigating. What unfolds is an enticing, exciting, slightly scary secret place that is at once highly advanced and possibly otherwordly.
The Time Cavern is a wonderful adventure story that allows the reader to really feel for and identify with the characters. I can certainly remember what it was like to be that age, eager to explore, my mind rife with imagination. The mystery of The Time Cavern is clever, well-thought out, nicely researched in its details, and leaves me wanting more. I would love to read more of this story, so I hope a sequel will be forthcoming. Very well-written & highly recommended to readers of all ages!
Rai Aren, co-author of Secret of the Sands
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The alliteration was unintentional! These are the three words that came to mind the moment I reached the gripping finale of The Time Cavern. And I write as a fifty-something who is still growing up and learning something new from books like these, even though the intended market is "juvenile" (can't think of a better word).
The Time Cavern is engaging throughout, firstly by its charming introduction to a "normal" Minneapolis family that has moved to an old farm in Amish country, and secondly in presenting such human characteristics in young Aaron and his chum, Jake (short for Jacqueline). I really liked this pair, not least because they have well-observed child characters, but you get the impression their experiences are going to make them better than average teenagers in a few years!
The book is exciting because Fonseca builds the pace well. I tried to read this in one sitting and would easily have achieved that except that I began after a long day's work. Up with the dawn for the last few chapters... and not disappointed. You need plenty of mental energy for the finale (find out for yourself!).
One of the most important aspects, given the targeted age group, is that The Time Cavern is educational. Here you'll find plenty on science, religion, chemistry, astronomy, electronics, engineering and more. Never a lecture, always brightly and skillfully passed on within the storyline. Excellent. Strongly recommended. For any age!
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Todd Fonseca's The Time Cavern is an enjoyable read for adults as well as for children. The ten-year-old main character, Aaron, is a good kid who has just a little trouble understanding why his parents make so many rules that prevent him from exploring his new environment the way he'd like to. The author has done a great job of reminding us just what it was like to be a kid trying to adjust to a new town and new friends.
When Aaron and his friend, a girl named Jake, set out to solve a 100 year old mystery, they work through a number of conflicts together. Eventually their adventure leads them on a scary trip back in time. They end up meeting and saving an Amish boy who was trapped out of his own time. The boy tells them the secrets of the time cavern and in a twist at the end, he finds a way to send Aaron and Jake a message from the past.
This was a fun book to read, and I thoroughly enjoyed the believable characters and the well-done descriptions of the setting.