Maple Tree Press
Published Jan 15, 2007
Paperback, 96 pages, Ages 6-9
My 6-year-old son was so excited when he discovered this Canadian Flyer Adventure series while looking through an Owl magazine. How did we miss this great series? (Book #15 was just published.) We are fans of the Magic Tree House series and I could see that the Canadian Flyer stories follow a similar idea of traveling back in time, but the latter stories are distinctly different. Each book is a small history lesson in the form of an action adventure tale.
Disclosure: Thanks to Kendal Gerard from Maple Tree House for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson
Puffin Canada (Penguin)
Published March 1, 1988 Reprint Edition
Paperback, 208 pages, Ages 9-12
I read this book when I was a young teen, and I think this must have been the book that sparked my love for time travel stories. When I found this used copy, I bought it for my own daughter’s book collection, waiting for the day when she was old enough to read it. I was delighted when we cleaned up her shelf and found it hidden in the back. The setting of the story takes place in the summer and so the timing was just right to read it to my now 9-year-old girl.
Twelve-year-old Patricia’s parents are getting a divorce and they send her to her cousin’s cottage for the summer as they sort things out. She doesn’t know her cousins, they aren’t thrilled to have her visit, and she doesn’t fit in. Then she discovers an old watch hidden under a floorboard. When she winds it, it takes her back in time to the summer when her own mother was twelve. Imagine going back and seeing what your own mother was like as a kid? Cool, huh?
I could feel my daughter’s excitement as we traveled back in time to a different era, to a time when Patricia could actually see her own mother as a tween. Patricia had her differences with her mother and now she was seeing what she was like as a kid and some of the things she had to contend with. She also discovers she is more like her mother than she thought. Patricia’s flawed character works well in the story and she learns several important things about herself and her family that help her think differently and change her perspective on things. Patricia also loves cooking and this reminded me of when I used to cook even at a young age.
Reading it for the second time after so many years was certainly a different experience than when I read it as a child. My daughter loved it, of course, and I really enjoyed reading it with her, but it had lost some of its magic for me. I was sometimes frustrated with Patricia, the main character, something I don’t remember when I first read it. Perhaps because I would have handled some of her situations differently. But how unfair of me since I am much older! Nevertheless, the story is a good one and, for me, also reminiscent of the eighties and my summer reading days. Such nostalgic memories!
This book will remain in my daughter’s library. It is a classic and reading it with my daughter was a great experience. Just like Patricia, I traveled back in time to when I first read it, and I had the opportunity to share some of that feeling with my daughter. Although she will never go back to when I was a kid, at least I can share with her some of my favourite reads from that precious time in my childhood. This book has now become one of her favourite.
Disclosure: I bought this book at a used book sale. I was not told how to rate or review this product.