These books have much of what attracts me to kids’ literature: funny, action-adventure stories with lots of humour and a charming simplicity. You will enjoy the way Scieszka plays with some of the goofier conventions of children’s time-travel stories. For example:
How come time machines typically deposit travellers at a convenient point in space, rather than simply moving them through time to the identical location?
In 2095, Scieszka handles this by having his heroes transported from a sky-scraping apartment in future New York to the top of a 16th century coconut tree!
Why are time travellers able to communicate with the denizens of the past, despite language barriers that should exist?
Scieszka spoofs this, plus the whole girl/boy language barrier in Your Mother Was a Neanderthal.
These are well-plotted, amusing stories with just enough silly/gross humour for kids aged 7-10. 2095 has a running gag (pun intended) on barf jokes. If your young reader has grown out the “straight men” of the genre, such as The Magic Tree House and she (or especially he) is ready for something more imaginative and intellectually playful, this series is a good bet.
These are also an excellent aide to procrastination.
Note to self: Don't take any more out of the library. I kid myself they are for my son but I haven’t read one to him yet…
Labels: Children's literature