I have to confess we are total time travel junkies in our house.
We have been known to get ever so mildly obsessed with Doctor Who.
(We have Dalek cutters for cripes sake!)
And in those lulls of inactivity from the Doctor we lap up time travel books.
And these are just a few of our fave time travel books for kids.
Now I don’t want to mislead you.
If your kids – and you! – are mad about Doctor Who, these are not all identikit Doctor Who sci-fi style time travel books for kids.
But if your kids have got all interested in ideas about time travel – and particularly travelling to the past – these could be right up their street.
And even if your kids aren’t already mad time travel fans, these are all great reads in their own right.
1. The Queen Must Die
This was a recommendation from our totally amazing, local kids book shop and the whole trilogy went down a storm.
We’ve talked about it before in our What to Read After Harry Potter list, but had to include it here.
Katie a put upon New York teenager is transported back to Victorian London by a diary she is reading. Standard time travel are you might be thinking.
But (spoilers!) Katie gets thrown into the very heart of an inter-galactic plot to assassinate Queen Victoria and that’s just the start of it all!
The basic detective story plot of The Queen Must Die (UK) and its sequels keeps you turning the pages and the inter-galactic time travel certainly cooks up some surprises but author KAS Quinn delivers on the history as well.
2. Amazing Mr Blunden
But somehow that seems right for a time travel book doesn’t it?
It’s a fairly short book so very accessible for lots of kids and uses some classic themes from kids literature, (orphans, cruel relations), to explore that big thorny time travel question the Doctor always have to wrestle with, of whether you can actually change time and what happens if you do.
Written in the 60s and made into a popular film, its ripe for republication.
3. A Traveller In Time
The time travel here is very simple – no tardis!. But the challenge is not just can heroine Penelope change time but can she change history?
Staying with her uncle and aunt in an ancient house that once belonged to the Babbington family, Penelope finds herself back at the heart of the Babbington Plot to free Mary Queen of Scots and destroy Queen Elizabeth.
Very deservedly republished by Penguin last year, Traveller In Time is a beautifully written book that opens up Elizabethen history to kids.
4. Tom’s Midnight Garden
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce is another beautifully written book that shows you don’t need tech to explore the idea that time – as the Doctor said – is all a bit “wibbly wobbly” and not really linear at all.
When lonely Tom has to go and stay with his aunt and uncle he makes friends with a girl in a garden in the past he can only reach when the clock strikes 13. Is he asleep? Is the girl a ghost? Is he? Or is there some other connection across time between him and his new friend?
A wonderful read for kids AND parents.
5. A Wrinkle In Time
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle has to be one of the absolute classic sci-fi books for kids. If you didn’t read when you were young, do read it with your kids.
Misfit Meg Murray gets dragged into a conflict between darkness and light over time itself as she travels through time in search of her missing scientist father. And eventually comes to realise that she has a power beyond those of the fearsome IT!
6. A Stitch In Time
She can talk not only to cats but to petrol stations and much more!
And on holiday in Lyme Regis – on England’s Jurrasic Coast – she begins to hear echoes of the past, and a terrible accident more than 100 years ago that somehow she needs to prevent.
You may remember Helen Cresswell’s Moondial from when it was on TV back in the 90s.
It’s a wonderful eiry book that seems at first as if it is a ghost story, but again the heroine Minty has to travel in time to change the past but with the danger she may never escape it!
So there you go – our current favourite time travel books for kids. We promise to keep adding to it as we read more, but please do in exchange tell us all about your faves!