Today I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for the first book in Sally Nicholls’ new time-slip adventure series, ‘A Chase in Time,’ illustrated by Brett Helquist. Every summer Alex and his sister are sent to stay with their Aunt Joanna in the country in her big rambling home which offers a stark contrast to the ugly house that they live in. Unfortunately this will be their last summer of escape, as their Aunt has been forced to sell her home as she can no longer manage the upkeep. Alex loves the house and just adores all of the remarkable objects in the house that have been collected over the years. But he is drawn to one object in particular, an old gilt-edged mirror because when he was 7 years old he is convinced he saw another boy in the mirror instead of his reflection. And one day when he least expects it he accidentally falls through the mirror with his sister and they end up in the same house but in a very different period of time. Soon they find themselves caught up in an adventure filled with arson, theft and erratic car chases as they race to find a precious family jewel. Can they solve the mystery and find a way to return home?
I completely devoured this book in one sitting, time literally flew by as I got totally caught up in this intriguing adventure. It really is like stepping into the past with it’s considered attention to period detail, told with real enthusiasm and insight. Sally has assembled a perfectly marvellous cast of characters who will delight and entertain readers. Alex and Ruby think they’re way ahead of the game compared to their distant relatives from the past Henry and Dora but they soon find they are a worthy match of pluckiness and determination as they work together to track down the thief. The adults are wonderfully eccentric, so full of life and adventure not realising that they are on the brink of the great war that will change their lives forever. I love how she highlights the difference between life now and back in the Edwardian era, in particular how Ruby is horrified at the constraints Dora’s clothes place on her compared to the comfortable jeans and trainers she wears. Brett’s illustrations complement this story perfectly creating a truly beautiful and engaging read. Fast, frenetic and completely fun this book is a must have read for any confident child who has moved on from first chapter books and is looking to bridge the gap to middle grade reads.
Sally Nicholls is the author of ‘Things A Bright Girl Can Do,’ and contributed to ‘Make More Noise!‘ a collection of stories about women’s suffrage. Sally lives in a little house in Oxford with her husband and sons, and trying to believe her luck.
Brett Helquist is the illustrator of many books including ‘The Series of Unfortunate Events,’ by Lemony Snicket and ‘Chasing Vermeer,’ by Blue Balliett. He grew up in Utah and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
(Photo by Chris Lindsay)
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour to find out more about ‘A Chase in Time.’
Thank you to Siân and Nosy Crow for sending me a copy of this fabulous book and for inviting me to join in with the blog tour. If you’re intrigued by my review you can read the first chapter on the Nosy Crow website. ‘A Chase in Time,’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop.