UK Publishing Date: 31 Dec 2015. 400 pages.
Billed as a Young Adult book but I’d say that Time Travelling with a Hamster would really suit the Tween audience. It reads a bit young for most teenagers and young adults.
Personally I found it quite a slow read with little plot of any significance – certainly in relation to time travel! – until you are at least a third of the way through the book. As a children’s book four hundred pages is quite challenging but the chapters are short enough not to make bedtime reading too much of a chore.
Set in Northern England it is the story of 12 year old Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury. An Anglo Indian boy who lives with his librarian Mum and her new partner. Al’s Dad died suddenly when he was eight. New Step Dad Steve is football (soccer) mad and Al has little in common with him although he does try to make an effort. He is largely ignored by his new step sister.
On his twelfth birthday Al is given a letter that his Dad had written to him. Inside it are instructions that he must follow within a week. It is a sweet and completely implausible story but if you have a 10-13 year old that likes reading this will be a challenging and engaging read.
The strength of this book is in its characters. Grandpa Byron is such a fantastic character and you could easily imagine curling up with a cup of chai and listening to his stories. I’ve given it three stars but I expect that a Middle Grader reading it would probably be a bit more generous.
Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
You can find the book here: Time Travelling with a Hamster