thinking out loud

Ten Stories With Characters That Travel Through Time

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, we had a kind of free theme, where we’re writing about characters that [insert blank here]. I had no idea what I wanted to do, until I was listening to ONE OK ROCK over and over, and my playlist randomly switched to Radwimps which made me think of the movie Your Name. I remember reading a study about how the whole timeslip trope became popularised in Japan thanks to translated British children’s fiction – there are so many of these that are still in print in Japan but are out of print in English. And that made me think of other timeslip and time travel stories… so this week, I’m doing ten (children’s/YA) books with characters that travel through time.


Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer 
Charlotte Makepeace wakes up at her new boarding school to realise that she has traveled 40 years back in time, and that everyone thinks she’s someone called Clare Mobley. She goes back and forth between her own time and the past, having to learn how to be Clare without losing her identity as Charlotte.

The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
Hannah is tired of hearing about the Holocaust, until she finds herself in 1940s Poland where she is sent to death camp.

The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
Sophie, a 13-year-old from the 1960s, wanders into 19th century Louisiana, making discoveries that challenges everything she thought she knew.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Nix grew up on her father’s ship, and was used to time travel and going into mythical lands. But when her father obtained a map to 1868, Nix found herself heading for a journey that may erase her own existence.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tsutsui
This book was adapted into an animated film. I wish there was a tie-in cover, because the current cover is so unfortunate. In this book, Yoshiyama Kazuko finds that she has the ability to time travel following a lab accident at school.


The Last Beginning by Lauren James
This is a sequel to The Next Together, but can be read separately. In this book, Clove Sutcliffe travels through time to find the truth about her parents.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I think of this book as ‘X-Men for middle grade readers’, not in a bad way! The timeslips/time travel in this book happens as the home exists in a “loop”, or a preserved pocket of time.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
This is my favourite of L’Engle’s Time Quartet, which starts with A Wrinkle in Time. In this one, 15-year-old Charles Wallace travels through time with a unicorn named Gaudior on a quest to stop a nuclear war from happening.

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce
When the clock strikes thirteen, a garden that wasn’t there is accessible through the back door. Tom would sneak out into this garden, but he doesn’t know if the people he met at the garden are real or ghosts.

A Traveller In Time by Alison Uttley
Penelope goes to stay with her relatives in Thackers Manor, an ancient farmhouse, and makes a wish to know its secrets. Since this is a children’s book, where wishes sometimes come true, she ends up transported to the 16th century amidst a plot to rescue Mary, Queen of Scots.

If you’ve read any of these titles, what did you think of them? And do you have timeslip/time travel titles to recommend?


14 thoughts on “Ten Stories With Characters That Travel Through Time

  1. I’ve seen “The Girl from Everywhere” on a few lists this week which is making me really want to read this one. I have a copy on my shelf because it caught my eye back when it released, but I never made time to read it. However, it seems like it’d be a really good fall read, so perhaps I’ll finally add it to my “read” shelf. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.