Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Days of future past

In response to yesterday's post about Archer's recent literary tastes, Doc Thelma suggested A Wrinkle In Time. I had had the same thought; just a few months back, I would have thought those books way beyond his comprehension, but now I suspect he might be fascinated by them. I'll put them on his reading list!

I realized that it would be helpful, to those of you who might have books to recommend, to describe why I thought time travel would be an enticing subject.

Incident 1: A couple of weekends ago, Archer fell and got a bad rug burn on his arm. He refused all medical attention but seemed distressed. A few minutes after the event he came up to us with tears in his eyes and a quaver in his voice. "If only I could travel through time, everything would be all right," he managed.

Incident 2: During the tornado outbreak last weekend, we had to go to the bathroom (our safe room) when a funnel started forming near our location. I had the Weather Channel radar on my laptop, and we were watching the time-lapse "weather in motion" view. Archer was fascinated by the timestamps on radar images, especially noting the fact that the latest one -- the "right now" image -- was actually five to ten minutes old. After the danger had passed, when I was tucking him into bed, he said with a delighted smile on his face: "It's like the radar was taking us back in time."

I'm sure there are lots of books where time travel is a mechanism to get some kind of plot going about history or whatever. Are there books he might like, similar to A Wrinkle In Time, where the nature of time and the consequences of moving through it in an unorthodox way are major themes?

9 comments:

StephanieV said...

After he reads a Wrinkle in Time, he might enjoy When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Just published this year, it won the Newbery award. Set in the 70's, it's about time travel AND has a mother preparing to be on the 20,000 Pyramid. Game shows and time travel. Right up Archer's alley. Also, it references Wrinkle in Time all the way through, you can tell the book had a great influence on the author.

Will and I started reading it last night and when he fell asleep I just read it all the way to the end. I could not put it down.

Greg Dunlap said...

When You Reach Me does, indeed, sound perfect. The first thing I thought of when reading this post was Alan Mendelsohn, Boy From Mars. It may be slightly advanced, and not quite about 'time travel' (more about travel to other planes) but boy do I love that book.

Donna B. said...

Great suggestion, Stephanie -- thank you.

Donna B. said...

Thanks, Greg, I'll put that on the list!

Kara said...

My daughter just finished When You Reach Me and recommends it. She did not come up with any time travel books except for the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (I read it over spring break and found the language to be stilted.) Other books she suggested (because I said your son might like puzzles or books with math) include Chasing Vermeer series and The Mysterious Benedict Society society. She also suggested the Story of Science series by Hakim because it has math history interwoven with the science history.

Donna B. said...

Terrific suggestions, Kara! I especially like the Story of Science idea ... will look into that right away. Thank your daughter for me, okay?

Brittany Babysitter said...

I know Cady Gray was reading it with Noel, but do you think he would like The Phantom Tollbooth? It had such an impact on me as a child. I think he would love A Wrinkle in Time and I wonder what he would think of Maniac Magee by Spinelli.

Kerry said...

I liked "Into the Dream" by William Sleator a lot when I was young...it's not really time-travel, though, more like telepathy. Not a Newbery winner or anything...but I really, really enjoyed it as a kid.

He wrote another book, "The Boy that Reversed Himself", which plays with the concept of inter-dimensionality. Can't remember how old I was when I read it, but Archer might find people interacting within the limitation in various dimensions interesting.

Donna B. said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Libby, Brittany and Kerry! I think "The Phantom Tollbooth" is a great idea, and I'll be looking up Kerry's William Sleator books.