A retrospective look at ten of my favorites from the past decade for this week's Timeslip Tuesday

For the past 10 years I've been posting reviews of kids and YA time travel and time slip books on (most) Tuesdays (413 of them to date), and I thought it would be fun on this last Tuesday of 2019 that is also the decade's last day do go through the c 250 time travel books I've reviewed in these past 10 years and pick ten favorites published between Jan.1 2010 and today.

It was indeed fun to remember all the books, and it was fun in a nostalgic way to be reminded of the close-knit blogisphere I was part of back in the day (we all linked to each other's reviews, for instance...), but boy is it excruciating to be confronted with my poorly edited prose!  I dash off my posts and hit send before I can change my mind, and it shows.  I am sorry.  

It was hard to choose just ten, and I really wanted to include one from 2009 too (The Hotel Under the Sand, by Kage Baker), but I managed...The links are to my reviews.  I will try to come back tomorrow morning to add pictures (and almost certainly fix mistakes); it has gotten too late for me to do anything more right now.

Happy New Year to us all, and may the next decade bring lots more good time travel books (I have a vague sense, having read 413 time travel books, that there are more published under left leaning govenments; someday I'll crunch the numbers and find out if this is really true!) and may we fix our problems before time travelers from the future have to come interfere!

Here are my ten favorites:

The Opposite of Always, by Justin A. Reynolds (2019) YA

A suspenseful time-loop YA romance, with great characters who are excellent at lively banter.  I enjoyed it very much, and though it's well over 400 pages long, it only took a few hours to read it because the pages were turning so fast (and of course at one point they turned very quickly indeed to the end, because I had to make sure it turned out all right.  Which it does).

Time Sight, by Lynne Jonell (2019) MG

An American kid taken to his ancestors' home in Scotland finds he can travel through time...and many adventures ensue.  It has a very classic mid-20th century feel to it, in my mind, and since the best of the mid 20th century is just about my favorite sort of book, I enjoyed it lots!

Bluecrowne, by Kate Milford (2018) MG

Time travel drives the plot of this story about Greenglass House when it was young, and the two kids who lived there.  It's a beautifully visual story, with lots of tangle threads of fate and story and imagined history that get tangled-er by the time travel.

Weave a Circle Round, by Kari Maaren (2017)  billed as YA, but  upper MG to my mind

This story of a 14 year old girl getting swept up in a time-travel filled struggle between the forces of order and chaos won't be to everyone's taste; as I said in my review "the plot is nuts."  I also said "I highly recommend it to fans of Diana Wynne Jones, not because it is a DWJ read-alike, but because it has a similar chaos resolving into a mythically rooted central order/origin point.  You have to be able to tolerate chaos and not understanding things for much of the book to appreciate this one."

The Girl with the Red Balloon, by Katherine Locke (2017) YA

This one uses time travel brilliantly to make a particular piece of the past come alive (Berlin in 1988), and also to set the stage for forbidden love and a gruesome mystery!

Bone Jack, by Sara Crowe (2014 in the UK, 2017 in the US) upper MG/YA

I loved this book!  There aren't people hoping back and forth in time; it's more a matter of old stories manifesting in the present, so it's a slippage in time, not time travel...the darkness of the present calls to the past, stirring up old, deadly patterns from centuries ago.  Someday I must get a copy of the UK addition (the US edition is Americanized. Why?)

Timekeeper, by Tara Sim (2016) YA

A mystery set in an alternate world where time is actually controllable, with the help of clocktower spirits. Do try this one if you are looking for a sweet but fraught romance (especially if you're looking for an LGBTQ one).  Do try this if you think that the main character spending lots of time cleaning and repairing clockwork with the clock tower spirit helping, and falling in love while doing so, sounds interesting. 

The Devil's Intern, by Donna Hosie (2014) YA

Time travel from Hell (literally).  The premise is riveting, the characters are great and nicely snarky when snark is called for, the writing is crisp and tight (it's under 300 pages), and the time travel is really cool.

The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie, by Kirsty Murray (2013 in Australia, 2014 in the US) MG

I'm not alone in thinking this gentle time travel story, in which the past helps a young girl come to peace with her present is lovely; it was an Aurealis Award winner.  If you are at all a fan of Tom's Midnight Garden, you must read it.  If you are a fan of intergenerational friendships, read it.  if you like lovely descriptions of beautiful places, and kids being kids, read it.

Tilly's Moonlight Garden, by Julia Green (The Moonlight Fox in the UK) (2012) MG

This one drives home the point that this is a list of  what I enjoyed most, and not of "the best" by however you want to define best.  It's a dreamy sort of story of a girl finding distraction from her real life worries in time-slipping into a moonlight garden where she meets a strange girl who becomes her friend.


  1. Thanks for an interesting list. I will be putting some of these on my TBR list. Happy New Year.

  2. Hm, interesting comment re: Bone Jack. It makes me wonder what version I'll find here in Canada! (Probably/hopefully British). I did love Tom's Midnight Garden so I'll have to look into Lucy McKenzie.


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