Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford
4 out of 5 stars
Ross Welford has written a really wonderful time travel story for kids!
This is the story Albert Chaudhury who on his twelfth birthday gets a letter from his deceased father telling him that Albert might have a chance of preventing his dad’s death – by travelling through time! What a great premise for a middle-grade book! There are tons of time-travel stories out there but I really think this one stands out.
Let me tell you why…
First of all, you have the cultural background invoked by Welford. Albert is part-Indian and the way the author includes bits of Indian culture here and there is really well-done and makes for an interesting read. I absolutely loved the (a bit over-the-top) portrayal of Alberts grandfather wearing traditional Indian clothing, drinking chai tea and meditating all the time.
I also like it when a book can teach you bits and pieces of knowledge without getting too “teachy” about it. Welford manages to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity and the paradoxes of time travel in a book aimed at 10-to-twelve-year-olds, for crying out loud! He also includes a bit of 80s trivia, computer knowledge and pop-culture references – making this book a fun read for any (kind of geeky) adult.
Apart from that, it’s also a beautiful little story of friendship and family. It’s as much about time travel as it is about the fact that our actions always have consequences; it’s about being brave and standing up to bullies, and it’s about doing everything you can for the people you love.
It’s not the best time-travel plot I’ve ever read, but it is one of the best middle-grade time-travel books there is!