Just Imagine

A Chase in Time

Authored by Sally Nicholls
Illustrated by Brett Helquist
Published by Nosy Crow

A Chase in Time is a fun, light-hearted adventure novel which follows Alex and his sister Ruby as they step through a mysterious mirror into 1912.

Fast-paced and somewhat reminiscent of an Enid Blyton style tale, it doesn’t take Alex and Ruby long to realise that they have time-travelled to the house of their great-aunt’s grandparents. Before they even have time to explore, disaster strikes and they find themselves on the hunt for a valuable antique which could save the family fortune.

Sally Nicholls’ writing is humorous and entertaining, and complemented throughout with illustrations by Brett Helquist, whose style some children may recognise from Lemony Snicket’s The Series of Unfortunate Events. The book lends itself easily to reading alongside an Edwardians topic (or a follow-on to a Victorians topic), and would be well suited as a class read in the lower junior years. There is scope to focus on extracts of the book to inspire independent writing based on life in Edwardian times.

Additionally, there is certainly opportunity to use some of the themes featured in the story as a springboard for discussion or further research: one such opportunity would be when Ruby says, ‘Someone (…) should teach you about feminism’, in response to criticism of the indecency of her modern clothes. It could be an interesting way in to looking at how life has changed for women and girls since the beginning of the 20th Century.

A Chase in Time would be a brilliant addition for any lower junior teacher seeking to immerse children in exciting adventures and inspire a love of reading. I look forward to the publication of the next book in the series!