When workmen uncover a Victorian stove in the rectory to which Daniel Richards (11) has recently moved, Daniel is...

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THE STOVE HAUNTING

When workmen uncover a Victorian stove in the rectory to which Daniel Richards (11) has recently moved, Daniel is mysteriously drawn to it; then, suddenly, he finds himself in the body of a kitchen boy of the same name 150 years earlier. At first disoriented, he soon feels familiar with his surroundings and is caught up in an unsuccessful farmers' labor action (they want more wages; their children are starving). After the tragic failure of the attempt to organize--five farmers are exiled to Australia--Daniel's friend George asks him to join him in a pilgrimage to tell their story. At the moment of grappling with what to him is an impossible choice, Daniel is translated back to his own time, and at the book's conclusion is hoping to do some research in local history to discover what happened to his friends. In her ""first novel for older children,"" journalist Mooney writes convincingly of the poverty, injustice, and unrest in rural England in the 1830's. But the time-travel element adds little: Daniel's 1980's problems provide neither parallel nor contrast (as do Creep's moving experiences in Paton Walsh's A Chance Child), and the fusing of his two selves doesn't really enlarge our understanding.

Pub Date: March 1, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 132

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988