In an effort to rescue their parents, who are lost in time, a pair of adventurous time-traveling twins goes to Menlo Park, N.J., in 1879, where they meet Thomas Edison and try to stay a step ahead of antagonist Mr. Crowe, a fellow time traveler.
The premise of this series, which can be characterized as time-travel adventure with a little history thrown in, is that Gracie and George, 9-year-old twins, must return the various objects their time-traveling parents collected to their rightful places and eras. Their hope is that once all the objects have been returned, their parents can come home. But to do this, the twins have to travel through time themselves, and in a distinctly odd twist, a side effect is that one of them turns into an animal. In this adventure, George and Gracie, now a parrot, learn that Thomas Edison invented the time machine and that there are rules governing time travel. Unfortunately, the rules are not clarified, and with two Mr. Crowes in a time paradox and two time machines, the story becomes somewhat muddled. After a confusing climax and hopeful ending, the book concludes with three nonfiction codas, one about Thomas Edison and two offering facts about New Jersey.
A little something for everyone—history, humor, adventure, time travel—but not a patch on the Magic Tree House. (Adventure. 7-11)