In the latest installment in the Mira’s Diary time-travel series, Mira pursues her missing mother, Serena, to 1917 London.
A postcard directs Mira to Room 40 of the Admiralty Building, center of British code cracking during World War I. Once there, she will supposedly know what historical moment needs to change, while steering clear of the mysterious Watcher, who is trying to thwart Serena’s attempts to change the future. The story gets a bit bogged down in strings of historical detail in the first chapters, but once established, it’s a ripping yarn that takes readers through a women’s suffrage rally and encounters with a German spy and the likes of authors H.G. Wells, Beatrix Potter and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Mira knows that she must do something about the Zimmerman Telegram, which precipitated America’s entry into the Great War, but it’s unclear whether it’s more important to help her mother change history or simply convince her to come home. Mira’s skills as a time traveler are growing, and she recognizes the Touchstones that allow her to leap to another time. She’s also learning that she may need to be more discriminating about her role in her mother’s plans.
Lively writing and a smattering of line drawings make for an enjoyable adventure that will entice readers to go along with Mira. (author’s note, bibliography) (Fantasy. 10-14)