The Middle Ages beckon in the second installment of this YA time-travel series.
Peri, Henry, and Max have learned a few things since their trip to 19th-century New York City. Unfortunately, the precautions they’ve taken against inadvertent time travel fail, and they suddenly find themselves in a forest during the Middle Ages. This time, Max is unfamiliar with the object that triggered their trip to the past, making their return to the present much more challenging. As the three children attempt to locate the object, they stumble across travelers whose stories provide insight into their exact location in time. A peasant with a pig, Barlow, offers a story of King Richard the Lionheart. A pretty young maiden, Emily, relates a sad tale of a lady doomed to an arranged marriage. A brave page, Jack, offers a vision of glory involving knights and dragons. Even Merlin makes an appearance as a fumbling wizard. Things grow more complicated, however, when Max vanishes. Without Max and the unknown object, they’ll never make it home. Peri and Henry bide their time at a medieval castle and even help their new friends while knights search for their lost sibling. Roche (Making It Home, 2015, etc.) capitalizes on a successful formula from her first novel: likable protagonists, an entertaining story, and historical facts presented in an accessible and age-appropriate way. The setting is a superb choice. While Roche delivers fairy-tale aspects such as dragons and knights that are sure to engage her audience, she also incorporates factual information, such as the definition of a feudal society or the ransom of King Richard. Roche also addresses real-world problems as Peri and Henry continue to reconcile their new relationship as stepsiblings. They bicker incessantly over events in the past and present, exemplifying the potential challenges of blending two families. In addition to the narrative, Roche again provides an appendix packed with activities and projects related to the Middle Ages, including trivia, recipes, and a 3,000-year-old game.
A successful sequel that delivers appealing time travelers thrust into a society filled with knights and dragons.