The best part of a young adult book is when they can blend a great story and a bit of a history lesson so well they you don't even realize it. That is just that Time and Again: Charlotte of Miles Station does by Deborah Heal in her debut novel that your middle school child will just fall in love with.
I remember all my summers when I would spend them waiting for our book mobile (that's a portable library on wheels, for you that are wondering) to arrive in our neighborhood and race there just to check out as many books as I was allowed. So it gives me great pleasure when I come across an outstanding book that I would have loved to read as a young adult to recommend to you.
Time and Again: Charlotte of Miles Station is the first book by Deborah Heal with a sequel due out soon that tells us the story of the old town of Miles Station and some of the residents that lived there many years ago. Miles Station is now falling into dis-repair and most of the buildings from long ago are just now foundations of stone crumbling among the overgrown weeds while the streets that ran through town are missing as time and the years have claimed them as well.
Abby Thomas is using her summer to work on her Ambassador College service project by volunteering as a companion and tutor to an economically disadvantaged adolescent for a young girl named Merrideth who has fallen behind in her grades. Her mom, Pat, is going through a difficult divorce and has moved into her Aunt's old home in Miles Station, a small town in Illinois.
While the house is livable, Pat is hoping that in time, she begin to work on renovating the old home back to its former glory some day, but for now it's a home to live in for free.
Merrideth is less than willing to accept Abby, whom she refers to as a babysitter and finds solace in spending her free time watching television, eating Kit Kat candy bars and playing games on her computer. Abby has also been asked to help if she can, to find a way to nurture Merrideth back to a healthier weight in the process of helping her catch up on her school work.
As Abby struggles to find a way to reach Merrideth with less that interesting, musty, old textbooks, she finds that often times the best teacher is interactive learning. She attempts to achieve this by helping Merrideth explore the old house, the surrounding town and through a computer program on Merrideth's computer that mysteriously turns on by itself late at night. What they soon discover through a virtual reality tour program of old homes is that they can take a trip back in time to the girl who used to live in this very house, a girl named Charlotte.
I received this book compliments of Deborah Heal, and have to say this is one of the best books I've had the opportunity to read and review. Being a mom of a middle school child, I can't wait to share this book with her as well. It takes us back in time to a life without technology and shows us a bit of how life was lived in a much simpler time with a bit of history thrown in for an added surprise! I haven't read a book like this and that's why I am so excited to share this one. I think it really speaks to the heart of our children because its able to relate to them and draw them into the story.
I can't wait to read the sequel to this series and I've LOVED reading all about Charlotte along the way. It also shows you how you can reach children who struggle with learning and make it more fun and interesting like Abby does with Merrideth. For me, this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to many more novels by Deborah Heal in the future.
For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up this book today, please click on the link below:
- Perfect Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Tate Publishing (January 24, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1613466692
- ISBN-13: 978-1613466698
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches