Don't Know Where, Don't Know When (The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 1)-Annette Laing
Publisher: Confusion Press
Publication Date: 8/07
Source: Review copy provided by author
What a nightmare.
Hannah Dias, California Girl with Attitude, and Alex, her laid-back brother, have moved from exciting San Francisco to boring Snipesville, Georgia. Life doesn't improve when they meet Brandon, a dorky kid who is plotting his escape from the Deep South, and the weird Professor, who has a strange secret.
Suddenly, the kids are catapulted thousands of miles and almost seventy years to England during World War Two.
They fall into a world of stinging nettles, dragon ladies, bomb blasts, ugly underwear, stinky sandwiches, painful punishments, and non-absorbing toilet paper. They learn so much more than they could ever learn in a history class. Not that they want to learn it.
But they can't go home unless they find George Braithwaite, whoever he is, and whatever it is that he has to do with Snipesville.
(Description from back cover)
Normally when I receive pitches from authors or publishers to review their books, I mull it over, and do my research before accepting-just to make sure the book is a right fit for me. However this time, I said yes pretty quickly. I adore books about time travel, and guess what my number one favorite time period is? World War II. I have been a huge WWII nerd since I was a child. Since a chunk of the action takes place in WWII England, I was thrilled to begin reading this book, and started reading it as soon as it arrived in my mailbox.
We meet Hannah and Alex right as they arrive in Snipesville from cosmopolitan San Francisco. Alex is inherently likable. His sister...not so much. I have to say that Hannah irritated me throughout the book. She seemed thick as a brick, and more concerned about herself and her own personal issues than the fact that a war was on and it was a time of sacrifice. Thankfully she is called on her behavior throughout the book, and by the end it has begun to sink in to her brain that she is a bit of a self-absorbed brat...at least a little bit.
Brandon is the third main character, and I really adored him. It was not as easy for Brandon to travel back in time as Hannah and Alex, as he's African American and tends to stand out a bit more. Hannah and Alex meet Brandon as they're at the local college signing up for activities. They also meet the Professor-who is responsible for sending them back in time. The children all arrive in 1940's England, and are treated as evacuees-children whose parents have sent them from London to the countryside to avoid the Blitz. The professor visits them and informs them of their mission-to find George Braithwate.
Brandon is separated from Hannah and Alex and ends up in London during an air raid. He nearly misses getting killed by the bomb but finds himself back in 1915. He ends up living and working as an apprentice to a dentist. He has to deal with hard facts of reality of the time period (bed pans, eek!) and the horrible Mrs. Gordon who is a racist cow. Brandon's story is separate from Hannah and Alex's-but his goal is the same, to find out about George Braithwaite.
The people Brandon, Hannah and Alex meet along their journeys are incredibly engaging. Mrs. Devenish is a strong no-nonsense woman who is hard not to love. Her granddaughter Verity is just as endearing. To sum up, I absolutely adored this book. It's gotten me on another WWII kick, and I started reading another WII time travel book (Blackout if you're curious) so I know I'll be getting out all the DVDs of WII programs that my mother has burned on DVD for me to watch!
Oh, I was summing up, wasn't I? While this is a middle grade book, I consider it entertaining for all ages. The second book in the series, A Different Day, A Different Destiny (The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 2) is out, and I've added it to my Wishpot for when I have a bit of extra cash!