Elsetime is such a wonderful, heart-warming, quirkily-written little book that it will make you fall in love with its story by the end of page two!
It’s been ages since I’ve read a children’s adventure novel that has put such an – oddly beautiful – spin on time-travel and show us how changing events in time can bring about magic, love and flourishing friendships.
We have two main characters in Elsetime – Needle, a mudlark who sees people’s emotions in colour and has a special ability to find treasure and “read” the treasure’s story by just holding it. He lives in 1864. And we have Glory. A 12-year-old girl with one arm who is exceptionally talented at making jewellery and being feisty. She lives in 1928.
The story centres around a real-life event in London, when a flood happened in 1928, and it is about how Needle travels forward in time, meets Glory and tries to save all the people he knows who will be lost in the flood. Along the way, there are truly villainous characters Needle and Glory have to deal with – such as the nasty Mrs Quick (Glory’s boss), the police, and the overwhelming problem of time travel itself.
And all this fun, friendship and race-against-time plot is assisted by the very special crow, called Magpie (obviously!), who has helped Needle find his treasures. Magpie shows him the key to travel through time and meet his best-friend-to-be, Glory, as they take on an entire town’s ambivalence of its oncoming doom-laden flood.
A wonderful book – highly recommended!