Steal­ing Time: A Jon­ah Wiley Adventure

Anne Dublin
  • Review
By – October 31, 2014

Anne Dublin, author of prize-win­ning his­tor­i­cal fic­tion and biogra­phies for young read­ers, tries her hand at a time-trav­el fan­ta­sy set against the real life sit­u­a­tion of a child’s adjust­ment to a new fam­i­ly after his par­ents’ divorce and his father’s remar­riage. It is Jonah’s father’s week­end and Jon­ah is doing his best to com­mu­ni­cate his unhap­pi­ness by being total­ly non-coop­er­a­tive with his father’s plans. The new step-moth­er is wel­com­ing to Jon­ah and her son, Tony, is eager to have a big broth­er. The only one out of sync is Jon­ah, who refus­es to go along with any of the plans and intends to stay home, and inci­den­tal­ly plans on exam­in­ing his deceased grandfather’s unusu­al antique pock­et watch. Try­ing to con­vince his half-broth­er to join them, Tony returns to find Jon­ah with the watch and, want­i­ng to see it clos­er, snatch­es it from Tony’s hand, touch­ing the mech­a­nism that caus­es the boys to be spir­it­ed away through Time” — mak­ing stops in Egypt, Chi­na, France, and oth­er places, each one clos­er and clos­er to mod­ern time and local geog­ra­phy. The sto­ry pro­ceeds chrono­log­i­cal­ly, trac­ing the develop­ment of how to mea­sure time. The author includes the his­tor­i­cal and soci­o­log­i­cal forces at play at each stop. With­in this con­vo­lut­ed plot, Dublin man­ages to write a spunky tale, excit­ing as well as infor­ma­tive, that ends with Jon­ah hav­ing becom­ing fond of his tal­ent­ed lit­tle step­broth­er. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 10 – 14.

Mar­cia W. Pos­ner, Ph.D., of the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau Coun­ty, is the library and pro­gram direc­tor. An author and play­wright her­self, she loves review­ing for JBW and read­ing all the oth­er reviews and arti­cles in this mar­velous periodical.

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