Five books … What Time is It?
This is a bit of an interesting list. In these particular books, people are “living” in two times at once—either voluntarily or involuntarily—but there’s no time travel. How would you like to recreate living on the American Frontier? In Colonial times? During the Civil War? Some things may be easier, but if you’re used to those modern conveniences. Would you give us your cell phone, internet and comfortable life to live in 1840? What if it wasn’t exactly your choice..?
Our Five Books Featuring are five books related by topic–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite of library staff–but you’ll have to guess which is which! Each book has a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog, so you can easily find and request it.
Read on, and find out what life is like when you’re living in two different times at once!
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Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell
Gen’s family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. They all have their own “things”. But when Gen’s mom thinks they’re growing too far apart as a family, she signs them up for Camp Frontier–a vacation that promises the “thrill” of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen smuggles her cell phone in (don’t ask!) and manages to email her friends back home about life at “Little Hell on the Prairie,” as she’s renamed the camp. It turns out frontier life isn’t completely without good points–like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. When her friends turn her smuggled emails into a blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer by working together, disaster strikes! A TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the girl behind the newest nationwide blogging sensation. Will they ruin what is turning out to be the best vacation Gen has ever had?
Cartboy Goes to Camp by L. A. Campbell
Hopelessly hapless Hal Rifkind, (a.k.a. Cartboy) is happy to be done with sixth grade. He is SOOO ready to spend the summer vegging out and honing his video-game skills. But with only a day’s notice, Hal is informed that he is being shipped off to a rustic summer camp. And not just any old camp, but a completely crazy history camp! At Camp Jamestown, campers have to learn how to churn butter, plant maize, and carry water from the stream. If they don’t do those chores, they get punished…in the stocks! As if that isn’t bad enough, someone he was happy to leave behind at school shows up as a fellow camper. What else could possibly go wrong for Cartboy? At least he has his journal. Filled with photos, drawings, and timelines, Hal’s journal chronicles his hilarious adventures at Camp Jamestown–where absolutley nothing has changed in 400 years!
Running Out of Time by Margaret Haddix
Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana, in 1840 — or so she believes. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie’s mother reveals a shocking secret to her daughter: it’s actually 1996, and she and her family are living in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site. In the world outside, medicine exists that can cure the dread disease, but the people running the site are reluctant to sacrifice the “validity” of their historical community. In order to save the other children, Jessie’s mother has gathered some resources and is sending her on a dangerous mission to bring back help.
But beyond the walls of Clifton, Jessie discovers a world even more alien and threatening than she could have imagined, and soon she finds her own life in jeopardy. Can she get help before the children of Clifton, and Jessie herself, run out of time?
Past Perfect by Leila Sales
All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too.
Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it…. (in the Teen Collection)
Colonial Madness by Jo Whittemore
Tori Porter is best friends with her mom, and most of the time it’s awesome. Not many girls have a mom who’d take them to a graveyard for hide-and-seek or fill the bathtub with ice cream for the world’s biggest sundae! But as much as Tori loves having fun, she sometimes wishes her mom would act a little more her age…thanks to her mom’s poor financial planning, they are in danger of losing their business and their home. But an unusual opportunity arises in the form of a bizarre contest put on by an eccentric relative. Whoever can survive two weeks in the Archibald Family’s colonial manor will inherit the property. The catch? Contestants have to live as in colonial times: no modern conveniences, no outside help, and there will be daily tests of their abilities to survive challenges of the time period.
Tori thinks it’s the perfect answer to their debt problems! Unfortunately, she and her mom aren’t the only ones interested. The other family members seem to be much more prepared for the two weeks on the manor–and it doesn’t help that Mom doesn’t seem to be taking the contest seriously. Can living in the past save their future?
This one doesn’t really fit living in two times, but it does having a family living two lives in two different “worlds” in common, so…one last addition!
Greetings from Witness Protection! By Jake Burt
Nicki Demere is an orphan and a pickpocket. She also happens to be the U.S. Marshals’ best bet to keep a family alive. The marshals are looking for the perfect girl to join a mother, father, and son on the run from the nation’s most notorious criminals. If the bad guys are searching for a family with one kid, not two, then adding a streetwise girl who knows a little something about hiding things may be just what the marshals need.
Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she’ll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the specter of standardized testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family’s security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past…
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All of these books are exciting reads….go ahead and try one! And see if you would give up your modern life for the adventure of recreating the past.
If you liked these books, ask one of our librarians for help finding others on a similar—or on a completely different!—topic. We love to help match books and readers!