Tam is unhappy at home and often takes refuge in the ruins of Thowt It Farm. But then one day he is transported back to the Second World War. Alone and afraid, he makes friends with May, who has been rescued from a bombed-out house. She tries to persuade him to stay at the farm, but Tam is afraid of being trapped in the past forever.
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Melvin Burgess is regarded as one of the best writers in contemporary children's literature. In 1997 his controversial bestseller Junk won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. It was also shortlisted for the 1998 Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Four of his novels have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal: The Cry of the Wolf, An Angel for May, The Baby and the Fly Pie and The Ghost Behind the Wall. Melvin lives in Manchester with his two children.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-7?This British import combines time travel and contemporary concerns to create an unusual novel. Tam, a 12-year-old boy struggling with his parents' divorce, finds refuge at an old burned-out farmhouse. After meeting a homeless old woman and her loyal dog, Winnie, he suddenly and briefly gets a glimpse of the past. Fearful but intrigued, the boy returns to the old house and travels 50 years into the past. Despite hostility from the villagers and concerns about his situation, Tam spends two happy weeks with a friendly farmer, Mr. Nutter, and young May, a traumatized child of uncertain origins and abilities. Back in the present, Tam is unable to explain his absence to his parents or to forget the friends he left behind. By time-traveling once more, he discovers that while he is unable to prevent a past tragedy, he can make a positive impact in the present. Although the plot is well paced, the period detail convincing, and the "past" cast of characters vivid and engaging, Burgess's characterizations of Tam and his family are somewhat sketchy. This may make it difficult for readers to care deeply about his adventures or to believe in the novel's hopeful, if somewhat abrupt, resolution. Despite lingering questions and quibbles, however, Burgess's novel may find an appreciative audience among those who enjoy a thought-provoking read.?Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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