This is the first in the Shadows from the Past series of books, in which Jemima (good name!) and Joe, friend Charlie and cat Max travel back in time to various exciting events in the past, by means of a strange book they find in their attic.
Not surprisingly, given the title, the first trip takes them to Atlantis. They remember reading about its disappearance from the face of the earth, assumed to be due to a natural disaster, and persuade the friends they make there that it is a really good time to emigrate. Naturally, the priests at the temple don’t take kindly to strangely dressed foreigners telling their people to leave, so some shenanigans go on which allows the author to delve even deeper into the historical elements of early civilisations.
Wait, I hear you say, how come they can magically speak the language of ancient civilisations? I really love the simplicity with which Ms Leighton-Porter solves this one, once and for all the books – there is the equivalent of a babelfish device that solves that problem, and, I was pleased to see, works for the cat too, allowing Max to take a full role in these stories (and what a cat he is!)
Although the story is in itself an interesting and enjoyable adventure, there is the overarching theme of the search for Jemima and Joe’s parents, who disappeared one day. They also went exploring using the strange book – but didn’t know about the translation device, and through another simple mistake are trapped wherever they last went. There is plenty of scope for Ms Leighton-Porter to take us through a raft of ancient civilisations in the search for them, and I for one am looking forward to the journey.
Recommended for Middle Grade readers of all ages!
Read as part of the YA and MG Time Travel Challenge and part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop.