Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Time Meddlers: Undercover-Deborah Jackson

Time Meddlers: Undercover
Deborah Jackson
Lachesis Publishing, September 2009, $14.95
ISBN: 9781897562437

In Ottawa, thirteen year old Matt Barnes and his best friend Sarah Sachs sneak into his home hoping to find clues to where his father is. They know he is caught back in time in the multiverse. They remain alert knowing his former caretaker and lab assistant Nadine is on the run. When Nadine breaks into the house, they observe her opening a hidden safe. After she leaves, they find microfilm inside the safe. Her father tells the two kids that the library has a reader. There they see highlights from WW II in Amsterdam.

After doing some research Matt recognizes the name of a Dutch undercover Special Operations Executive (SOE) operative Johanna “Celery” Van Duizen. They disobey her dad and reenter his father’s lab only Nadine follows them. They push her into the time portal in which lands her in 1942 in Nazi occupied Amsterdam. The pair follows in terms of time, but switch location to England only to run into trouble with an elite British Royal Air Force unit who ignores their warning that the SOE has a deadly fate awaiting them.

This is a great time travel thriller with a super surprising final twist. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with action as Matt is obsessed with rescuing his dad lost in time and Nadine having his back end up in WW II England and Amsterdam at a key point in which the Dutch resistance is in trouble. Deborah Jackson interweaves the Dutch resistance to the German occupation especially hiding Jews like Anne Frank and her family and other targeted people from the Nazis as a key element in the strong plot. Middle school readers and anyone who read or saw the movie The Diary of Anne Frank (except Holocaust deniers) will enjoy this fine sequel to the Time Meddlers as courage is an equal opportunity trait that ignores religion, ethnic origin, age and gender.

Harriet Klausner

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