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Accidental Time Traveller by Janis Mackay
The Big Wander by Will Hobbs
The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Canadian Cinema Since the 1980s: At the Heart of the World by David L. Pike
The Canary Trainer by Nicholas Meyer
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Great House by Nicole Krauss
Her Permanent Record by Jimmy Gownley
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The Main Corpse by Diane Mott Davidson
Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
My Invisible Boyfriend by Susie Day
Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci
Ottoline At Sea by Chris Riddell
Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
The Rules by Stacey Kade
The Secret of the Stone Frog by David Nytra
Skywalkers: Mohawk Ironworkers Build the City by David Weitzman
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Someday by Charlotte Zolotow
Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
The Twelve Bots of Christmas by Nathan Hale
Who's Seen the Scissors by Fernando Krahn
Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded by John Scalzi

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Accidental Time Traveller: 06/18/13

cover art

Accidental Time Traveller by Janis Mackay is about the friendship between a boy in 2013 and a girl from 1813. Saul is on his way to the corner shop on an errand for his mother when Agatha suddenly appears in the middle of traffic. He helps her find a place to hide, helps her adjust to 2013, and ultimately helps her find her way home.

The book is probably best suited for children living in and around Edinburgh, Scotland as it's very detail oriented, especially for Agatha's half of the story. There's an afterword by the author explaining the inspiration for Agatha.

That said, Saul is a relatable protagonist. Although he's frustrated by having to now share his parents (and their limited funds for toys) with his infant twin brothers, he's not consumed by his emotions (as is often the case with this sort of set up). He is genuinely concerned about Agatha and is willing to help.

Agatha, too, isn't a complete fish out of water. Two hundred years is a long time, sure, but these a children growing up in the same neighborhood of the same city — a city with a much longer history. That shared geography with shared traditions gives Agatha a point of reference for learning about the modern day.

My one quibble, though, is the title. Yes, Agatha is a time traveller. But there's nothing accidental about her arrival in 2013. Perhaps the word unexpected would be a better one. Agatha is a time traveler, though this is the longest she's gone into her future. The how and why of her ability to travel is more grounded in metaphysics and magic than in wibbly wobbly science young Doctor Who fans might be expecting.

All in all, I liked it. It took me a while to settle on a premise I had misunderstood (as had other reviewers). Somehow I had expected Saul to go back in time, rather than Agatha to come forward in time.

Four stars

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