Time Travel In Young Adult Fiction

Georgetown LibraryStaff Picks

Time Travel In Young Adult Fiction

Young Adult Novels Featuring Time Travel

Have you ever wished that you could travel through all of time and space?  Although we may not have time machines at any of our libraries yet, we do have lots of young adult fiction that features time travel, which is the next best thing.  Check out this list whether you want something historical, realistic, or a little paranormal.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

What happens when you have the family time travel gene instead of your beautiful, sophisticated cousin Charlotte who has been prepared all her life? Gwyneth Shepherd would know.  After she feels dizzy at lunch one day and experiences several unplanned and uncontrolled travels through time, Gwyneth and Charlotte are shocked when they discover that Gwyneth has the gene.   Although Gwyneth is unsure of why her mother lied about her birth date, therefore deceiving everyone about who had the gene, Gwen is able to feed her blood to a machine called a chronograph, a process which makes travel smoother.  Other travelers assign Gideon to watch over Gwyneth, even though he is arrogant and obnoxious.  When Gwyneth is told she must travel back in time to communicate with her great-great-grandmother, she starts to have doubts about who she can trust.  Pick up Ruby Red if you like lots of history with your time travel.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

In light of the death of her younger brother Truman, rage and grief are about to destroy Andi Alpers.  Her father has left the family to be with a much younger girlfriend, and her mother simply can't cope.  Struggling with suicidal thoughts, Andi deals with her emotions by taking anti-depressants and playing her guitar.  When she faces explusion from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school, her father returns and decides  to bring her to Paris for her winter break, where is supposed to work on her senior thesis about a French composer. Throughout her studies and research, Andi discovers the diary of actress Alexandrine Paradis who lived over two centuries ago.  When Andi falls and hits her head in the catacombs of Paris, she goes back in time where she is mistaken for Alex, and learns just how dark Alex's secrets really were.  While Revolution is a great time travel story, readers who want to read about grief and the power of music should pick this one up.

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Fans of Jane Austen will love this loose retelling of Pride and Prejudice.  On a class trip to London, Callie decides to use the credit card her mother gave her for emergencies.  The emergency?  Callie wants to be friends with the cool girls, and decides that owning a pair of authentic Prada pumps is the way to do it.  On her way to popularity, Callie trips on the cobblestones, hits her head, and wakes up in the year 1815. Callie literally stumbles into a mansion called Harksbury where she meets the kind-hearted Emily, who takes Callie in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. Soon Callie meets Alex, Emily's maddeningly handsome - though totally arrogant and potentially sinister - cousin, who is also the Duke of Harksbury.   Callie's curiosity about Alex and modern manners get her into all kinds of trouble, including face-planting off velvet piano benches and hiding behind claw-foot couches to streaking through the estate halls wearing nothing but an itchy blanket.  Callie plans to prove to herself that she's not just a klutz and travel back to her own time, but can she save Emily from an unwanted engagement first?  If you want a time travel tale of romance and self-discovery, pick up Prada and Prejudice.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Every year, "Cupid Day" is a great day for popular high schoolers like Samantha Kingston, who receives valentines and roses.  On  Cupid Day of her senior year, though, Sam dies in a car accident on the way home from a party.  Much to her surprise, Sam still wakes up the next morning to realize it's Cupid Day again. This happens for seven days, and each day is a little bit different.  Some days Sam's mistakes, including belittling others and drinking, feel insurmountableBefore her seven days are up, Sam must try and find a way to change the fate of herself and others.  Before I Fall is a beautifully written book that is reminiscent of the film Groundhog Day and that will stick with readers long after they’ve set it down.  Check out Oliver’s debut novel if you want lovely prose and a realistic setting.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Her freshman year, Emerson Cole had a screaming match in her school's cafeteria with someone who wasn't there. Other things she has seen that aren't really there include swooning Southern Belles, soldiers long forgotten, and a haunting jazz trio. All Emerson wants is to be a normal teenager, but despite stints in a mental hospital and at boarding school, she has been plagued by phantoms since her parents' death.  Eventually, Emerson’s brother brings in a consultant, Michael, to try one last thing, and to prevent a murder that happened six months ago.  Meanwhile, Emerson and Michael must navigate their undeniable attraction to one another.  Read Hourglass if you want a time travel novel with some paranormal twists.

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Gottie is not ready for summer.  The first anniversary of her grandfather's death is approaching, and she has to spend a lot of time around her brother's best friend Jason, who is also her ex, and her best friend Thomas, who left five years ago and never kept in touch.  As Gottie tries to deal with her mixed up feelings about Jason and Thomas and her grief, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past to good and bad times. She goes back to the death of her grandfather Grey, to falling in love for the first time with Jason, to when Thomas moved away and left her with a scar on her hand. The Square Root of Summer has quantum physics,time travel, first and second loves, a quirky family and an adorable cat. Hapgood's story about love and loss is full of humor and a unique setting. If you love physics and wormholes, you’ll love The Square Root of Summer.
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Nix and her father Slate, who sail aboard their ship the Temptation, are hardly ordinary pirates.  If Slate has a map to a place or time, whether it's in the past or the present, real or imaginary, their ship can go there: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Their crewmates include a thief who may be more than just a friend to Nix.  Throughout their travels, Slate keeps looking for a map that will take him back to Honolulu in 1868 so he can go back to see Nix's mother.  The crew goes to Hawaii and as Slate's search intensifies, Nix worries that if her parents are reunited, she won't exist anymore.  The Girl from Everywhere is the perfect book for readers who are looking for a creative, new twist on pirate stories.