Moving Through Time and Space

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Moving Through Time and Space

Young Adult Fiction With Time and Inter-Dimensional Travel

Some of the most thrilling books involve characters operating in multiple time periods to accomplish a personal goal or rectify a dire circumstance. Whether going backward in history, or forward in time, stories that use this literary device become exciting with each layer of anticipation. The following titles feature teens traveling through time or other dimensions to initiate a chain of compelling events. 

The Here and Now by Ann Brasheres
Prenna and her mom are definitely not typical immigrants. They have immigrated to New York from the 2090s, a dystopian future with climate-change extremes and  mosquito-borne plagues that have eradicated whole civilizations. The few who have survived the plagues and the journey back to 2010 are now tasked with altering the course of environmental history and assimilating without disclosing their origins. The Here and Now conveys an important message that speaks to environmental awareness; however, it reads more like a cautionary tale told behind the lens of high suspense.

Ruins by Orson Scott Card
What is an Orson Scott Card book without a crisis to overcome? In Ruins, Rigg and his time-manipulating comrades are facing the imminent destruction of life on Garden, a colonized planet spanning 11,000 years. When reading this book, you can expect to see the good guys battle against futuristic machines, alternate versions of themselves, a parasitic species and the distraction of infighting during a critical time of interstellar survival. Although a young adult story, Card approaches this sci-fi tale with a philosophical angle that contemplates time travel, human-engineered evolution, gene splicing, artificial intleligence, xenocide and what it means to be human.


Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
Life immediately changes for 13-year-old Tucker Feye when his father disappears through a mysterious disk on the roof of their home. One hour later, he reappears stripped of his religious faith and accompanied by an awkward young woman who he claims is from Bulgaria. A year after this event, both of Tucker’s parents vanish and he sets out to find them with the assistance of a friend and his uncle. Tucker discovers that the “diskos,” which were created by a non-corporeal artist from the distant future, allow travel between time and place. This book utilizes complex characters to convey a sci-fi thriller set around family, faith, destiny and of course, the manipulation of time with forward travel.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Marguerite Cain is the daughter of two famous scientists who invented the "Firebird," a device that permits inter-dimensional travel to where alternate selves exists. When Marguerite’s father is murdered, the unknown assailant flees to another dimension where Marguerite and Theo give pursuit in hopes of catching him. As they traverse through dimensions, Marguerite battles an array of dangerous situations, stress, and an unexpected romance while questioning the ethics of taking over the other Marguerites’ lives. Her feelings about Theo, and also Paul, are thrown into flux as she meets alternate versions of the young men, which adds a layer of character dynamic to a story of revenge on a sci-fi kick. 

Interworld by Neil Gaiman
At 16, Joey Harker can walk into alternate realities with relative ease
not bad for a teenager. He learns of different versions of himself through other worlds and can even live on a secret base known as InterWorld. From here, an army of Joeys, of all different ages and characteristics, battle two evil groups fixated with taking over all the earths in the Altiverse. The HEX uses magic, the Binary relies on science, while the Joeys fight to maintain the naturally occurring balance of these forces. These dueling groups make for a creative visualization of good versus evil on the sci-fi level. Interworld is a fast moving plot that will spend time allowing the reader to "train" with Joey, and "battle" with him as great stakes lie between numerous worlds that culminate in a massive confrontation.