The Time Cavern Series
I remain charmed and delighted after finishing Todd Fonseca's The Time
Cavern. As other reviewers point out, this is the story of two
youngsters, a brilliant boy who has recently relocated from the city to
the country and an adventurous farm girl. Tom Sawyer-style, they embark
upon adventures that lead them to very unexpected places. I don't want
to reveal more of the story, though, given the title, it's no surprise
that a time cavern is involved. It's a great read, and the ending is an
This isn't simply a sci-fi thriller, though both terms describe it.
The author sets the tale in Amish farm country, unfamiliar territory to
this reader. The gentle Amish culture provides a backdrop for the
story, adding a haunting dimension. It's also farm country--more
unfamiliar territory for me. The only thing I knew about corn was how
to eat it; the story teaches us about threshing and combines and other
rural mysteries as part of the farm cycle.
Charming is the only word I can think of to describe this book. The
Amish element, the two cute kids, their families, the old barn, and, of
course, what they discover in the woods is a compelling blend. I'm
looking forward to the sequel.
The values dimension of this book must be emphasized. When I was in
graduate school in counseling, we counselors-to-be would sit around
with our professors and talk about the decline in social values that we
saw in the mass culture around us. We'd wring our hands and moan,
"What's it all about?" The state of mass culture has gotten more
alarming since my school days.
This book embodies personal health. It stars two bright,
inquisitive kids from intact families. Both families have moms and dads
devoted to strong and positive parenting. They know where there kids
are. Or at least they try to: Those kids are a handful. The book weaves
its spell with no violence, monsters, explosions, strong language--and
not a single vampire! I'd recommend it to all YA fans and their
parents. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
On the surface, The Time Cavern, appears to be an average, YA Sci-Fi adventure tale. The plot initially simplistic: A young boy (Aaron) and his tomboy girlfriend (Jake), discover an ancient mystery of the universe, a time machine. Yet, the story is more than a fiction-adventure for young boys (and girls). It is also a learning tool. For nestled within the pages of his story, Todd Fonseca subtly weaves an abundance of life-lessons.
I was pleasantly surprised to find The Time Cavern overflowing with factoids involving astronomy, science, history, religious acceptance, and family tolerance&all intertwined into an intriguing tale of mystery, discovery and suspense.
One of my favorite chapters involved a brief, but heartfelt, father-son talk&climaxing with ten-year-old Aarons realization that he indeed needed to take responsibility in his being grounded. Sprinkled throughout the book, precious gems of knowledge and wisdom are as abundant as the hidden clues propelling Aaron and Jakes quest to solve the ancient mystery.
I highly recommend The Time Cavern, for parents that are looking for an intellectual story that neither talks over the heads of its readers, or talks down to them. It is easy to tell from Todd Fonsecas tale, that he possesses the wisdom of the ancients, and the soul of eternal youth.
Dee Marie ~ author of Sons of Avalon: Merlins Prophecy