Review: Time Shifters
Time travel has always been an intriguing idea. What would happen if we could go back in time and change things? Could we improve our lives? In this entertaining graphic novel, author Chris Grine puts those ideas out there and leaves readers thinking, though they’ll be so entertained that they might not realize it.
By Chris Grine.
Scholastic Graphix. 2017. ISBN 9780545926591
HC, $24.99. 268pp.
Grades 3 and up
Brothers Kyle and Luke are good friends. Like all brothers, they tease and fight, but ultimately they are there for each other. When both are accosted by bullies on a summer afternoon, Kyle attempts to save Luke, but he is pushed into a deep ravine and dies.
While grieving, Luke accidentally stumbles upon some strange characters in the woods behind his house: A mummy, a vampire Napoleon, and a skeleton. They drop a machine that attaches itself to Luke, and he ends up as the target of their chase. Then he meets another curious team: A dinosaur, a poltergeist, and an odd scientist. The machine is a time and space traveler, and it transports Chris and his group into an insect world, where they are chased by the first team.
This is a bizarre and funny adventure that young readers will enjoy. The vivid artwork and the peculiar characters that surround Luke will stretch readers’ imagination. Although this is a light, adventurous read, Grine embeds themes such as friendship, giving the benefit of the doubt, and of course, changing the path of history that will resonate with many readers.
The appealing artwork will make certain that this doesn’t sit on the shelf, and readers will be glad that the story is left open-ended for another adventure to come.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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