Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Time Museum by Matthew Loux

I dutifully bought Loux's earlier, acclaimed series Salt Water Taffy years ago, but honestly was never really a fan and neither were my readers. So I postponed reading this for quite a while. When I finally did, I realized instantly what I had been missing.

The story opens with a mysterious adventure by strange men in goggles, tyrannosaurs, and mysterious technology. It quickly snaps back to the current day and science enthusiast Delia Beetle. She's determined to have a great summer of visiting museums and studying science, even though her best friend doesn't share her enthusiasms. Fortunately, they're visiting her favorite relative, Uncle Lyndon, and his remarkable house with plenty to explore and document. In fact, she discovers even more than she expected when she finds her uncle's Earth Time Museum, an amazing place that includes artifacts across time and space. Even better, her uncle tells her she has a chance at getting a prestigious internship! Delia can't think of anything she'd rather do and she even likes her competitors; her roommate Michiko Odo, tech-genius Reggie, Titus from the Roman Empire, and Dex (he's one of the smart neanderthals). Delia isn't so sure about self-confident Greer, but after some wild adventures they're all great friends. Or are they? When things go wrong and Delia messes up, will her new friends ever trust her again? Do any of them have a chance at getting the internship - or saving the world?

Loux' art shows a world of cinematically skinny kids and adults, all with explosive energy, flying hair, and engaging grins. There's not much diversity, especially for a story covering a huge variety of times, and the characters stick pretty firmly to Western culture. However, the backgrounds have some diverse characters and there's no worries about Delia leading the group despite her gender and her emotional reactions to messing up.

Despite the drawbacks, it's an exciting science fiction adventure with last-minute choices, different personalities learning to work together, and plenty of tense moments of action. My favorite part was the genuine depiction of the warm friendship that grows between Delia and Michiko which is treated as an important part of the story. The robot librarian and her robot cats are pretty cute too.

Verdict: This is a new adventure that will grab the interests of a wide range of readers. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781596438491; Published 2017 by First Second; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library


Emily said...

Sounds good! Would you put it in the children's or YA area? Thanks :)

Jennifer said...

Juvenile - it's definitely middle grade, not teen.

Emily said...

Oh, good, that means I get to buy it! :) Thank you!