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Tween

Teen

14 Time Travel Books for Tweens and Teens

by Iva-Marie Palmer

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Whether the kid in your life is a fan of realistic stories or science-fiction tales, books with an element of time travel often hold broad appeal because they tap into a universal curiosity — learning what life was like in the past (or will be like in the future). In some cases, time travel alters the course of our personal history. These books for middle grade and young adult readers run the gamut — from love stories and family dramas to adventures and horror tales that explore new eras and other realities.

  • The Retake

    by Jen Calonita

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    Middle school has never been easy, but it’s more complicated than ever in the age of social media. Zoe's best friend Laura seems to be slipping away. She fails to return Zoe’s texts, and Zoe ends up watching Laura’s exciting new life through her phone screen. The solution comes in the form of a magical app that allows her to travel back in time to figure out where their friendship went wrong. But Zoe learns that maybe second chances don't always fix things.
    (Ages 8 -12)

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  • Time Traveling with a Hamster

    by Ross Welford

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    Fans of Back to the Future will adore this story of a boy sent on a mission to save his father’s life. (Yes, you read that right.) When Al Chaudhury receives a letter from his dead father on his birthday, it leads him to the basement of his old house, where a time machine made from an ancient computer and a tin bucket awaits. Following the instructions, Al returns to 1984 to prevent the go-kart incident that will kill his father. Hilarious and heartfelt, this one is great for bookworms and reluctant readers alike.
    (Ages 8+)

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  • A Traveller in Time

    by Alison Uttley and Phyllis Bray

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    Penelope is a sickly child who spends her days reading and daydreaming. Her mother is worried enough to send her from London to the country for some head-clearing fresh air. There, Penelope goes back in time and becomes part of the family who will try to free Mary, Queen of Scots, from prison. Penelope can’t change their minds about the ill-fated mission, which forces her to confront the question of free will versus fate.
    (Ages 8 - 12)

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  • The Glass Sentence

    by S.E. Grove

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    It’s 1891, and Sophia Tims comes from a family of travelers and cartographers. They've worked on mapping the world since the Great Disruption of 1799 flung all the continents into different time periods. Eight years ago, Sophia's parents went on an expedition and never returned, leaving her in the care of her uncle. But when her uncle gets kidnapped, she and her friend Theo set out to find him, putting their lives in danger. Fantasy lovers will devour the first novel in a trilogy that whisks them to other places and times.
    (Ages 10+)

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  • On the Blue Comet

    by Rosemary Wells, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

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    After the stock market crash of 1929, Oliver's father leaves him in his aunt's care and goes west in search of work. But when Oliver witnesses a crime, he’s vaulted onto a coast-to-coast train journey that zips through decades and introduces Oliver to historical figures. With Bagram Ibatoulline’s color illustrations, this train ride is one that readers won’t soon forget.
    (Ages 10+)

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  • The Time Machine (Graphic Novel)

    by H.G. Wells, illustrated by Rajesh Nagulakonda, adapted by Lewis Helfand

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    Wells’ classic adventure gets the graphic novel treatment in this ultra-compelling and concise adaptation. When a mysterious figure known as the Time Traveler joins some friends for dinner, he tells stories too wild to be believed. Even when he hands them proof that his stories are valid, his friends think he’s simply a magician. But as he recounts more of his amazing adventures, his friends start to wonder if his incredible tales could be true.
    (Ages 10+)

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  • Finn and the Time-Traveling Pajamas

    by Michael Buckley

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    Author of the best-selling Sisters Grimm series, Michael Buckley is back with the second book in his new Finniverse series. Finn gets a visit from the older version of himself, asking for help defeating a creature obsessed with gaining revenge on Finn’s father. If he's successful, Finn will find his dad. But when his unusual time-travel pajamas malfunction, Finn and his friends have to contend with all manner of foes from across time.
    (Ages 10+)

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  • Charlotte Sometimes

    by Penelope Farmer

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    When Charlotte goes to sleep on her first night at boarding school, she doesn't expect to wake up forty years earlier. She has gone back in time from 1958 to 1918. It’s hard enough to get used to a new school, let alone a whole new time in history. Despite the unbelievable circumstances Charlotte faces, this is ultimately a story about figuring out who you are in adolescence.
    (Ages 12 - 14)

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  • 23 Minutes

    by Vivian Vande Velde

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    Everyone thinks Zoe Mahar won't amount to much — including herself. But when she ducks into a bank to avoid the rain, she witnesses a terrifying robbery. Zoe can rewind time and repeat events in 23-minute increments, but the results finalize after ten tries. As she jumps back in time and tries to alter the robbery's outcome, Zoe learns that she has more to offer than she ever realized.
    (Ages 12 - 14)

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  • Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Boxed Set

    by Ransom Riggs

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    Ransom Riggs’s bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children books begin when Jacob Portman journeys to an island off the coast of Wales. There, he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores the home, he finds himself in a time loop, learning about the children who lived there and fearing he’s unleashed something dangerous.
    (Ages 13+)

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  • The Here and Now

    by Ann Brashares

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    Prenna James comes from a world in ruins. She and the others who’ve traveled back through time are here to prevent humanity’s destruction. But there are rules they must follow. Ethan Jarves can never know that Prenna is from another time. As Prenna's feelings for Ethan grow, she risks putting her entire mission in jeopardy. This star-crossed lovers story from the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants will grab readers craving a sci-fi romance.
    (Ages 13+)

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  • The Future of Us

    by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

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    If you could peek into your future, would you? It's 1996, and Emma has just received a CD-ROM to get her onto AOL. When she does, she and her best friend Josh discover they’re on Facebook, 15 years in the future. While Josh is happy with what he sees, Emma is not. They'll find that even the smallest changes to their current lives impact their futures.
    (Ages 13+)

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  • Time Travel for Love and Profit

    by Sarah Lariviere

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    Nephele is a math genius, but she has a difficult time making friends. What’s the point of her amazing brain if she can’t solve her social life? When she invents an app that lets her travel back in time, she gets stuck in a time loop and repeats the 9th grade ten times. Just when she figures out how to return to her own time, she makes her first real connection.
    (Ages 13+)

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  • When You and I Collide

    by Kate Norris

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    Fans of Sliding Doors and 11/22/63 will want to read Norris’s upcoming novel about 16-year-old Winnie, who can see moments in time when two possible outcomes diverge in separate universes. Her father, depressed and cruel since her mother's death, thinks she can learn to choose between results and change their fates. It’s a dangerous game to play during World War II, and Winnie resists for as long as she can. But a matter of the heart draws her into an alternate timeline – one that already has a Winnie. (On sale: 6/8/2021)
    (Ages 13+)

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