Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Charlie Bone and the Time Twister: Children of the Red King Book Two

Charlie Bone and the Time Twister: Children of the Red King Book Two

Jenny Nimmo
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Scholastic, 2003   ISBN: 978-0439496872

It is a freezing January in 1916 and Henry and James Yewbeam are having to spend the holidays with their uncle Sir Gideon Bloor at Bloor's Academy. The Academy is a grim, and at the moment it is a very cold place, and both boys are homesick and unhappy. Henry does not get on with any of his relatives and he and his cousin Zeke have a mutual dislike for each other. So, to pass the time Henry likes to play with his marble collection. One evening he is playing a game of Ring Taw when Zeke slips a very special glass sphere in amongst the marbles on the floor. What Henry does not know is that the lovely glass ball is a Time Twister and if you look at it for too long it will transport you though time. Zeke knows this full well. In fact he is counting on Henry to look at it. Of course Henry cannot resist looking at the lovely glowing ball and before he knows quite what is happening to him he is sent spinning into the future.

Henry arrives in Bloors Academy ninety years into the future. Luckily the first person to see him is none other then Charlie Bone. Charlie knows all about this great uncle who mysteriously disappeared ninety years ago. Charlie also knows enough to know that it is probably not a good idea to let the Bloors know that Henry has arrived on the scene. So he finds a temporary hiding place for Henry while he tries to figure out what is to be done with the boy. Not surprisingly Henry wants to go back to own his time but neither one of the boys is sure if the Time Twister can be made to do this.

Unfortunately while Henry and Charlie are trying to figure things out, the Bloor's spy, Billy Raven, finds out about Henry and soon the Bloors and Charlie's creepy aunts are looking for Henry. It turns out that cousin Zeke, the same cousin Zeke who gave Henry the Time Twister all those years ago, still has it in for Henry even though he is an ancient and feeble old man. He wants Henry in his grasp and who knows what he will do to the boy this time. Charlie and his friends are going to have to work fast if they are to have any hope of keeping Henry out of the clutches of the Bloors and the evil Yewbeam aunts.

This second book in the Charlie Bone series is just as enthralling and magical as the first one was. Readers will find this fascinating story hard to resist and it is interesting to see how both Charlie's relationships with the other Children of the Red King develop, and how his own powers begin to evolve. New possibilities regarding his missing father are put forward and we begin to hope that Charlie might be able, some day, to find his elusive parent after all.