Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Gideon the Cutpurse Audio

Gideon the Cutpurse Audio

Linda Buckley-Archer
For ages 12 to 15
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Gerard Doyle
Simon & Schuster Audio, 2006   ISBN: 978-0743555586

Peter Schock is furious. His dad has once again put off Peter's birthday celebration, and now Peter is having to go to visit some complete strangers with his au pair. When he gets there, Peter finds that he can't help liking the members of the Dyer family. They are friendly and warm and they make Peter feel welcome. Seeing their loving family connection makes him resent his father all the more. Then something goes terribly wrong and Peter realizes that all he wants is to be back with his dad.

Peter and Kate Dyer are visiting a laboratory when an antigravity machine goes haywire and the two children are transported back to 1763. When they fully come to after their terrifying journey through time, the children have no idea what has happened. They meet a young man called Gideon Seymour who saw their unusual arrival, and who also saw a person called the Tar Man steal the antigravity machine. After Gideon takes them to a local town, the children finally realize what has happened – they are no longer in the world that they know and love. Gideon knows the Tar Man and he agrees to do what he can to help the children get the antigravity machine back. Without it, the children will be stuck in 1763 forever.

This thrilling and highly entertaining title not only tells the story from Peter and Kate's point of view, but it also lets listeners see what Peter and Kate's family are experiencing back in the twenty-first century as they try to find the missing children. The two sides of the tale slowly converge, often getting tantalizingly close before they pull apart again. It is also interesting to see how Peter and Kate react to the world they find themselves in. The children find that the past is often a confusing place where they see things that are very distressing.

This is an exciting beginning to a new trilogy, and Gerard Doyle's narrative is wonderfully compelling. He uses his considerable acting skills to produce convincing voices for all the characters, and listeners will quickly find themselves getting engrossed in Peter and Kate's adventures.