From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-This is more a time-travel fantasy than a ghost story. Andrew, 12, is about to die from diphtheria when he accidentally falls through a hole in his own time (1910) and finds himself in 1990, in his own room, now occupied by his great-great-nephew Drew. The boys, identical look-alikes, then change places. Modern medicine saves Andrew's life, and the boys try to settle into their new and different roles. The story becomes one of coming-of-age for both of them. Shy, timid Drew hasn't bargained on filling the shoes of the wild Andrew, and Andrew is equally uncomfortable in "pantywaist" Drew's shoes. However, Andrew is reluctant to switch back, fearing he will die if his body returns to 1910. The boys strike a bargain-when Drew wins at marbles, they will change places. Suspense mounts as the story progresses. Will the families notice that something is awry? Will the boys mess up family history by meddling with past events? Will Andrew survive when he gets back home? These questions keep the story moving until all comes clear in a humorous but somewhat contrived ending. There isn't the intense foreboding found in Hahn's ghost story Wait Till Helen Comes (Clarion, 1986), but there is enough tension to keep readers engaged. Instructions for the marble game are appended.Virginia Golodetz, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Gr. 4-6. Shy, insecure, and an only child, Drew adores his great-aunt Blythe. There's something odd about the ancestral house she lives in, though--the house where Drew is to spend the summer while his parents are in Europe. It isn't long before he finds out what. By removing a bag of marbles from beneath an attic floorboard, he and Blythe unwittingly open a door to the past and clear the way for the visitation of the boy Andrew Tyler, a distant relative who looks just like Drew. When the boys change places, Drew travels back to 1910, where he finds two new caring parents and the brother and sister he's always wanted. In trying to live up to Andrew's brash, mischievous reputation, polite, quiet Drew also discovers how to assert and to trust himself. There's plenty to enjoy in this delightful time-slip fantasy: a fascinating premise, a dastardly cousin, some good suspense, and a roundup of characters to care about. And although kids may long for more than the glimpse given of Andrew's handling of modern times, they'll still love the story, which comes full circle when Drew, back home with Blythe, meets Andrew, all grown up and an old, old man. Stephanie Zvirin
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