Needing some more modern fantasy titles to share with my children’s literature students, I was excited to read The Lost Track of Time. I was really intrigued by Lee White’s cover art. Click here for White’s amazing website! His in-text illustrations are one of my favorite parts of the book!
Full of timely puns, The Lost Track of Time will appeal to middle grade fans of modern fantasy. Penelope has no time to pursue her interest: writing. Only after entering an alternative universe ruled by Chronos, chief ruler of time, and avoiding never-ending work as a Clockworker, Penelope learns she is capable of creating space for what she wants to do with her time instead of what her mother makes her do with her time.
I will be honest. Modern fantasy is not my favorite genre, and whereas I think some teachers, parents, and students will adore this book, I did not love it. I became bogged down a bit with the book and wish certain parts would have moved a bit quicker. Though “punny” (as my college friend would say), the language play seemed overused (though not unimportant to the book’s plot). What I did like, however, was the book’s theme: overcoming obstacles to make time for what we value. And I definitely found myself empathizing with Penelope’s quest to become the writer she wants to be. So though I really appreciated its theme and plot, The Lost Track of Time is not one of my recent favorite books for middle grades readers. I will mention it to my children’s literature students as a contemporary modern fantasy title, but I did not add it to my syllabus.
Let me know what you think of The Lost Track of Time in the comments below.