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The Time Thief

"This second book in an inventive time-travel series interweaves Black history and a whole lot of heart-pounding, heart-warming drama"

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

Adventurous and inventive, this second book in Patience Agbabi’s The Leap Cycle is a highly readable time travel adventure that shares information about Black British history and inclusive representations of autism through a zippy page-turner of a story.

Endearing, brave thirteen-year-old Elle Bibi-Imbele is a Leapling - one of the rare people born on the 29th February, who’s all the rarer since she also has The Gift of being to leap through time. And beyond that, she’s also an Infinite: “I LOVE being an Infinite. The Infinites are a youth group who fight crimes on the timeline for a better, greener future”. The story begins when an Intercalary International school trip to the Museum of the Past, the Present and the Future goes awry when the museum’s Infinity-Glass vanishes. Worse still, Elle’s friend MC ² is arrested for the theft of this extra special exhibit - it was “purchased by Dr Johnson, the famous lexicographer, writer of dictionaries, and given as a present to his young black servant, Francis Barber”.

Naturally it falls to The Infinites to solve the mysterious case of the missing Infinity-Glass, and during the course of their investigation Elle and co whizz back to Dr Johnson’s London. On arrival, she feels uncomfortable, and it suddenly hits her that “they’re staring because I’m black…I wonder how many black people live in London in 1752 compared to 2021?” On learning that Dr Johnson had given Francis a safe haven from enslavement, Elle realises that slavery happened not only in the Caribbean and America, but also in Britain - “maybe that’s why that couple were staring so hard at me earlier - they wanted to BUY me. I could be in terrible danger!” With menace encroaching from every angle, Elle must muster all her strength and skills to save her friend, to save the day, and the future.

Joanne Owen

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