A mightily accomplished author for teens, Sally Nicholls takes a fresh and perceptive approach to time travel in this new series for younger readers, sending her protagonists back in time to 1912. Although Alex and Ruby use the time-honoured device of a magic portal as a time-slip, what’s refreshing is their down-to-earth understanding of the predicament in which they find themselves. Drawing on their own reading of time-slip adventures, they realise they must solve a problem to make their way back to the twenty-first century. With the young 1912 characters they meet equally pragmatic - and unimpressed by modern inventions such as mobile phones - through Alex and Ruby, readers will also relish the eccentric adults encountered with their adventures of exploration and affairs of the heart. With thefts, stable fires and a rip-roaring car chase, this is a fast adventurous romp, but is also intelligently written so that the reader can take stock of history, its place in our present, and garner greater understanding of the general kindness of others.