cover image Friends in Time

Friends in Time

Grace Chetwin. Bradbury Press, $13.95 (127pp) ISBN 978-0-02-718318-4

In this time-slip variation on the timeless theme of middle-grade friendships, Emma Gibson gets an unusual visitor. The girl has never made friends easily, since she and her family are always moving, but here in historical Middletown, N.Y., she found popular Kim. Still, as Emma is getting ready to move again, Kim drops her. Emma runs to the old Bentley mansion to sulk, wishing for just one friend. Magic enters the picture, bringing with it Abigail Bentley--from the year 1846. Emma is delighted, but Abigail wants only to go home. Emma winds up learning a valuable lesson about other people's feelings and Abigail returns home safe and sound. While the story sounds a single, didactic note that will appeal primarily to fans of the genre, Chetwin ( Collidescope ; Child of the Air ) does a credible job of keeping Emma sympathetic and making her somewhat predictable story move along briskly. Ages 8-12. (May)