cover image Nick of Time

Nick of Time

Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Little Brown and Company, $15.95 (204pp) ISBN 978-0-316-52629-6

Jericho, age 13, lives in New Hampshire with his father and his eight-year-old sister, Maple. Theirs is no ordinary home: Dad, aka Fugleman (``in German, it means some kind of leader''), turned it into a progressive school shortly after Maple's birth--when the siblings' mother abruptly deserted them. Jericho meets Nick, a blond, blase fellow who transports himself from the year 2094 via a height chart on the kitchen wall. Visiting Nick's time, Jericho enters a dull, albeit strange era (uniformity is key, yet men wear makeup). Lindbergh ( Travel Far, Pay No Fare ) aims for witty and cerebral in Jericho's first-person narration and in the dialogue, but her attempts fall short. For example, the copious supply of footnotes, which clarify minor story points, proves more annoying than informative (``If you're expecting me to tell you what the roach tasted like, forget it. I didn't ask Maple because I didn't want to know''). Although time-travel is a popular motif with the target audience, this work may not fly. Ages 8-12. (May)