cover image The Princess in the Pigpen

The Princess in the Pigpen

Jane Resh Thomas. Clarion Books, $16 (130pp) ISBN 978-0-395-51587-7

In this clever variation on the time-travel theme, Elizabeth is whisked from 17th-century England to the McCormick farm in present-day Iowa. Though Elizabeth is a nobleman's daughter and accustomed to luxurious living, even the most ordinary features of 20th-century life (cars, television, penicillin) strike her as strange and wonderful. A trip to the doctor seems full of menace, yet brings about miraculous healing. The McCormicks are, in Elizabeth's mind, mere peasants--yet by simply switching an electric light off and on, Mrs. McCormick controls a power that even Queen Elizabeth I has not dreamed of. Comparisons of this sort make up the bulk of the novel. Readers eager for swashbuckling adventure will have to look elsewhere. For those able to appreciate it, this thoughtful novel offers a wry look at the practical side of time travel. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)