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I've had this new transitional chapter book series on my TBR for awhile. I was excited to receive it in the mail last week because I wanted to know more!
Time Twisters Series
Abraham Lincoln Pro Wrestler and Abigail Adams Pirate of the Caribbean
written by Steve Sheinkin
published by Roaring Brook Press
You probably know author Steve Sheinkin for his middle grade nonfiction books like Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon or maybe The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights. Or maybe you know one of his newest - Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team. He's definitely made a name for himself!
I was intersted in seeing how he was going to write for a new audience and a new genre!
The series is called "Time Twisters". We meet step siblings Doc and Abby. While they wait for their teacher parents after school, they pass the time in the library supply room where they are supposed to be doing their homework. Little did they know this is the place where history would come alive for them! For here is where they meet Abraham Lincoln... where else would you meet him?? He's come to let the two know that history might be a little different from now on because everyone in history can hear them, you know, when they say "history is boring", they hear it all! Lincoln is the first and he's had it. He's come to try new things - like pro wrestling! Meanwhile, history isn't sounding right. Instead of Lincoln making one of his biggest speeches after accepting the results of the presidential election, Lincoln is just missing from the history books! That's because he's busy wrestling in today's times. It's up to Doc and Abby to set things straight before time twists itself into something very different!
In the second book, Abigail Adams starts to get the idea that she's known more for hanging laundry in the East Room instead of convincing her husband to not forgetting the ladies when writing the rights of the American people. She's heard from Abraham Lincoln that if you don't like the way history is written, go change it! Abigail decides to go where women fight for their rights - in the time of piracy! Abigail joins Anne Bonny and Mary Read and takes the pirate code before fighting alongside other pirates! Once again, can Doc and Abby help get history back on track before we have a new history to learn?
Almost every two page spread has an illustration or two by Neil Swaab to give readers a visual. Since history can be vague to young readers, this gives them a visual representation of a possible unknown concept/person.
At the end of each book, Sheinkin includes a section called "Un-Twisting History". Here he explain some fact from fiction and gives his readers a little more insight into what happened in history. Sheinkin mentions using sources to help him with his research, I just wish he had included a list of them in this section.
I think the Abraham Lincoln book, really the first in this unnumbered series, should be read first. It sets up the concept of the historical figures being tired of hearing that history is boring and giving them the idea to change history. After this first book, it seems like the rest can be read in any order.
This series will be fun to include in 3rd-5th grade classrooms. Readers don't have to have a lot of knowledge about the historical figures to enjoy this book, and they will definitely learn about them through this series. I'm looking forward to seeing what other historical figures Sheinkin will feature - looks like Neil Armstrong and Nat Love are next!
Do you work with readers who are starting their journey on the road to reading? Join Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy and me every Thursday as we explore books and ideas to help readers have a successful start to independent picture book and chapter book reading. If you blog or have a Goodreads page, please link up with us!