Summary: Chant Baker finds and old time machine in the basement of his parents’ shop. He uses it to visit a few key spots in history and solve a small mystery.
- It’s middle grade appropriate.
- I’m not big on time travel books in general because logic always messes with my head. They tried to address the issue of clothes a few times, but it just seemed like everywhere Chant went initially, people were very friendly and totally accepting of the fact that he appeared out of nowhere. I can see his clothes blending in well enough in the 1960’s but 1860’s?
- His family’s perfect, but that’s cool. The fact that a perfect nuclear family strikes me as abnormal is probably just a sad commentary on the state of the modern world.
- The places Chant chooses to visit do follow a certain logic, which I appreciate. (Mostly, they’re places he wants to study for history or English class.) I enjoyed the fact that he didn’t get a perfect grade even though he’d traveled back in time and witnessed the event in person because history isn’t always remembered perfectly.
- There wasn’t a real sense of danger, but that might come from the general middle grade feel than something in the plot. Probably don’t want a story like this to come across as too scary anyway.
- I hear the audio version, which was very good.
- Fun, unique premise that’s well-executed (in audio format anyway)
Conclusion: If middle grade time travel’s something you enjoy, Chant won’t disappoint you.
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If you could sum up The Time Pedaler in three words, what would they be?
Imaginative, respectful, educational
Who was your favorite character and why?
The main character, Chant, is a great example for youth: inquisitive, respectful, and diligent. The Time Pedaler does a nice job of demonstrating respect for diverse cultures, the importance of hard work, and even old-fashioned values like being polite. And it does so without being heavy-handed. Drop in some history lessons and a bit of a thread to tie them all together, and this was an enjoyable listen for me and my 9 year old both.
Have you listened to any of Drew Brown’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This is the only performance of Drew Brown's I've listened to, but I found it consistent and easy to follow along with. Slight accent shifts with different characters was done well. Voice and style fit with the character and context.
What made the experience of listening to The Time Pedaler the most enjoyable?
I listen to audio books constantly and I was quite impressed by the talent of the voice actor who read the story. For me, the quality of the reading can make a huge difference in how much I enjoy a book. They are setting the tone, engaging the listener, building excitement, and creating the characters in my mind.
What did you like best about this story?
I liked how Chant was curious and adventurous, and open to learning from his experiences. I think that sets a good example for young teens.
Which character – as performed by Drew Brown – was your favorite?
I really enjoyed his portrayal of Robert E. Lee's assistant/cook, William.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes. I traveled for work, and this book was just the right length for my trip.