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The Time Cavern Paperback – October 9, 2009

84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


[The Time Cavern] reminded me of Madeleine L'Engel's sci-fi/science-themed children's books - an intelligent youth literature combination of adventure, fantasy and science. -- Aileen Cho - Associate Editor, McGraw-Hill --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Todd A Fonseca is the author of the juvenile fiction novel The Time Cavern which was named a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. Book two in this acclaimed series - The Inverted Cavern - was released by Ridan Publishing in December 2011.  Mr. Fonseca lives in Minnesota with his wife and four boys.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Ridan Publishing (October 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982514514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982514511
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Growing up in the northern Indiana city of Mishawaka, Todd A Fonseca learned of the Amish culture through frequent family Sunday drives to rural Nappanee Indiana. This small town is home to a large Amish community. Those visiting the area experience the Amish through the town's shops and nearby Amish Acres.

During these early years, Fonseca's interest in the arts began with music. He became an accomplished accordionist participating in national competitions leading to a #4 placement in 1983. Fonseca has also performed in New York's Carnegie Recital Hall.

His high school career added drama to his resume. Having the role of curmudgeon Mr. Hassler in The Pajama Game, led to being cast as the lead in the production Jack and the Beanstalk.

At Marquette University, Fonseca received a Biomedical Engineering graduate degree. His professional career includes numerous positions in medical device companies. He is currently a senior clinical research director for a company researching deep brain stimulation for treating conditions such as Parkinson's Disease.

It is this eclectic mix of experiences with the Amish, the Arts, and Science that Fonseca has drawn upon to create The Time Cavern named a 2009 IE National Book Award Finalist.

For more information, visit the official website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Eric D. Knapp VINE VOICE on December 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
UPDATE: There's a new edition of The Time Cavern available, from Ridan Publishing. Product reviews show for all editions, so if you're on the "old" page make sure to click through.

The Time Cavern is a concise, well-written, and endearing story. It's highly suitable for young adult readers: it was mature and clever, yet not overly complex. As an adult, I also enjoyed the book quite a bit -- it reminded me of the Encyclopedia Brown books I used to read when I was a kid, where the hero won the day through intellect and keen observation.

The story is one of exploration and friendship, as Aaron and Jake investigate the source of mysterious voices on the wind, and become entangled in the associated legend of an Amish boy who disappeared one hundred years ago. The story takes place in the quiet farmlands of Amish country, and Aaron learns about the Amish as he plays junior detective. The two friends' adventures are challenged by everything from the rural expansiveness of the country (how does a ten year old kid get all the way into town to look up a census report?) to various riddles involving chemistry, astronomy, mechanics, and history. While the plot might seem a bit obvious to an adult reader, there are definite twists to keep younger audiences enthralled. The characters are well defined and extremely likable, and reading the book invoked a feeling of tense exploration, just like what Aaron and Jake must have felt as they first entered the Time Cavern.

In a nutshell: wonderful, creative, and inspiring!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By TAP on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was on a recommended reading list for 5th grade boys. I wish I could remember what list so I'll know to ignore it next time. I read aloud to my kids a lot and so we read this one.

This book had potential. It had concepts that any 11-year-old boy would be interested in and issues they can all relate to. The author has good storytelling instincts. Unfortunately, he lacks craft. (If the author should read this, I'd like to say that craft can be learned, but storytelling can not. You have talent. You just need to learn to write. Get a book. Take a class. Write a good book next time.)

The book was filled with little mistakes; sentences that didn't make sense, words that were in the wrong form, typos, etc. I found the use of the same boring word like big or large used twice in a sentence and multiple times in a single paragraph extremely distracting, and careless. The author's tendency to switch back and forth between the point of view character was confusing. I don't like reading a badly written book to my kids because it teaches bad writing.

Worst of all, the author fails to follow through on his themes. His primary theme is about the desire of a pre-adolescent to obtain greater personal freedom conflicting with a parent's fear that the child doesn't yet have the sense of responsibility to justify said freedom. The author begins to show the hero of the story learning that being honest with his parents and following through with promises is earning him greater freedom. But as the story continues, the hero just finds better ways to lie, even when the truth could have gotten him what he wanted. In the end, he doesn't learn.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shannon L. Yarbrough VINE VOICE on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
I immediately think of the phrase, "judging a book by its cover," as I write this. Face it. We all do it, which is all the more reason for an author like Todd Fonseca to spend so much time on the cover of The Time Cavern. It is both appealing and eye catching. I hope that Todd's hard work pays off because readers will definitely not be disappointed with what's behind this cover.

As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to a ten year old boy named Aaron who is camping on his own for the first time. Of course, all ten year olds have a wild imagination and long for a sense of independence, so Aaron immediately begins to worry about the sounds he hears outside the tent. He also senses that he is being watched. Fonseca dedicates the book to his own son, also named Aaron. As I nestled into the story, I imagined the author creating this story as a bedtime tale for his son. If that is the case, the author has done an excellent job of transpiring his story to the page.

Aaron decides to investigate the noises outside the tent, but before doing so, he records his thoughts in a notebook. Here, we learn that Aaron is actually camping in the backyard of his new home, in which his family just moved into the day before. The beginning of the story is set up as a nice metaphor for the entire book. You may be frowning at the thought of yet another time travel story based on the title alone, but the young protagonist leaving a big concrete city and moving to the corn fields of Amish country makes for a nice set-up in my opinion which many young readers can relate to.

Fonseca has a talent for appealing to a young audience in the use of his subject matter....independence, moving to a new home, making friends, being afraid, exploration, and the use of the imagination, etc.
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