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Uptime, Downtime Hardcover – June, 1992


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Juv); English Language edition (June 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671732749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671732745
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,275,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After wishing themselves away from an pleasant home situation, orphaned siblings Karyn and Mike are shocked to find themselves at Stonehenge in the Bronze Age. They soon realize that they're able to wish themselves back--and anywhere else they want to go in space and time. Karyn later discovers Jason, an orphan from the year 2152, and the threesome elect to find a place and time where they can live happily. In checking out the 1860 Missouri territory, they come across Karen, an abused seven-year-old who has wished herself away from 1902 England. Century-hopping Gwen, first encountered at Stonehenge, joins the others occasionally, taunting them for their "safe" choices in time travel. The group of orphans travels to dinosaur days and Mike alters history by stealing a tyrannosaurus egg. How the kids change it back makes for adventurous and thought-provoking reading. Peel, author of the Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? books and the adult Doctor Who series, creates an entertaining, believable mix of science fiction and historical fact. Readers can take heart that Peel has left the door open for more escapades in time. Ages 9-13.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-- The concept of time as a river by which some people can travel to different centuries informs a fantasy that is stronger on plot and action than on original ideas. Orphans Karyn and Mike discover they can leave their Long Island home at will to go ``uptime'' or ``downtime.'' After overhearing a remark by their guardian uncle that makes them believe they are an unwelcome burden, the siblings embark on a series of excursions through time, searching for a new home. They encounter Gwen, Jason, and Becky, three young people who share their ability. When Jason's theft of a dinosaur egg changes history, all must work together to get time's river back on course. Despite the ``you-are-there'' scenes of Stonehenge, the Pony Express, Saxon guerrillas, and the age of dinosaurs, the book never succeeds in creating an authentic sense of the past. Its flat style and predictability contribute to a mechanical quality that subverts its potential; the implications of possessing such unlimited power as these youngsters do are treated superficially. Eleanor Cameron's Court of the Stone Children (Dutton, 1973), John Rowe Townsend's The Visitors (Lippincott, 1977; o.p.), and Pam Conrad's Stonewords (HarperCollins, 1990) have more substance. This one is a comfortable, undemanding read. --Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Patrick E. Oneil on December 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a well-read adult and usually stick to authors like Tom Perrotta. I got this book because I'm thinking of writing an SF story that involves time travel and wanted to check my impression that "downtime" meant going into the past and "uptime" into the future. I had to read about sixty pages of this book to find that reference and by that time I was interested in what was going to happen. This wasn't a great novel by any means, but it was involving enough to keep me reading up to the end.
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