Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: Six Past Midnight

Being a teacher, every so often I like to read some new potential books for read aloud in my classroom.  I usually make a list throughout the school year of books that interest me and read them over the summer while lounging at the beach or on my deck.  This book, Six Past Midnight, was kindly given to me in exchange for a review and I'm so glad I decided to give it a chance.

What I really found interesting about this book is how the author flips the perspectives for each chapter.  We see this a lot in adult fiction but not so much in children's books. I have to say though, that I felt this style of writing really matched well with the plot of the story.

We first meet twin girls, Angie and Crystal, who wake up in their room and realize that their old clock has stopped and so has the world around them.  They recall the older man who gave them the clock and his warning, "Every night you must wind it up.  You must never, ever forget, or absolutely everything will change!" 

In the next chapter, we meet Hans, in a different place and time, and learn a bit of his story.  He works in the clock shop with his father and he longs for a more adventurous life.  He gets what he wishes for when the wall of the shop suddenly starts to move and he walks through a door that closes behind him.  He realizes that in this new time and place, he is invisible.  He wanders into a clock maker's shop, eats the food he finds, and fixes a clock with his tools before leaving.  The family realizes someone has been there and eventually, Hans reveals himself.

Without giving too much away, the girls meet several characters at the Department of Temporal Affairs office and it is discovered that their clock is broken and needs to be fixed before time can start up again.  What is interesting is that the inner workings of the clock don't match the time period when it was created, yet it is authentic.  It was here that I stopped and worked out my theories about how what path the story was going to take to bring Angie, Crystal, and Hans together.

Han's story continues with the clockmaker and his family as the girls go on an adventure to find the same clockmaker in order to get the clock fixed and unfreeze time.  There are many fun characters along the way including other people displaced in time.  I enjoyed the cool futuristic gadgets that helped the girls along on their journey.  I was so excited when they all finally found one another and the pieces of the puzzle began to come together.  I loved that I was still guessing the ending almost until the last moment.

This is a great read for upper elementary students or in a classroom where a unit on fantasy or mystery is being implemented.  Interesting characters kids can relate to, an engaging storyline that keep you turning the pages, and a bit of history to top things off.  A fun read all around!


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