Review: The Time Travel Diaries

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations


Today we feature a new time-travelling adventure from Caroline Lawrence, author of the well-loved Roman Mysteries series.


In this new series, there are three rules of time travel: you travel naked, you don't eat and you try to interact as little as possible. What could possibly go wrong when London schoolboy Alex is transported back to Roman London? Review Panel member Christine tells us more...


Book Title: The Time Travel Diaries (available here)

Author: Caroline Lawrence

Publisher: Piccadilly Press

Publication Date: April 2019

Most Suitable for: Years 5-6

Reviewed By: Christine Ivory, Year 6 Teacher/Writing & Science Lead


A perfect mixture of futuristic science and historical fiction, The Time Travel Diaries takes the reader on an intriguing adventure through Roman London.


Young Alex has been sent on a time-travelling mission by billionaire Solomon Daisy. Tasked with finding a blue-eyed girl with an ivory knife, Alex discovers that navigating a historic town without drawing much attention to himself is more difficult than it sounds. What follows is dangerous adventure through Roman Londinium where suddenly nothing feels safe any more.


The theme of time travelling may provide children a way of accessing the historical aspects of the book and exploring comparisons between now and ancient times. Readers are able to empathise to the main character’s thoughts and feelings as he realises the differences between modern life and life in Roman London and the problems that may arise because of this. The author provides an insight into the violence of the times, however this is portrayed in a way that is suitable for the upper primary school age group. Many children in Years 5 and 6 would be able to relate to the main character, a young teenager that navigates the troubles that school life may bring, as well as dealing with living with his grandmother after the death of his parents.


This historical adventure would make a good addition to a school library and a great stimulus to start investigating how Roman London compared to the modern city.


Curriculum links: Romans


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You can order The Time Travel Diaries online or from your local bookshop or library.


Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Christine for reviewing it.

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