tj and the time stumblers by bill myers (tyndale)

Writing fiction for kids cannot be easy. Interests, expressions, language, technology and everything else about each age group changes quicker than one can write a book. With that recognition, I don’t mean to be overly critical of this book.

First, all the stuff about it that I think kids would like:

  • The plot is centered around time travel–Now what chid–or adult–doesn’t like time travel, right? Myers is very visual in his narrative and truly transports the reader on a journey.
  • The style of writing could be very appealing to young readers. It is a mixture of prose and comic book dialog without the pictures. But that’s the beauty of Myers’ style–His words have the ability of conjuring up the needed pictures and motions in the reader’s mind.
  • The character are well developed.
  • The story is about good living without breathing down Christian morality or guilt trips.

Now, for the other stuff–All the points mentioned above are in reference to a much younger reader than the reader Tyndale or Myers had in mind. This book is being marketed as juvenile fiction for adolescent readers. I can’t imagine what made them think this would appeal to that group of readers!

The characters are in junior high–seventh and eight graders. But I don’t see the language or the story appealing to this group of readers. Having worked with children and curriculum, Kindergarten through high school, I just don’t think a seventh-grader would identify himself with the character or have an interest reading the book.

I think the book would appeal more to a 3rd or 4th grader.

(I received this book free from Tyndale. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

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