Who knows where the time goes?
There never seems to be enough time in Kinvara, or anywhere else in Ireland for that matter. When J.J.'s mother says time's what she really wants for her birthday, J.J. decides to find her some. He's set himself up for an impossible task . . . until a neighbor reveals a secret. There's a place where time stands still—at least, it's supposed to. J.J. can make the journey there, but he'll have to vanish from his own life to do so. Can J.J. find the leak between the two worlds? Will a shocking rumor about his family's past come back to haunt him? And what does it all have to do with the village's new policeman . . . ?
Irish author Thompson's enchanting story may be a long book but it reads quickly fitting since it's about irregularities in the passage of time. J.J. Liddy, 15, lives in a village on Ireland's fabled west coast where the prevailing complaint is about too-busy adults and overprogrammed kids ("Children could scarcely even find time for making mischief"). "Time" is what J.J.'s mother wants most for her birthday. The Liddys, renowned musicians for generations, regularly host a c il (dance) with musicians and step-dancers at their home. But though J.J. is a gifted musician himself, he wants to be two places at once when a friend suggests they go clubbing the same night as the monthly c il . En route to turn his friend down, J.J. is waylaid by a woman who knows why time is flying by but needs J.J. (for reasons having to do with his family history) to fix it. The problem has nothing to do with Ireland joining the E.U., as many locals believe, but rather with events in T r na n' g, the fairy kingdom. As J.J. puts it, "Time is leaking out of our world into yours" a deadly development, since heretofore the "little people" had enjoyed eternal life. Thompson's nifty plotting mines a rich vein of Irish faerie lore and magic for this meditation on the losses that modernization brings. The book is a kind of love song to traditional Irish music, every chapter ends with a melody. Readers may wish the book came with a CD. Ages 10-up.
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What a fun story! This book is a great infused blend of colorful characters, fantastical adventure, and imagination, all wrapped together by wonderful storytelling.