Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Don't Know Where, Don't Know When by Annette Laing

Don't Know Where, Don't Know When by Annette Laing
Publisher: Confusion Press
Publication date: August 2007
ISBN: 9780979476945
Source: Review copy provided by author

Don't Know Where, Don't Know When (The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 1) 
Hannah and Alex just moved to pokey old Snipesville, Georgia from San Fransisco.  Unhappy with the move, Hannah is compelled by her father to attend a summer camp for writing, while her brother attends baseball camp.  The two of them do not expect to meet up with Brandon, a black kid also attending baseball camp, or the Professor, a strange woman who seems to follow them around.  But, what they least expect is their time travel to WWII England.  There seems to be no way home except by finding a boy named George Braithwaite, who seems to have disappeared.  Will they ever make it back?

Things I Liked:
This was a fun way to learn more about the history of Britain during both WWI and WWII.  The kids experienced what it was like to be evacuees during those wars as well as the privations and other difficulties children faced back then.  I enjoyed learning more about personal experiences of people during the wars, than what most other books try to teach - the general what happened and when type of information.

Things I Didn't Like:
I found that for more than half of the book, the story moved very slowly.  I got bored and had a hard time plowing through the details, some of which seemed rather extraneous.  Also, some of the transitions between time and place or just sections was abrupt and made it disorienting to read.  Not the best example of time travel to learn about the past, but still pretty good.

Reminded me a bit of the Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

s-factor: !
a few here and there

mrg-factor: X
some children born out of wedlock, but nothing described

v-factor: ->
soldiers who have been injured are described briefly

Overall rating: ***

Do you prefer time travel to teach history, regular historical fiction, or nonfiction?

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I really liked this one, but I agree that it did get a bit slow in places. I loved the extensive detail, though.

  2. I am not a teacher yet (but I will be!), and it all depends on your grade level. Younger kids might like hearing it sugarcoated with fantasy, while older kids might be more interested in the actual facts. Because if you really think about it, history really is a story. It's just one that's true. ;D

  3. I've read mixed reviews on this one, so I really liked reading your thoughts! It doesn't really seem like something that would be of interest to me, but it could have some tween readership.

  4. Lawrel, it was a pretty fun read, even if slow.

    Lauren, true, though I find that sometimes overarching details about a war are not as interesting as minute details of personal lives (what they ate, how they dressed, what they thought/felt/said, etc).

    GreenBean, I've seen mixed reviews as well, but I've heard that plenty of tweens enjoy it. There is definitely an audience for it.


Love it when you comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © melissa of One Librarian's Book Reviews 2008-2015