Time Traveling with a Hamster - Ross Welford

A story that crosses time and generations, for adventure-loving readers young and old.

“My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine and again four years later when he was twelve.”

On Al Chaudhury’s twelfth birthday his beloved Grandpa Byron gives him a letter from Al’s late father. In it Al receives a mission: travel back to 1984 in a secret time machine and save his father’s life.

Al soon discovers that time travel requires daring and imagination. It also requires lies, theft, setting his school on fire and ignoring philosophical advice from Grandpa Byron. All without losing his pet hamster, Alan Shearer…
If this title alone doesn't intrigue you, surely the synopsis with pique your curiosity. A young boy, a hamster, time travel, grief over a father's death, and exposure to a whole new way of understanding the world and the universe. After Al receives a letter from his father (on his twelfth birthday), he is suddenly involved in time travel, attempting to change the past to save his father by preventing an accident he was involved in back in 1984. We all know that time travel rarely works out smoothly, and this is no exception.

Welford's novel is action-packed, imaginative, and full of humour, which balances out the darker elements around grief and death. Al, his mother, his stepfather, and his mother, are well rounded and make for a great ensemble cast for the narrative. Even Al's father, through his letters, takes on a life of his own. However, speaking of the letters, perhaps my biggest issue with the novel is the very didactic, teacherly moments explaining Einstein's theories of relativity and time travel paradoxes. I understand their purpose, and I'm not saying they should not exist, but these moments of explanation tended to break me out from the story, to a degree. 

Didacticism and explanations of relativity aside, this is a super fun novel that manages to deal with emotionally complex themes delicately and with great sensitivity. Time Traveling with a Hamster is a beautiful story of family, friendship, and the emotional bonds between parents and children.



Popular posts from this blog

Black Chuck - Regan McDonell

Althea & Oliver - Cristina Moracho

A List of Cages - Robin Roe