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“My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine and again four years later when he was twelve. The first time had nothing to do with me. The second time definitely did, but I would never even have been there if it hadn’t been for his ‘time machine’…” When Al Chaudhury discovers his late dad’s time machine, he finds that going back to the 1980s requires daring and imaginatio “My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine and again four years later when he was twelve. The first time had nothing to do with me. The second time definitely did, but I would never even have been there if it hadn’t been for his ‘time machine’…” When Al Chaudhury discovers his late dad’s time machine, he finds that going back to the 1980s requires daring and imagination. It also requires lies, theft, burglary, and setting his school on fire. All without losing his pet hamster, Alan Shearer…


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“My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine and again four years later when he was twelve. The first time had nothing to do with me. The second time definitely did, but I would never even have been there if it hadn’t been for his ‘time machine’…” When Al Chaudhury discovers his late dad’s time machine, he finds that going back to the 1980s requires daring and imaginatio “My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine and again four years later when he was twelve. The first time had nothing to do with me. The second time definitely did, but I would never even have been there if it hadn’t been for his ‘time machine’…” When Al Chaudhury discovers his late dad’s time machine, he finds that going back to the 1980s requires daring and imagination. It also requires lies, theft, burglary, and setting his school on fire. All without losing his pet hamster, Alan Shearer…

30 review for Time Travelling with a Hamster

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Time-travel, family, grief, hamsters, change. I've just finished this book and I've been left with that weird empty feeling you get when you've just experienced something amazing and know that, somehow, it's going to change you. I don't think that I can put into words how amazing this book is. Reading it was like going on a roller-coaster of emotions. So, this review has taken a fair while to write. And I really liked thinking back, about the story, about what I felt when I read it, about 5 Words: Time-travel, family, grief, hamsters, change. I've just finished this book and I've been left with that weird empty feeling you get when you've just experienced something amazing and know that, somehow, it's going to change you. I don't think that I can put into words how amazing this book is. Reading it was like going on a roller-coaster of emotions. So, this review has taken a fair while to write. And I really liked thinking back, about the story, about what I felt when I read it, about what I liked and didn't like... As much as I loved the experience of reading this book, I also loved the experience of having read the book and thinking back on it. This isn't something that happens often to me. I do think back on what I've read all the time, but I don't think I've ever focused on a single book more unless it was forced on me at school. I loved the exploration of family, it felt like the biggest theme in this book. Because of this crazy time-travel element, the family-unit was all over the place. And it was great. I received a copy of this for free via NetGalley for review purposes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Having read this with my eleven year old son, I think this is a very impressive debut novel – so self assured is the writing that it is hard to imagine it is, in fact, a first book. Although this is a children’s book it is probably more suitable for ages 11+ and it deals with some big themes; including major changes and how children adapt to them, the whole dynamics of family life, bereavement and, of course, time travel… Our hero is Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury (Al for short)– oh, and of co Having read this with my eleven year old son, I think this is a very impressive debut novel – so self assured is the writing that it is hard to imagine it is, in fact, a first book. Although this is a children’s book it is probably more suitable for ages 11+ and it deals with some big themes; including major changes and how children adapt to them, the whole dynamics of family life, bereavement and, of course, time travel… Our hero is Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury (Al for short)– oh, and of course his hamster, Alan Shearer (like the main character of this book my son is not a great football fan, so I had to explain who that referred to. Thankfully, he knew Einstein…). On his twelfth birthday, Grandpa Byron gives Al a letter from his father. The problem is that his father has died, but according to the letter, Al can use his time machine to prevent his death. What follows is how Al follows his father’s instructions to try to carry out something that seems impossible. Al’s father died four years ago when Al was only eight and so it is not easy to carry out his instructions; for example, Al has to return to his old house, which is ten miles away. For things have moved on and Al’s mother has a new man in her life. Can Al change the world – his world at least? This is a fabulous book and I loved the characters and all of the crazy names (if you think Albert Einstein is a bad name, then try Pythagoras?!). This is great for older children and is, perhaps, more YA then a children’s book. However, at its heart is a great story and I will certainly be interested to read more novels by Ross Welford.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    I’m not sure I’m any less baffled by time travel after reading this, but what a fun adventure of a story. Time Travelling with a Hamster is packed full of mischief, adventure, family, friendship, grief, love, time travel, random facts, and of course, not forgetting the pet hamster. This story also has a good mix of characters, but not too many to keep track of. I love Grandpa Byron. What an interesting character he is. Despite me enjoying children’s books, this was perhaps a little young for me to I’m not sure I’m any less baffled by time travel after reading this, but what a fun adventure of a story. Time Travelling with a Hamster is packed full of mischief, adventure, family, friendship, grief, love, time travel, random facts, and of course, not forgetting the pet hamster. This story also has a good mix of characters, but not too many to keep track of. I love Grandpa Byron. What an interesting character he is. Despite me enjoying children’s books, this was perhaps a little young for me to fully fall in love with, but I did thoroughly enjoy it, and think it is a great book for teenagers and older children who are confident readers. Plus, this would make a fun story for parents to read to their children too. This story has reminded me of when I was a young girl, and I used to pretend to time travel in my dad's garden shed, with a broken radio and an old computer keyboard. Luckily, my imagination made up for my lack of technical ability to create a working time machine. I would like to thank the publisher, Harper Collins Children’s Books. for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aditi

    “Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. If you can bend space you can bend time also, and if you knew enough and could move faster than light you could travel backward in tie and exist in two places at once.” ----Margaret Atwood Ross Welford, an English author, pens his debut middle grade science fiction story, Time Travelling with a Hamster that unfolds the story of a 12-year old boy who after his father's death travels back in time with his father's invented time ma “Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. If you can bend space you can bend time also, and if you knew enough and could move faster than light you could travel backward in tie and exist in two places at once.” ----Margaret Atwood Ross Welford, an English author, pens his debut middle grade science fiction story, Time Travelling with a Hamster that unfolds the story of a 12-year old boy who after his father's death travels back in time with his father's invented time machine to meet his father along with his pet hamster, but things do not go well when he go backs in time. Synopsis: “My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine and again four years later when he was twelve. The first time had nothing to do with me. The second time definitely did, but I would never even have been there if it hadn’t been for his ‘time machine’…” When Al Chaudhury discovers his late dad’s time machine, he finds that going back to the 1980s requires daring and imagination. It also requires lies, theft, burglary, and setting his school on fire. All without losing his pet hamster, Alan Shearer. Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury was eight years old when his dad died for the very first and on his twelfth birthday he receives a letter addressed to him written by his father when he was alive. In his letter, he has passed on to his invented time machine to Al and has been asked to use it to go back in time to save the life of his father, when his father was twelve years old and an accident happened to him. But Al fails to save his father from death. And that moment changes the laws of the time-machine thus making it impossible for Al to go back in the present. Al has time-traveled back to the 80s with his pet hamster but how is he supposed to save the life of his father? The writing style of the author is articulate and easy to comprehend with. Since it's a middle grade story, the writing is apt for the young aged readers. The author has penned this story with so much thrill and it feels like riding a roller-coaster that only goes back and high up in the air as the ride is filled with adrenaline-rushing moments when the boy and his pet hamster is lurking from one time's dimension to another. The narrative is extremely fascinating and since the boy is of Indian origin, the author has done a great job in arresting the Indian linguistics along with its proper meaning into the story line. The pacing is really fast as the story grips the readers from the very first page. The concept of time-traveling has been explained very well and easily for the readers and the logics used by the author to make time-traveling possible are apt. Even young readers will find the story to be enlightening for their minds. The author has vividly captured the feel of a person who is traveling through time, and along with Al's feelings, the readers are bound to feel the same way. The characters are very, very interesting and are highly inspired from reality. The main character, Al, is a brave young boy who heeds to his father's advice and follow back in time. He is sharp-witted and extremely fearless considering his age. The author has strikingly captured the voice of an innocent 12-year old boy. The supporting characters, especially, Al's grandfather, Byron, is very well-developed. The whole story is centered around the boy and his grandfather's relationship through good times and bad times. They both had a strong bond of friendship and trust and is arrested by the author with lots of deep, heart-felt emotions. Overall, this is an enchanting and illuminating story that is laced with enough thrill and heart-stopping adventure that will not only enthrall the young kids but will also intrigue the mature readers too. Verdict: If you love time-traveling science-fiction stories, then definitely go for this one. Courtesy: Thanks to the publishers from Harper Collins India for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    TheBookSmugglers

    Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury’s dad was thirty nine years old when he died for the first time and twelve when he died for the second time. The former happened due to a dislodged piece of metal that caused brain haemorrhage, a leftover from of an accident he had when he was a kid. The latter is the result of what sets Time Traveling with a Hamster in motion. Al’s dad died suddenly when Al was eight years old. When Al turns twelve he receives a mind-blowing present: a letter from his dead father Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury’s dad was thirty nine years old when he died for the first time and twelve when he died for the second time. The former happened due to a dislodged piece of metal that caused brain haemorrhage, a leftover from of an accident he had when he was a kid. The latter is the result of what sets Time Traveling with a Hamster in motion. Al’s dad died suddenly when Al was eight years old. When Al turns twelve he receives a mind-blowing present: a letter from his dead father that contains mysterious instructions that Al must choose whether he wishes to follow or not. If he does so, his father’s letter tells him, he will learn everything about time travel just in time to go back to when his father was twelve and prevent his accident from happening, therefore changing his present. Al’s father’s life is thus, literally in Al’s hands as, due to the rules of time traveling, a person cannot be in the same timeline twice. So Al is the only person who can travel back in time and save his father. And we know this doesn’t go well – for when Al fails to save his father, he alters the space-time continuum, changing everything. And then he needs to find a way to set things right. Time Traveling with a Hamster is a strange creature. The central relationship in the book came as a nice surprise: it’s not Al and his father or Al and his hamster. It’s Al and his granddad Byron’s and their relationship is sweet and informs most of Al’s actions. His granddad is the true father figure in the novel. I also loved that Al is Anglo-Indian and that his grandad shares his experiences as an immigrant. Looking at the title and the cover copy though, I was expecting a light, entertaining romp with a kid and his pet hamster. Of the pet hamster, Alan Shearer, there is very little, his presence is inconsequential, almost an after-thought. And even though there are moments of light and fun (hey, time traveling shenanigans are always fun), this book turned out to be darker and more thoughtful than I was expecting. This is not a bad thing per se but the problem with this is that the narrative voice doesn’t quite decide if it wants to sound very young or much older. Think on this: Al is trusted with a mission that decides the fate of his own father. If you think this is a lot of pressure to put on a 12-year-old kid, bingo. But which kid, given the chance to save his own father’s life, would say no? The problem here is that we see very little on-page relationship between Al and his dad. The first part of the book is all dedicated to Al and his grandad, who by the way, doesn’t even sound like he liked his son very much. Actually, his mom doesn’t seem to have liked his father all that much either. So as a reader, it’s hard to be invested in this mission. As an outsider looking in, I detested Al’s father and wished he had remained dead for the things he put his kid through, and for the horribly condescending, self-serving letters he sent. On the other hand, which person would not try to save their own lives if they knew a way? This is why I call this book a strange creature. Because the focus here seems to be placed so much on the adults, and a lot of the story asks us to sympathise more with them rather than with the actual kid that is the main character. When Al comes back to a different future after things go horribly wrong in the past (and horribly wrong is a mild way of putting it), it’s his granddad that is changed the most. We get a much richer, deeper description of his granddad’s pain than Al’s, whose life has been altered significantly as well – he is not even supposed to be alive (actually, good question: how is he even alive if his father never met his mother. Time traveling paradox!). Given all this, in fact, when reading Time Traveling with a Hamster, I often wondered if the book was even written as a kids’ book in the first place because it straddles a line between kidlit and adult fiction crossing over and back multiple times. One thing I liked very much is how Al asks himself about the “other Als”. Do you remember how Marty McFly goes back to the future at the end of Back to the Future to find his family completely altered? What happens to the Marty McFly that that version of his family knew? His family has memories of that Marty and his childhood and this new Marty has none of those memories. So it’s a little bittersweet to think about that and Time Traveling with a Hamster is affecting in that same way. So: A strange creature. I liked it – but probably not as much as I had hoped and not in the way I had expected.

  6. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    'Time Traveling with a Hamster' by Ross Welford is so clever, funny and thrilling, I wish I was reading this book with the fresh eyes of a twelve-year-old, the intended audience (give or take a year or two in either direction)! Instead, since I am a little older, the story reminded me of the Back to the Future movies. Still, this is excellent and exciting time-traveling adventure even for a reader in their sixth decade! I was very reluctant to put it down because each chapter had me on the edge 'Time Traveling with a Hamster' by Ross Welford is so clever, funny and thrilling, I wish I was reading this book with the fresh eyes of a twelve-year-old, the intended audience (give or take a year or two in either direction)! Instead, since I am a little older, the story reminded me of the Back to the Future movies. Still, this is excellent and exciting time-traveling adventure even for a reader in their sixth decade! I was very reluctant to put it down because each chapter had me on the edge of my seat. Reading this book during the Christmas holidays (questions like "why are you still reading during family time?!?!?") made for some frustration as you can imagine, gentle reader. Quoted from the Preface: "My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty-nine, and again four years later when he was twelve. (He's going to die a third time as well, which seems a bit rough on him, but I can't help that.) The first time had nothing to do with me. The second time definitely did, but I would never even have been there if it hadn't been for his "time machine." I know--that sounds like I'm blaming him, when I'm totally not, but... you'll see what I mean." Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury is celebrating his twelfth birthday with his mom, stepdad Steve, his stepsister Carly, and his grandpa Bryon. One of his presents is a hamster! Al names him Alan Shearer. Well, actually Steve suggests the name, but Al likes it. Al knows Steve is really trying to be friends, but Al can't accept it, although he is polite. His real dad died when Al was eight years old, he still misses his dad, Pie (Pythagoras). Pie was a brilliant engineer. In Al's childhood house, under the garage, an air raid shelter had been built by the people Al's parents had bought the house from. And there, in the shelter, Pie secretly built a time machine. He had a good reason for building it. He knew he was going to die soon from a piece of metal in his brain from an accident when he had been a kid. The metal chip was slowly moving towards a vital part of his brain and would kill him one day. Since he couldn't go back to the day of his accident (he couldn't as his adult self be with his young self - a rule of time travel), he was hoping Al could fix things. Al discovered all of this in the letter Al's mother gave him on his birthday along with the hamster. The front of the envelope says, in his dad's handwriting, "IMPORTANT: Do Not Open This Envelope Until Sixteen Hours After Receiving It. To Be Delivered on His Twelfth Birthday." So begins an adventure which Al hopes will turn out ok. There are significant obstacles - one being he no longer lives in the house of his earlier childhood. His mom moved miles away into Steve's house when they got married. Al will have to break into his old house now occupied by new owners. The second is Al is only twelve - not a lot of money, no driver's license, watchful adults, neighborhood bullies, school attendence, supplies, etc. Of course, the biggest obstacle is getting his dad's time machine to work. It involves computer skills and following the strange directions his father explained in his letter. But most important, Al is not confident he can overcome the significant obstacles in his way. But if he can change the past! To see his dad again! Can he do it? Does the machine even work? I. Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down! Things do not work as planned. Stuff happens. The worst is AL finds out the things he does changes the future. It's not good. The cliffhangers from chapter after chapter are exciting. Problems mount, mistakes are made, issues happen. I highly recommend 'Time Travel with a Hamster'! YouTube movie trailer of Back to the Future: https://youtu.be/qvsgGtivCgs

  7. 4 out of 5

    TheBookSmugglers

    Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury’s dad was thirty nine years old when he died for the first time and twelve when he died for the second time. The former happened due to a dislodged piece of metal that caused brain haemorrhage, a leftover from of an accident he had when he was a kid. The latter is the result of what sets Time Traveling with a Hamster in motion. Al’s dad died suddenly when Al was eight years old. When Al turns twelve he receives a mind-blowing present: a letter from his dead father Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury’s dad was thirty nine years old when he died for the first time and twelve when he died for the second time. The former happened due to a dislodged piece of metal that caused brain haemorrhage, a leftover from of an accident he had when he was a kid. The latter is the result of what sets Time Traveling with a Hamster in motion. Al’s dad died suddenly when Al was eight years old. When Al turns twelve he receives a mind-blowing present: a letter from his dead father that contains mysterious instructions that Al must choose whether he wishes to follow or not. If he does so, his father’s letter tells him, he will learn everything about time travel just in time to go back to when his father was twelve and prevent his accident from happening, therefore changing his present. Al’s father’s life is thus, literally in Al’s hands as, due to the rules of time traveling, a person cannot be in the same timeline twice. So Al is the only person who can travel back in time and save his father. And we know this doesn’t go well – for when Al fails to save his father, he alters the space-time continuum, changing everything. And then he needs to find a way to set things right. Time Traveling with a Hamster is a strange creature. The central relationship in the book came as a nice surprise: it’s not Al and his father or Al and his hamster. It’s Al and his granddad Byron’s and their relationship is sweet and informs most of Al’s actions. His granddad is the true father figure in the novel. I also loved that Al is Anglo-Indian and that his grandad shares his experiences as an immigrant. Looking at the title and the cover copy though, I was expecting a light, entertaining romp with a kid and his pet hamster. Of the pet hamster, Alan Shearer, there is very little, his presence is inconsequential, almost an after-thought. And even though there are moments of light and fun (hey, time traveling shenanigans are always fun), this book turned out to be darker and more thoughtful than I was expecting. This is not a bad thing per se but the problem with this is that the narrative voice doesn’t quite decide if it wants to sound very young or much older. Think on this: Al is trusted with a mission that decides the fate of his own father. If you think this is a lot of pressure to put on a 12-year-old kid, bingo. But which kid, given the chance to save his own father’s life, would say no? The problem here is that we see very little on-page relationship between Al and his dad. The first part of the book is all dedicated to Al and his grandad, who by the way, doesn’t even sound like he liked his son very much. Actually, his mom doesn’t seem to have liked his father all that much either. So as a reader, it’s hard to be invested in this mission. As an outsider looking in, I detested Al’s father and wished he had remained dead for the things he put his kid through, and for the horribly condescending, self-serving letters he sent. On the other hand, which person would not try to save their own lives if they knew a way? This is why I call this book a strange creature. Because the focus here seems to be placed so much on the adults, and a lot of the story asks us to sympathise more with them rather than with the actual kid that is the main character. When Al comes back to a different future after things go horribly wrong in the past (and horribly wrong is a mild way of putting it), it’s his granddad that is changed the most. We get a much richer, deeper description of his granddad’s pain than Al’s, whose life has been altered significantly as well – he is not even supposed to be alive (actually, good question: how is he even alive if his father never met his mother. Time traveling paradox!). Given all this, in fact, when reading Time Traveling with a Hamster, I often wondered if the book was even written as a kids’ book in the first place because it straddles a line between kidlit and adult fiction crossing over and back multiple times. One thing I liked very much is how Al asks himself about the “other Als”. Do you remember how Marty McFly goes back to the future at the end of Back to the Future to find his family completely altered? What happens to the Marty McFly that that version of his family knew? His family has memories of that Marty and his childhood and this new Marty has none of those memories. So it’s a little bittersweet to think about that and Time Traveling with a Hamster is affecting in that same way. So: A strange creature. I liked it – but probably not as much as I had hoped and not in the way I had expected.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    This book feels like an achievement. I fell in love with Al, a British-Indian nerd who's dealing with bullies at school and the death of his dad. Welford makes so many big, messy topics really accessible and I'm grateful to him for that. Al Chaudhry is an incredibly well-developed character. He's intelligent, sensitive and knows when adults are talking about him and talking down to him. That's perhaps one of my favourite aspects of Welford's writing -- he acknowledges how perceptive children are This book feels like an achievement. I fell in love with Al, a British-Indian nerd who's dealing with bullies at school and the death of his dad. Welford makes so many big, messy topics really accessible and I'm grateful to him for that. Al Chaudhry is an incredibly well-developed character. He's intelligent, sensitive and knows when adults are talking about him and talking down to him. That's perhaps one of my favourite aspects of Welford's writing -- he acknowledges how perceptive children are much like Roald Dahl did to me when I was little. The character development and arcs was probably my favourite aspect of this book. I loved its tone but the plot fell a little in the middle -- there were lots of logistics to time travel that I don't think always had to be revisited but I liked that there was a lot at stake and it felt like a really well-paced book. Time Traveling with a Hamster is cheeky and facetious and speaks to all of us. This chunky novel is meant for middle grade but I think it's totally readable no matter how old you are. I feel like I'll miss this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Okay, color me impressed! You've heard me praise the wonders of Middle Grade fiction and its wonderful authors many a time, and yet it never fails to stun me how much goodness comes out of the books written for this age group. Ross Welford has penned a gem here. Time Traveling With A Hamster simultaneously pulls together the importance of family, the grey areas we face when making hard decisions, the beauty (and issues) associated with being passionate about something, and even owning up to ones Okay, color me impressed! You've heard me praise the wonders of Middle Grade fiction and its wonderful authors many a time, and yet it never fails to stun me how much goodness comes out of the books written for this age group. Ross Welford has penned a gem here. Time Traveling With A Hamster simultaneously pulls together the importance of family, the grey areas we face when making hard decisions, the beauty (and issues) associated with being passionate about something, and even owning up to ones own mistakes. I am so thrilled to have read this, and can't recommend it enough! Now, let me put out there that there are actually a fair amount of high end concepts in this book. As a reader who believes fully in not talking down to young readers, I was smitten with this. Al Chadhury's father was a brilliant man. One who wasn't afraid to dabble in science and theory, ultimately leading to his discovery of time travel. Through Al's travels in time, and the letters his father left behind, he learns so much about everything his dad was passionate about. There are brilliant descriptions of the theory of relativity, and examples that actually make it palatable for young minds. There's even discussions of memory devices. Suffice it to say, I was blown away by the sheer amount of lessons in here. Better still, none of those lessons seemed to slow down the overall pace of the story. I admit that it took a few chapters to really get going, as some books do, but once I was immersed that was it. Al's quest to save his dad flew by. His brushes with danger, his quick thinking to get out of hairy situations, his realizations that he might not be as clever as the thought he was, all of it just blurred together into this gorgeous story that wouldn't let me go. The ending is perfection, especially for an MG read, and I couldn't have been happier. Long story short? This is a must have for reading lists of all ages, but specifically I think this would be a wonderful book to share as a family. There are just so many good ideas caught up in here, I feel like it would be an amazing read to share between parents and their children. Ross Welford has written the type of story that transcends age groups, and that's no easy feat! Add this to your reading list. You won't regret it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    I wasn't so convinced until the very end. I really liked the generational relationship between Al and his grandfather, and the cultural element made this book a lot more interesting too. Not sure why the hamster was there - maybe including an animal sidekick just makes it more appealing to kids?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mila

    3,5 stars This was quite entertaining and the main concept was interesting but the plot was too confusing for my taste, the main character was bland and there wasn't nearly enough of the hamster.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    My 16 year old son's rating: 4 stars (that's saying a lot!) My 10 year old son's rating: 4.5 stars The mere concept of time travel is always tricky, but I thought this middle grade read did a good job with it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laila Tarek

    I AM. IN. LOVE. This is officially the best cover buy I ever made, I saw this book in my local bookstore, never heard of it before, the cover was so catchy and I looked up and saw this: “My dad died twice. But only the second time was my fault.” Before you know it, my wallet was empty and my bag had a book that shamelessly says Time Travelling with a Hamster. I went home and realized it’s a 2016 release, which we rarely get here in Qatar, because our bookstores are shitty and it takes several mont I AM. IN. LOVE. This is officially the best cover buy I ever made, I saw this book in my local bookstore, never heard of it before, the cover was so catchy and I looked up and saw this: “My dad died twice. But only the second time was my fault.” Before you know it, my wallet was empty and my bag had a book that shamelessly says Time Travelling with a Hamster. I went home and realized it’s a 2016 release, which we rarely get here in Qatar, because our bookstores are shitty and it takes several months before a new release gets here, so usually bookworms turn to online shipping. BACK TO TOPIC, the characters were all complex and flawed, full of life, brilliantly made and I just wanted books made for each and everyone of them separately, so I can see more of them in the depth and complexity we saw in Albert. FULL REVIEW: https://lebookworm7.wordpress.com/201...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    The book is a kids book so I started reading this to my daughter, straight away I could see her eyes glazing over, it was way to technical for her, so I decided to read this to myself. I enjoyed it, slow to start but once Albert's dad starts explaining the science behind time travel and also explaining Einstein's theories in a language I could understand I was hooked. Albert's Grandad has gotta be one of the coolest ever. Albert did make me angry now and then when he does something dumb, I had to The book is a kids book so I started reading this to my daughter, straight away I could see her eyes glazing over, it was way to technical for her, so I decided to read this to myself. I enjoyed it, slow to start but once Albert's dad starts explaining the science behind time travel and also explaining Einstein's theories in a language I could understand I was hooked. Albert's Grandad has gotta be one of the coolest ever. Albert did make me angry now and then when he does something dumb, I had to keep reminding myself he is just a kid and he'll figure it out. It's always going to be tricky handling time travel in a kids book but Ross Welford does it well and makes a nice little adventure book. I'll be checking out his future releases for sure. (Warning for parents, I spotted at least one swear word in this book)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    ARC provided by the publisher Al Chaudhury is getting by in his British coastal community. His father has passed away, his mother is dating a decent enough guy, and his grandfather is a steady if quirky presence in his life. On his 12th birthday, Al receives a letter from his father who claims that Al needs to break into their former house and use a homemade time machine to save his father from a serious go kart accident that eventually caused his death. This is not an easy task, and it is compli ARC provided by the publisher Al Chaudhury is getting by in his British coastal community. His father has passed away, his mother is dating a decent enough guy, and his grandfather is a steady if quirky presence in his life. On his 12th birthday, Al receives a letter from his father who claims that Al needs to break into their former house and use a homemade time machine to save his father from a serious go kart accident that eventually caused his death. This is not an easy task, and it is complicated by having to explain his absence in the present, technical difficulties with 1980s computers, the fact that he and his 12-year-old father are almost identical, and the peril his hamster faces when caught in the past. Al perseveres even though a positive outlook seems unlikely, especially after his intervention seems to make matters worse. While I am always a sucker for a time travel book, this one was especially good. The use of rudimentary computing devices, as well as an old-fashioned bathtub, to make a time travel machine is brilliant and will appeal to students who love technology. Al's multicultural background adds some amusing quirks as well as realistic problems, and his grandfather definitely makes it into my top five favorite literary grandfathers, along with Gene from Gephart's There Will be Bears and the bodybuilding grandfather in Herbach's Gabe Johnson Takes Over. The best part of the book was the fact that while Gabe was coping with the absence of his father, he had so many good memories of their time together that he tried everything he could to try to avert his loss, even when it meant believing in the unbelievable and imperiling his own future. My only criticism of this is that the hamster just didn't have a big enough role!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anna || BooksandBookends

    I received a free copy of this book by the book's publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury or 'Al' for short, has witnessed his Dad dying twice. Well, at least sort of. Following the death of his father, Al receives a letter informing him of a time travel machine his Dad had created. His Dad feels Al needs to know this information now he is twelve years old in order to travel back in time and attempt to save his life. But does time travel really I received a free copy of this book by the book's publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury or 'Al' for short, has witnessed his Dad dying twice. Well, at least sort of. Following the death of his father, Al receives a letter informing him of a time travel machine his Dad had created. His Dad feels Al needs to know this information now he is twelve years old in order to travel back in time and attempt to save his life. But does time travel really work? After all, how much can a few wires, an Apple MacBook, a rusty old tub and a hamster change the world? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this quirky children's book. The book focuses heavily upon the Chaudhury family and their numerous stories and adventures. Life has already changed considerably for Al since his the arrival of his stepfather Steve and his annoying daughter Carly. But will time travel to the 1980s make things better or worse for Al? Meddling with time is never easy and Grandpa Byron, his wise grandfather who knows of his fathers meddling and definitely doesn’t approve. With a twelve year old trying to save his father, what could possibly go wrong? It’s sort of inevitable that everything isn’t exactly going to go smoothly or exactly to plan. There’s one thing for sure, it’s an incredible adventure! This book is unlike any other children’s book I have ever read. It’s quirky, intriguing and a whole lot of fun! The whole concept of the book is extremely well thought through and is executed well. The language in the book at times is a little too childish but would be a good read for 8 year olds +. Some brilliant humour and wit in this book which children will most definitely enjoy. A superb book which children won’t want to miss!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen Mace

    I received a copy of this via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review What a delight!! Have been intrigued by this book since I saw in a local bookshop so I was really pleased to be able to get the opportunity to read it Such a sweet story of how a 12 year old boy - the brilliantly named Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury - is left a letter by his Dad who died 4 years earlier giving him details of a time machine he had invented! Since his Dad died, Alberts' life has changed quite a bit as I received a copy of this via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review What a delight!! Have been intrigued by this book since I saw in a local bookshop so I was really pleased to be able to get the opportunity to read it Such a sweet story of how a 12 year old boy - the brilliantly named Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury - is left a letter by his Dad who died 4 years earlier giving him details of a time machine he had invented! Since his Dad died, Alberts' life has changed quite a bit as he and his mum are now living with her new husband Steve and his daughter Carly, so when Albert has this link back to his Dad he's fascinated and intrigued and carries out the instructions in the letter as requested! Along with his travelling companion pet hamster, called Alan Shearer!, he manages to go back in time to 1984 and that is where the fun and problems arise! Some really funny moments for both kids and adults who read this to enjoy, but also quite a touching story too of family and memories.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    For a childrens' book, this packs a real emotional punch. Here we have the story of twelve year old Al Chaudhury who is coming to terms with his dad's shock death and moving away from everything he knows to live with his new step-family. Al is, to put it mildly, something of a eccentric character. His curiosity is limitless, and we get to travel with him on the most amazing journey. With a gripping opening that immediately arouses our interest, we learn that Al's dad invented a time machine and is For a childrens' book, this packs a real emotional punch. Here we have the story of twelve year old Al Chaudhury who is coming to terms with his dad's shock death and moving away from everything he knows to live with his new step-family. Al is, to put it mildly, something of a eccentric character. His curiosity is limitless, and we get to travel with him on the most amazing journey. With a gripping opening that immediately arouses our interest, we learn that Al's dad invented a time machine and is trusting his son to go back in time and save his dad's life. For someone who will always have a soft spot for Back to the Future, this novel really is fascinating. The science might be a stretch for younger readers at times, but it is about a lot more than the concept of time travel. Welford, with real humour, explores issues of grief, friendship and identity. Definitely, a gem.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jayne Downes

    This book will probably appeal to very good readers at the Intermediate age who enjoy books involving time travel. I didn't love it, I found it rather drawn out but will be interested in what students think about it. An interesting idea though that we could travel back in time to prevent something tragic happening.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    I love a good time travel stories. This Middle Grade take on the genre by Ross Welford was ace! Playing a little bit like a younger British take on Back to the Future. It is fabulously heart-warming with a giant pretzel of a plot.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Rogerson

    4.5 stars. Really enjoyed this book even though the idea of time travel does something funny to my brain! Will try to add a review soon.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nichola Grimshaw

    There's plenty of science geekery in this excellent story, particularly if you're developing an interest in Einstein's theories! The time travel here makes reference to actual scientific theory rather than the gorgeously vague timeywimey-ness of Dr Who. Strong themes of family and family relationships with the death of a parent and the 'blending' of 2 families (stepparents and step siblings) dealt with from various perspectives. The characters with their diverse cultural backgrounds are really en There's plenty of science geekery in this excellent story, particularly if you're developing an interest in Einstein's theories! The time travel here makes reference to actual scientific theory rather than the gorgeously vague timeywimey-ness of Dr Who. Strong themes of family and family relationships with the death of a parent and the 'blending' of 2 families (stepparents and step siblings) dealt with from various perspectives. The characters with their diverse cultural backgrounds are really engaging and what could be an over-complex plot, with its hops back and forth through time, is easy to follow (although I think I'd build a visual timeline with a class of children!) I love that we meet the same characters in different eras... and on alternative timelines! I'm now re-reading Gillian Avery's 'Huck and her Time Machine' (1977) which I bought with my pocket money when I was about 10 (65p - new - the pages are all falling out now) - a time travelling story that makes explicit reference to H G Wells' 'The Time Machine'. Avery's story was, of course, written before home computers or mobile phones or the internet existed; Welford's story makes use of all of those things in the plot development and only jumps 'back' in time to the very earliest days of their domestic development. This connection between texts might only be of interest to me but I think I'd try it out with children now... I think I'd probably read them some bits of Wells too... 1895; 1977; 2016 - an interesting timeline in itself? And the eponymous hamster is called Alan Shearer. Brilliant.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan Hampson

    I was very impressed with this children's novel, that is loaded with suspense from the beginning to end and makes you want to keep turning every page to find out what is going to happen. The story is told by Albert, a twelve year old boy, as he takes you on a very daring time travelling adventure, with his hamster, into the past. His mission is to change an event in history that will save someone's life many years later. There is an easy to follow compact cast of characters that stay firmly fixe I was very impressed with this children's novel, that is loaded with suspense from the beginning to end and makes you want to keep turning every page to find out what is going to happen. The story is told by Albert, a twelve year old boy, as he takes you on a very daring time travelling adventure, with his hamster, into the past. His mission is to change an event in history that will save someone's life many years later. There is an easy to follow compact cast of characters that stay firmly fixed in the story and all are relevant to what is happening. This makes the story so much more enjoyable. One character in particular sticks in my mind, Albert's Grandpa Byron. What an amazing man he is, so wise and a mine of information. This book is very well written with an unbeatable number of facts woven into the story. Some myths I believed to be true for years were dispelled and I learnt so many new things that I didn't know. It all makes for perfect reading. A wonderful Middle grade children's book and more than an enjoyable read for this adult. I wish to thank Netgalley and Harper Collins Children's Books for allowing me to read and review this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is a superb and dark read. It is a story that deals with the fundamental themes of the importance of family and its dynamics, grief and adjusting to major shifts in life. And for good measure it has a hamster named Alan Shearer! How great is that? Then add the dimension of time travelling and it becomes a book you want to read. The central character is called Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudry which validates the fact that time travel is indeed going to be an option. His father's fate lies in h This is a superb and dark read. It is a story that deals with the fundamental themes of the importance of family and its dynamics, grief and adjusting to major shifts in life. And for good measure it has a hamster named Alan Shearer! How great is that? Then add the dimension of time travelling and it becomes a book you want to read. The central character is called Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudry which validates the fact that time travel is indeed going to be an option. His father's fate lies in his hands and it leads to horror and chaos. The relationship Al has with his grandfather is one to cherish and relates the story of immigrants. All in all, a great read whose heart is in the family, its relationships and change. I recommend it. Many thanks to HarperCollins for a copy of the book via netgalley.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alejandra

    This little book of wonders is on every window display in the bookstores here in Scotland. Comes with rave reviews and this is one of them. The story is about Al, who is twelve and lives with his mother, stepfather and stepsister. Al misses his father terribly, who passed away quite suddenly a few years back. On his twelfth birthday, Al gets a letter from his father telling him all about his experiments with time travel. In the letter, his Dad asks him to find the time travelling machine and trave This little book of wonders is on every window display in the bookstores here in Scotland. Comes with rave reviews and this is one of them. The story is about Al, who is twelve and lives with his mother, stepfather and stepsister. Al misses his father terribly, who passed away quite suddenly a few years back. On his twelfth birthday, Al gets a letter from his father telling him all about his experiments with time travel. In the letter, his Dad asks him to find the time travelling machine and travel back in time in order to prevent his death. This is quite a feat for a twelve year old and his new pet hamster; and more often than not things just seem to get more complicated. This book is written to be read in one sitting. The pages fly by and so does our imagination. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, Time Travelling with a Hamster is one book my kid will not miss.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    One I'd recommend for Y6 and over - it's quite a sensitive, mature read - more about family relationships (i.e. grief, death of a parent, bond with grandfather, blended families) than the lightweight read suggested by the cover art and title. The hamster doesn't play a big role but is the catalyst for some changes to Al's plan and cause of subsequent drama. In a genrefied fiction collection, I'd be tempted to put this with realistic fiction rather than junior sci-fi.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    A lovely whimsical story about a boy who travels through time with his hamster on a mission to save his family. The writing is warm, inviting and at times amusing. Set in the North East of England which I enjoyed immensely living in the area. I wanted to give it 3.5 stars but the app wouldn't let me. A great read and real page turner.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Graine Milner

    Fantastic middle grade science fiction adventure! Brilliantly plotted and lots of fun, with some poignant moments. Most enjoyable book I've read for a while!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nihaad Gamieldien

    A fun and exciting story that I just could not stop reading. And I have to be clear that I am giving this book a 4.5/5 star rating!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    This book was a lot of fun. I can't remember how it came up on my recommended, but I'm glad it did! I don't think I've ever been quite so concerned for a hamster's wellbeing before. Fluffy little Alan Shearer goes through a LOT. As someone who's never had the pleasure of spending time with many indian families, it was really lovely to have a glimpse into Al's life. Especially the conversations he has with his grandpa. Even without Al's father there, it seemed so warm and nurturing. I was really r This book was a lot of fun. I can't remember how it came up on my recommended, but I'm glad it did! I don't think I've ever been quite so concerned for a hamster's wellbeing before. Fluffy little Alan Shearer goes through a LOT. As someone who's never had the pleasure of spending time with many indian families, it was really lovely to have a glimpse into Al's life. Especially the conversations he has with his grandpa. Even without Al's father there, it seemed so warm and nurturing. I was really rooting for this family to have a happy ending. I'd recommend this book to all ages! My mum's reading it now, but I would happily read this to any little sproglet old enough to like hamsters.

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