Title: The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis | Author: Sharon Ledwith | Publication Date: May 17, 2012 | Publisher: Musa Publishing | Pages: 180 | Recommended Ages: 8+ | Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)
Summary: When Amanda Sault and her four classmates are caught in a major food fight at school, they are given the choice of suspension or yard duty. It was a no-brainer. A two-week crash course in landscaping leads the kids to discover a weathered stone arch buried in an overgrown backyard. Instead of a forgotten lawn ornament, it turns out to be an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis. Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from an evil force—the five children, along with two offbeat adults, are sent on the adventure of their lives to save the Earth from an uncertain future. The Timekeepers’ first mission lands them in England in 1214, where they must find an adolescent Robin Hood and his band of merry teens before history is turned upside-down.
Excerpt from Book
Amanda Sault silently studied the words she just scrawled: May 1st, 1214—Games and songs and revelry, act as the cloak of devilry. So that an English legend may give to the poor, we must travel to Nottingham to even the score.
She frowned. She was the Scribe. Amanda knew that meant she was supposed to understand what this riddle meant. But she didn’t have a clue. All she knew was that she, her four annoying classmates, and two offbeat adults were standing in what was left of the lost continent of Atlantis and they were supposed to be the Timekeepers, the legendary time travelers handpicked by destiny to keep Earth’s history safe from evil. But no one had told them how they were supposed to do it.
Their problem: no matter what happened—good or bad—they weren’t supposed to mess with the past. Period. Dot. End of story. Amanda felt hot liquid build in her throat. Her thumb traced the words of the arcane riddle. Their first Timekeeper mission. Amanda knew this wasn’t the end of the story.
1. What is the book about? This book is about kids who go back in time to make sure that Robin Hood becomes a famous archer because somebody is trying to change that.
2. What do you think of the book cover? I think that the arch is cool but the author should have put some of the characters on the cover so I can see what they look like.
3. What are your favorite parts of the book? I really liked how Ravi’s hand kept detaching itself from his wrist and doing crazy things.
4. Is there anything you didn’t like or that didn’t make sense? I did not like how the author refers to the characters by their first name but the kids refer to each other by their last name. That was confusing at the start.
5. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? I would want to go to Egypt and see how the people built the pyramids.
6. Overall, what did you think about the book? Overall, I thought this book was really cool and fun to read. I would read the second book if they made a second one.
7. Who do you think would like this book? I think boys and girls 9 years old and older would like this book.
My Thoughts: Five classmates all from different walks of life are forced to do yard work for Melody Spencer – dubbed the mysterious “Witch of the White Plains” – as punishment for a food fight in the school cafeteria. As they clean up the cluttered yard, they discover a strange stone object engraved with ancient-looking symbols. As the children unearth the object, a large stone arch is uncovered and the truth about the Arch of Atlantis is revealed through the journals kept by Melody’s great aunt Florence.
The arch is an ancient time portal and the children are the Last Timekeepers, entrusted to keep the timeline of past events intact and history, as we know it, unchanged. The five children, along with the help of two adults, Melody and the uncle of one of the children – disgraced archeologist Professor John Lucas – are sent back in time through the arch to the year 1214 in Nottingham where the infamous Robin Hood lived. Armed only with a riddle as their clue, the Timekeepers must keep Robin Hood on the path to fulfilling his destiny as a famous archer as power hungry villains attempt to rewrite history.
The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis is an exciting beginning to a new middle grade series merging science fiction, magical realism, and historical fiction genres to create an entertaining and educational story. Sharon Ledwith has assembled a stellar cast of main characters in the Last Timekeepers. The story centers around Amanda Sault, a Native American girl in the eighth grade; her friend Treena Mui, the rich Asian drama club queen; Drake Bailey, the younger, short of stature school genius; Jordan Jensen, the school jock; and, Ravi Sharma, the amputee who is a master of disguise. Kudos to the author for bringing together a brilliant cast of characters representing diversity in culture, ethnicity, social status, ability, gender, and age. Brilliant!!
While the story is told primarily from Amanda’s perspective, Ledwith masterfully reveals fragments of each character’s back story so that readers sympathize and understand each character’s main motivations. Given their differences and the tensions among the five children, you would never expect them to work well together. But as they get deeper into their mission, they being to understand each other, learn to use each others’ strengths, and rely on each other to defeat their opponents. This was so well done and there was a clear lesson about assumptions we make about people and looking past differences to recognize and appreciate someone’s good qualities.
It was so much fun to immerse myself in 13th century England meeting a young Robyn (i.e., Robin Hood), Miriam (i.e., Maid Marian), Jean le Nailor (i.e., Little John), and many more characters from the folklore surrounding the story of Robin Hood. There were many comical moments when the characters from the modern world collided with folks from the Middle Ages (and many tense moments as well!) For example, the characters from the 13th century spoke in Old English while questioning some of the modern day slang used by the children from the future. The descriptions and dialogue were effective in making me feel as though I were experiencing things first hand as one of the characters.
My Bottom Line: The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis is a very entertaining story merging science fiction and magical realism and featuring a diverse cast of main characters as well as stellar writing from Sharon Ledwith. I highly recommend this book to tweens and teens looking for a great adventure and I eagerly await the next installment in the series. Ages 8+.
* This book was provided to us by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own. *
About the Author: Sharon Ledwith
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.