The year is 2074 and students don't read history books anymore, they experience it live. Cragbridge Hall is the most elite school in America and only the best kids get accepted. In the case of Abby and Derick Cragbridge, their family named help seal the deal. Derrick earned his way in, but his twin sister Abby believes she only got in because her grandfather is the famous inventor who created the history viewing bridges.
Despite her misgivings, Abby tries to find her way at the school. Things get off to a bumpy start as other students tease her about her academics. Way worse is the discovery that the twins parents are missing and their grandfather has been kidnapped! Now the twins are following a mysterious set of clues left by their grandfather in the case anything bad ever happened to him. As the twins race to uncover their grandfather's secrets, they learn that if they don't succeed their parents will be killed and history might be changed forever.
This is a really fun middle grade read with a fresh new idea that young readers will like. My favorite part is of course the mystery behind the clues their grandfather left. I love books where you have to figure things out, and though these ones are brain benders, they are still fun.
Abby is my favorite character. The poor girl knows she got into the elite school because of her name, and just wants things to be normal. She is kicked out of her dorm room on the very first day because of a stuck-up room-mate and forced to sleep in the hallway. You can really feel her pain and insecurity. Her brother is a natural at making friends and has no problems. As the story progresses Abby really finds out that her love and passion are amazing gifts that give her a drive her academic counterparts don't possess.
The time-traveling aspect of the story was full of imagination and sparked by day dreaming bug. How wonderful would it be to actually experience real scenes from history, but in safety? So cool. Of course the bad guys have ulterior motives, and even though the main mastermind is known right off, his minions are kept secret and often cause red herrings and problems for the twins.
I think kids will enjoy the adventure. 4 stars!