Cynthia's Attic: The Missing Locket (series #1)
What You Need to Know:|
• This book is the first in a series about the time traveling adventures of two best friends.
• Perfect for a newly Independent Reader, the story packs in plenty of adventure in only 150 pages.
• Readers do need to keep track of the different time periods and of which characters belong in the past versus the present.
• The main characters are confident girls who acknowledge that they wouldn’t let a boy get in the way of their dreams.
• No one dies during the story but there are ghosts, including one of a little boy.
• There is one slightly violent scene where the girls stand up to a bad guy and knock him out with an oar.
The story of best friends who find adventure in a dusty old attic during the summer of 1964, Cynthia’s Attic is actually good clean fun. The characters are straightforward and without guile although they do still enjoy a harmless prank here and there. The girls are considerate of each other and if there are conflicts between them, they say what’s on their minds and settle things quickly. There are no mean girls, inappropriate relationships or Internet scandals. There’s no texting and there are no vampires, werewolves or mummies. Cynthia’s Attic does have some dead people, a few ghosts and one slightly violent scene but nothing to raise any real concerns.
The story begins with Gus and Cynthia, best friends despite their differences – Gus is more sporty and Cynthia, more girly – heading off to play a game of softball in the park. The reader learns right away that the girls are living in a simpler time when kids played outside until someone’s mother called them in for dinner – and by that, I mean they shouted out the door because cell phones were not an option back then. One thing Cynthia and Gus do have in common is their desire to play little pranks, often on Cynthia’s sister. These girls remind me a bit of Ivy & Bean (for those of you who enjoyed this Reader Jr. series) but a little older. In an attempt to avoid the boredom of summer and always looking for adventure, the girls decide to explore the attic in Cynthia’s house.
The house has been in Cynthia’s family for three generations so the attic is filled with things from the past. When they explore the mysterious trunk it is the beginning of a strange journey back to 1914 where they encounter their families from that era. They discover that all those years ago, Cynthia’s grandmother, Clara, lost a precious locket belonging to her mysterious Aunt Belle. They are determined to come to Clara’s aid and prevent the locket from being lost in the first place. It’s almost as if they are being guided by the ghost of Aunt Belle on a mission to rewrite her past. They learn to go back and forth in time and find that they can impact the past, and therefore alter future events. This ability is exciting for Cynthia and Gus as helping their friends and family is important to them.
In order to read this book, you must suspend belief and simply follow along with the girls on their adventure. They have a weird dream, and it comes true. They imagine a staircase, it appears. They want to meet Cynthia’s dead Aunt Belle and she shows up. Just go with it and enjoy the ride. My only negative about Cynthia’s Attic would be the book cover which seems a little outdated and honestly makes me feel like I’ve gone back in time to 1985!
2005, 160 pages
Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, Grandparents, Mystery, Siblings
• If you could time travel would you rather go to the past or the future?
• If you went back in time would you do things to change the future?
• Would this book make a good movie?
• What would you say to your grandmother if you could go back and meet her when she was your age?
• Should you give up your dreams to satisfy someone else?
• Did you relate to the main characters in the story? Are they like you and your friends?
• Can you have a best friend who isn't just like you?
• Would you take a journey (in time or anyplace) without telling anyone, especially with the risk you might not be able to get back?
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