Tangled In Time: The Portal

384p. HarperCollins/Harper. Mar. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062693259.
Gr 4–7—An orphaned tween fashion blogger travels back and forth between Elizabethan England and present-day America, searching for a place to call home. Fashionista Rose Ashley moves in with her grandmother after the unexpected death of Rose's single mother. Her forgetful grandmother only connects with Rose when they work together in her greenhouse, and it's there that Rose first tumbles through time and finds herself a 16th century servant of the future Queen Elizabeth I. As Rose tries to figure out how the time travel process works, each world presents similar experiences navigating friendships, bullies, and family connections. Then the possibility arises that she may reunite with the father she's never met. Lasky's descriptive writing illuminates her enthusiasm for the times of the House of Tudor. The time travel premise is exciting, but the sudden shifts between worlds can be confusing. The young protagonist must grapple with numerous issues in addition to her time traveling dilemma: the death of a parent, bullying, online fame, and searching for a biological parent. The result overwhelms rather than captivates, occasionally becoming downright frustrating.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy plot twists and turns will embrace this historical fantasy.

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