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Making It Home
It all begins when nine-year old, Max, finds a relic in an antique store that magically transports him, along with his brother and stepsister into the past. Suddenly, it’s the turn of the twentieth century and Max, Peri, and Henry quickly realize they’re not alone. In fact, they’re among the hundreds of people arriving at the new Ellis Island station in New York City, hoping to immigrate to America. Once there, the quest begins. As they come to the aid of famous and ordinary people, the children try to discover how they were sent back in time and what they have to do to get home. Only it isn’t that easy. Actual photographs, documents, and artwork throughout the story let the reader see what life was really like for immigrants in 1900. To experience the time in history even more, there are ten different games, recipes, and activities at the end of the book. All of them come from the story and include carving a toy popular with children at the time, making Irish Soda bread and dill pickles, and trying to live on an immigrant’s salary. It makes history fun and approachable!
Plot/Idea: 5 out of 10
Originality: 5 out of 10
Prose: 5 out of 10
Character/Execution: 5 out of 10
Overall: 5.00 out of 10

Assessment:

This middle-grade historical fantasy novel has admirable aspirations -- to give young people the experience of life as an initial immigrant to the United States via Ellis Island -- but beyond its good intentions, the novel notably lacks the sense of magic and alternative reality that the best children's fantasy achieves. Instead, it plods along predictably with characters that young readers will find very familiar and a plot that is less than original.

Date Submitted: June 03, 2016

Reviews
D. Donovan, Senior eBook Review, MBR

Where other timeslip stories would provide one-dimensional focus on the protagonists and their efforts, Making it Home excels in juxtaposing fiction with nonfiction historical facts, neatly interchanging experience with atmosphere in a manner that bring both to life.

Add an appendix of 'History in the Making', keys to reproducing antique games and recipes, and notes about 1900s life and you have a marvelous, unique story line that succeeds in marrying fictional story to nonfiction reality: something rare in the world of not just 'timeslip' sagas, but middle school fiction in general. The result is a top recommendation for any who want to bring history alive to young readers.

Feathered Quill Book Reviews

2016 winner of the Young Adult/Fiction Award and The Write Companion Award for Best Overall TOP PICK in all categories

Rising author Suzanne Roche introduces history to youth by weaving in past and present realities in the first book of her new "Time to Time" series. Opening with a brief overview of the time period, Roche quickly delves into common youth issues prevalent in blended families via Peri, Henry, and Max, her principle characters. From the get go, Roche's narrative is sated with an incessant tension between the oldest siblings. Yet amid the rivalry, Roche throws their lives into a tizzy when they not only have to confront a foreign environment, but also have no choice except to interact with people who are suddenly thrust into poverty.

Roche's third person narrative is a mix of storytelling and engaging dialogue that is separated into five different aspects of the time period. Aptly laced with history, Roche punctuates her plot with a combination of primary sources and illustrations. In addition, Roche keeps her narrative moving with a consistent flow of cliffhangers to the very end. To round out Roche's historical setting, she closes with an appendix that includes a wonderful array of games, projects (recipes and toy making), and educational quizzes.

Roche's approach to capture the attention of youth is nothing less than refreshing. Stay tuned for her next installment of another Peri, Henry, and Max tale, Stumbling On A Tale, earmarked for fall of 2015. 

Quill says: Making It Home is certain to be a winning addition to both home and school environs!

Kirkus Reviews

An educational, highly enjoyable read that kicks off a promising new series. 

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