Technically it’s Wednesday morning, but time turned ugly on my yesterday, and I did not get my post done for Finn and the Time-Travelling Pajamas, by Michael Buckley (Delecorte, March 2021). I am fixing that now.
So Finn and the Time-Travelling Pajamas is the sequel to Finn and the Intergalactic Lunchbox, in which Finn travels through lunch-box created wormholes out into a dangerous galaxy. He gets home safely, with help from two other kids who are now his best friends–Lincoln (former bully) and Julep (super smart girl), and from his little sister, Katy, and saves the earth from an alien invasion in the process.
This second book in Finn’s saga starts with Finn and Lincoln, now old men, battling a horrible monster called Paradox, who wants to destroy creation in order to rebuild it. They have been fighting Paradox while travelling through time, gathering future tech and continually hatching new plans, but nothing has worked. So they decide to involve their younger selves in the battle…and so young Finn, young Lincoln, and young Julep get drawn into a time travelling, chaotic, dangerous, mad-cap swirl of adventure.
It is all a bit dizzying, and I’m not entirely sure everything makes sense; that being said, sense is not the point. The point is more the excitement of it all, underlain by friendship and loyalty. Whimsical harum-scarum time travel isn’t my favorite, but Buckley does have a wild imagination, that leads to both interesting and sometimes thought-provoking situations at several points in the story. Sometimes I grinned, and I’m sure many kids might even chuckle out loud.
There is time travel back the past (including the Revolutionary War, Ice Age, and the 1980s), and time travel to the future (interesting possibilities). They don’t stay all that long in any other time, but they do stay long enough for many of their stops to be more than just kaleidoscopic vignettes.
It wasn’t quite to my personal taste, although I did become invested enough to care how things turned out, and one future stop was so clearly and interestingly described it will stick in my mind for ages. It’s easy to imagine many kids (9-10 year olds) loving it.
nb: This book is eligible for the Cybils Awards this year; nominations open Oct 1st!