By: Kate Gordon
Genre: YF - Children's / Teenage fiction & true stories
Published by: Yellow Brick Books
Published: 1 Sep 2022
ISBN: 9780645218022


"There is no now and no then, only in between and always Open the box. Come and see."

Aberdeen Knopwood wants to make a difference - to help save the planet and express the passion for the environment that burns underneath her skin. But how can a girl who is too scared to stand out actually do something meaningful?

Aberdeen's family has been woven into the fabric of Hobart for generations. When her journalist father gifts her an antique chronometer, it leads her to another girl who also knows and loves Hobart. But the Hobart this girl knows is very different to the one Aberdeen grew up in - a newer Hobart, where the stone buildings aren't yet mellowed to soft golds, sea shanties echo from tall sailing ships, and men armed with harpoons hunt whales in the harbour. This girl knows something that Aberdeen is yet to discover: one person really can make a difference. CBCA Award-winning author Kate Gordon invites you to walk the cobbled streets of Hobart in the early 19th century, exploring our desire to change our world for the better, and the enduring legacy--both good and bad--of those who came before...

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Aberdeen loves Hobart, and she feels passionately about saving wildlife and the environment. Her best friend Vera is loud and argumentative, so Aberdeen can get away with supporting her and saying little for herself. But when Vera leaves, Aberdeen must find her own voice.

As a surprise to cheer her up from missing Vera, Aberdeen’s father gives her an antique chronometer. As soon as she opens it, she starts seeing this strange girl in white. When Aberdeen follows her one day, she is transported back to Hobart in the 19th Century. What a strange world she finds! Whales are swimming in the harbour, but they are being hunted for their oil. A rage burns in Aberdeen, and along with her new friend they try to change the course of history. Can one girl really make a difference?

This is a great time slip novel and I must confess that I love historical fiction books based in real places. Kate Gordon skilfully weaves old and current Hobart together in this book, while showing that environmental issues are everyone’s concern.

A fascinating look at whaling and the way one small thing can change the future. This book will leave you with hope that each small act we do today will have an impact in the years to come in saving our environment.

A wonderful story for all ages.

Reviewed by Michelle