Reviews for Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story

by Mary Downing Hahn

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Staying with Great-Aunt Blythe in the ancestral home while his parents are on a dig, ``Drew''--so called because his great- grandfather Edward abhors his full name--is immediately aware of a presence in the attic. It's another boy, also named Andrew, also 12, and identical to Drew in appearance, though not in character. The gently reared Drew is timid; Andrew's a prankster and a daredevil, as Drew finds after Andrew persuades him to trade places so that Andrew's diptheria can be cured by modern medicine. Drew finds himself in 1910, where he faces an adoring younger brother's disgust at his sudden wimpiness, observes tomboyish older sister Hannah's romance, scraps with obnoxious Cousin Edward, and gets routine (though not vicious) punishments with Andrew's father's belt. Meanwhile, Andrew's life is saved, but--not sure he wants to switch back--he suggests a contest with the marbles he's hidden in the attic where the boys met. Hannah, who taught Andrew his skill, now helps Drew to win so that he can return to his own time. Like Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden, the pleasurably atmospheric story ends with Drew's reunion with now elderly people from the past; the Missouri setting and neatly crafted, accessible plot make this a fine bridge to that British classic. Meanwhile, the sampling of past mores is as entertaining as it is instructive, and each boy's well-drawn character is believably enriched by emulating the other to preserve his disguise. Another solid and enjoyable performance from this popular, award-winning author. (Fiction. 8-12)

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 4-6. Shy, insecure, and an only child, Drew adores his great-aunt Blythe. There's something odd about the ancestral house she lives in, though--the house where Drew is to spend the summer while his parents are in Europe. It isn't long before he finds out what. By removing a bag of marbles from beneath an attic floorboard, he and Blythe unwittingly open a door to the past and clear the way for the visitation of the boy Andrew Tyler, a distant relative who looks just like Drew. When the boys change places, Drew travels back to 1910, where he finds two new caring parents and the brother and sister he's always wanted. In trying to live up to Andrew's brash, mischievous reputation, polite, quiet Drew also discovers how to assert and to trust himself. There's plenty to enjoy in this delightful time-slip fantasy: a fascinating premise, a dastardly cousin, some good suspense, and a roundup of characters to care about. And although kids may long for more than the glimpse given of Andrew's handling of modern times, they'll still love the story, which comes full circle when Drew, back home with Blythe, meets Andrew, all grown up and an old, old man. ~--Stephanie Zvirin

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 4-8-This is more a time-travel fantasy than a ghost story. Andrew, 12, is about to die from diphtheria when he accidentally falls through a hole in his own time (1910) and finds himself in 1990, in his own room, now occupied by his great-great-nephew Drew. The boys, identical look-alikes, then change places. Modern medicine saves Andrew's life, and the boys try to settle into their new and different roles. The story becomes one of coming-of-age for both of them. Shy, timid Drew hasn't bargained on filling the shoes of the wild Andrew, and Andrew is equally uncomfortable in ``pantywaist'' Drew's shoes. However, Andrew is reluctant to switch back, fearing he will die if his body returns to 1910. The boys strike a bargain-when Drew wins at marbles, they will change places. Suspense mounts as the story progresses. Will the families notice that something is awry? Will the boys mess up family history by meddling with past events? Will Andrew survive when he gets back home? These questions keep the story moving until all comes clear in a humorous but somewhat contrived ending. There isn't the intense foreboding found in Hahn's ghost story Wait Till Helen Comes (Clarion, 1986), but there is enough tension to keep readers engaged. Instructions for the marble game are appended.-Virginia Golodetz, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Fiction: I Marbles found beneath the attic floor of the old house belonging to his great-aunt lead Drew into spending his summer back in 1910. The time-slip fantasy is tantalizing, as Drew and his look-alike ancestor, Andrew, trade places and alter family history. Horn Rating: Recommended, satisfactory in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: mab (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.