J. B. Yanni
Time Benders: The Machine – Young Adult, Time Travel, Science Fiction
“A breezy, straightforward approach to time travel featuring unforgettable characters.” – Kirkus Reviews
Time Benders and the Machine
For fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s The Missing and Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, four orphaned siblings discover the ability to travel through time and change history in Time Benders and the Machine.
On a sunny day in 1974, the Fitzgerald siblings learn that their parents have died in a tragic accident. Devastated, the children are sent to boarding school at Choate Rosemary Hall-the same boarding school that their father and John F. Kennedy went to when they were younger, their Aunt tells them.
Athletic, popular, football star Ken is the eldest Fitzgerald, and suddenly burdened with the responsibility of caring for his three younger siblings. Deb, a year younger, prefers books and the library to socializing, drawn to history and archaeology and hoping to find her way in Choate’s structured order. Joe is racked with sorrow over his parent’s deaths and determined to find a way to either get them back or make them proud. Kim, the youngest, is only ten years old and just trying to make new friends and keep close to her sister and brothers.
When Joe finds an elaborate math problem and solves it, with the help of the reclusive caretaker, Mr. Brewster, the Fitzgerald’s discover that they have unlocked the secrets of how to bend time and time travel. Together, they devise a plan to go back in time, change a pivotal moment in US history, and impact their parents’ lives in the hopes of stopping the terrible accident that brought them to boarding school. Along the way they face looming spiritual and moral questions, while finding their way toward closeness and a path through their grief.
With shades of C.S. Lewis’s Pevensie siblings and the wonder of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, JB Yanni’s Time Benders and the Machine is a time traveling adventure full of heart and soul.
Time Benders and the Two Promises: Book II – Young Adult, Time Travel, Science Fiction
“Appealing siblings fortify a time-bending tale that offers plenty of drama.” Kirkus Reviews
With echoes of the halls of Hogwart’s, the Fitzgerald kids continue their adventures in Time Benders and the Two Promises. In this second book in the series, the full impact of what Joe has done sinks in, angering Deb and Ken, and causing Ken to pronounce the end of trips in the time machine. Later, when Deb learns about Mr. Brewster’s history, she and Joe defy Ken and take the machine to Las Vegas, 1958 to keep Mrs. Brewster from a certain accident. Bolstered by the success of this trip, Deb decides recklessly to try to undo what Joe had done in his solo trip in the machine, returning to Cambridge to stop Joe. The unknown forces of the universe and energy are working against their efforts to be in the same space and time and Deb barely makes it back alive! All of this creates a rift between Deb and her best friend Mary, because of the spiritual questions of whether one should try to change fate, until she finally understands. When Mary learns she may face a terrible future and major illness, she convinces the Fitzgerald siblings to use the machine to go forward in time to discover her fate. Through all of this, the siblings commit to two major promises about the machine, and their parents. Underpinning all of their adventures, they wrestling with their faith, the questions presented by the time travel and the fact that their trips continue to wreak havoc on their memories.
This heartwarming story packs a punch of history, faith, and science sprinkled with kindness through these relatable teens.