A Circle of Time By Marisa Montes
Book/Novel Author: Marisa Montes
Book/Novel Title: A Circle of Time
“I helped you. Now you help me.”
As fourteen-year-old Allison Blair lies comatose in the hospital, she hears in her head the voice of Becky Lee Thompson, pleading for help and pulling Allison back in time to 1906–and into Becky’s body. *But why?* Is it to prevent Becky’s tragic death, or the death of Joshua, the boy who loves her? Allison must remain in the past–fortified by her own growing feeling for Joshua, and Becky’s will–to make sense of the layers of mystery, blackmail, and mistaken identity so that history will be altered.
Becky’s spirit struggles to keep Allison’s body alive. Can Allison save Becky and Joshua and return to her own body before time runs out?
### From School Library Journal
Grade 6-10-This time-travel, historical mystery begins as 14-year-old Allison Blair is struck by a car and almost killed. While she is grasping onto life in a coma, she is whisked away in time by Becky, who has come to 1996 from 1906 to gain Allison’s help. The book flashes back and forth between the hospital, with Becky in Allison’s body and about to undergo brain surgery, and 1906 on a California estate owned by a wealthy Spanish family. There, Allison meets Joshua, who was Becky Thompson’s boyfriend before her untimely death. Once she convinces him of her situation, he becomes her ally and helps her change history. The focus shifts to Sadie Thompson and Don Carlos, the estate owner, and the mystery of what happened to his daughter’s baby years earlier. While Allison’s lessons to Joshua about feminist history detract a bit from the sense of urgency, this is still an enjoyable, compelling read. Much like Caroline B. Cooney’s Both Sides of Time (Laurel-Leaf, 1997), it takes on a romantic spin, along with the old Wizard of Oz theme of Allison’s just wanting to click her heels three times and be back in the comfort zone of home.
*Nicole M. Marcuccilli, Glenview Public Library, IL*
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
### From Booklist
Gr. 6-8. When Allison is seriously injured in an accident on a deserted California road, the ghost of Becky, a girl who lived nearly a century earlier, comes to her aid. Becky’s spirit sustains Allison through a coma–but at a price. In return for her life, Allison must travel back in time to 1906 to save Becky and her beau, Joshua, from their deaths during the San Francisco earthquake. In classic gothic fashion, Allison uncovers a skeleton in the closet of the powerful Cardona Pomales family that holds the key to the tragic deaths. Readers may question how readily the Victorian-era characters accept modern Allison’s time traveling (Peni R. Griffin’s *Switching Well*  is more convincing in that regard). Yet fans of both mysteries and time-slip stories will like the novel, which is liberally spiced with romance and melodrama, and clarifies a bit of intriguing and tragic California history. *Catherine Andronik*
*Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved*
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