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November 3, 2008

The Time Hackers

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The Time Hackers

Author: Gary Paulsen

Page Length: 96

Reading Level: 4

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Dorso and Frank are ordinary high school guys in the future. Ordinary if you consider the techno world they live in. Smells and sights from the past can he viewed as holograms. One day a dead body shows up in Dorso’s locker. The next thing Dorso knows, he’s looking eye to with Custer and Beethoven. Frank thinks Dorso’s losing it, until they both encounter an animal from the past. Soon Frank and Dorso are cast into the past — sometimes with no warning at all. Will they be able to solve the mystery of their sudden time travel? Can they survive amidst the battles they are being sent into? Who is responsible and why have they picked Dorso and Frank?

REVIEW: Although very un-Paulsen like (because it’s not about wilderness survival and animals), the book is entertaining.            The plot twists and turns will keep readers entertained. The book provides great opportunities for history connections as the boys travel to different time periods. The scientific concept of hologram technologies and time travel into virtual worlds is also interesting (a good hook for sci-fi and fantasy fans). 

AREAS FOR TEACHING: sequence of events, internal conflict, external conflict, character traits, dialogue, cause and effect, point of view, author’s purpose, historical connections

Writing activity: Have students write a time travel journal, or have students pick an era of time addressed in the story and write as if they were living in that time period

RELATED BOOKS: Amos’s Killer Concept Caper, Danger on Midnight River, The Green Recruit, Hatchet, Brian’s Winter

RELATED MOVIES: “The Minutemen,” “Terminator,” “Back to the Future,” “Star Trek,” “Kate and Leopold”


REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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