Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chronal Engine: A Prehistoric Time-Travel Adventure” as Want to Read:
Chronal Engine: A Prehistoric Time-Travel Adventure
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chronal Engine: A Prehistoric Time-Travel Adventure

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  21 reviews
When Max, Kyle, and Emma are sent to live with their reclusive grandfather, they think he’s crazy, especially when he tells them about his time machine. But after Emma is kidnapped at the exact time that her grandfather predicted, Max and Kyle are forced to believe his eccentric stories—even the one about the Chronal Engine in the basement.

Now, to save Emma, Max, Kyle, and
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Clarion Books (first published January 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chronal Engine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Chronal Engine

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 194)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Here's what I have to say about THE CHRONAL ENGINE:

1) If you're looking for a fast-paced middle grade adventure/science-fiction story, then this book is for you! The action starts on page one, and it never ends.

2) THE CHRONAL ENGINE is what happens when JURASSIC PARK meets GIDEON THE CUTPURSE. Yes, dinosaurs and time travel all in one awesome place.

3) The characters have serious spunk. They never stop trying to reach their goals. (I think we could all learn a lot from them.)

4) Did I mention Greg
A time travel adventure that kids can really sink their reading teeth into! And the story bites back with thrilling excitement, family drama, and DINOSAURS!

Every little boy I've known has reached what I call "The Dinosaur Stage" where even as toddlers they're spouting off huge dinosaur names and begging for T-Rex toys. Girls, too, are drawn to prehistoric beasts--which makes CHRONAL ENGINE a great read for all kids (and adults who are kids are heart).

Author Greg Leitich Smith knows his dinosaurs
BAYA Librarian
Emma has been kidnapped. Her brothers Max and Kyle along with new friend Petra set out to find her. The catch: Emma has been taken back in time to the Cretaceous period, using their grandfather’s time machine. They will need to evade dinosaurs and figure out how to survive as they solve the mystery of the Chronal Engine and rescue their sister.

Time travel, dinosaurs and kidnapping all blend together in this middle-quality, middle-grade adventure story. Max is dinosaur-obsessed so much of his di
Ms. Yingling
When their mother gets a prestigious job on a far-flung archaeological dig, Emma, Max and Kyle have to go live with their grandfather, since their father was previously killed in Afghanistan. They haven't seen their grandfather in a long time, although he doesn't live far away, because he has checked out from humanity a bit. When the trio arrive, their grandfather tells them he is having a heart attack and that they must investigae the Chronal Engine, a time travel device, that is in his basemen ...more
This was my first time reading a book by either of these two authors and I really liked it. Let me tell you that in my house watching the Discovery Channel, Nova, and the History Channel after school was not optional. This is both good and bad, you see now have a love of all things dinosaur and prehistoric as well sharks and nazis. It's true. By the time I was 8 I knew more about the past the any kid in my class...and though I got tired of my Dad forcing me to watch WWI and WWII shows I still ha ...more
Huh. Well, that was...huh. The one thing I loved about this book was the occasional awesomely funny line that came out of nowhere. But kids + dinosaurs isn't exactly the most original combination. It would need something exceptional to make this topic special, and somehow even time travel just didn't cut it. I guess the biggest problem is how matter-of-fact everything is. When the kids' sister gets taken, they don't stress about it at all--they barely seem ruffled. They just almost immediately g ...more
Audrey Wilkerson
Ink and Page's Quick & Dirty Review

Rating : 3

The Low Down : The twins, Kyle and Emma, and their younger brother, Max, are staying for the summer with their grandfather on his ranch. The recluse grandfather that they have only seen once.

Family lore has it that their great-great grandfather built a time machine, was ridiculed for it, and became a hermit. Handing Max an envelope, his grandfather tells him they need to be at the dinosaur prints at precisely eight o’clock in the morning. Then
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
After their grandfather predicts his own heart attack (you read that right) and their sister Emma is kidnapped and vanishes into thin air, Max, Kyle, and Petra ban together to rescue Emma. Full of jaw-dropping moments, car chases, and man eating giants all set in prehistoric Austin, Texas, this story is all about surviving. The characters are all smart in their own way, but Max is the brains and the dinosaur extraordinaire. That may come off as a little nerdy for an 8th grader, but he doesn't ca ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
This was the third novel by Greg Leitich Smith that I have read. Each has been a wonderful read. This story is written in a long tradition of Robinsonades. It is the story of time travel, dinosaurs and family. It was incredibly well written. I found it hard to put the book down the few times that I had to while reading it. The characters were amazing, and the loops in the story and the logic behind them was stunning. The way Greg has scripted this story sets it up for a number of wonderful reads ...more
I found this to be a pretty excellent survival story. Add in some dinosaurs and some time travel, and there you go. The pace was pretty quick, the science not over-explained and I added this to my list for older developing (formally "reluctant") readers. My only gripe is that the illustrations are in ill-timed positions, often ruining the surprise before the reader can even get to the set up. By the end, that totally frustrated me. Another problem with the illustrations is of WHAT they depicted. ...more
When I requested a copy of Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith, I thought it was a young adult novel because it features teenagers as the main characters. After reading it, however, I believe it’s more likely to appeal to tweens and younger teens than older readers. I think it could also work for kids as young as nine or ten. Who can resist the combination of time travel and dinosaurs? Read the rest of my review at
Putting this book on children's sci fi and YA shelf since it reads like a hi lo book, even though it has older characters, I think my 5th and even 4th graders could handle this one, especially the dino fans. Captioned pictures add to the easy readability. I found it a bit convoluted, but author's note shows plenty of research. Bambiraptor makes me giggle :)
The characters seemed really lackluster. Max with his know-it-all about dinosaurs dialog was really annoying, and everyone was, well they left no impression on me what so ever! Junior Library Guild what were you thinking?
Kat Black
Time travel, dinosaurs, and strange, wonderfully surprising details (like the smell of dino poop) make this a great boy middle reader. (dino poop is my phrase:] Mr. Smith is far more restrained an author.) Nice job!
Sylvia Biondich
Loved this book to give to eighth grade reluctant readers. Fun story and fast action. Loved the time travel, the dinosaurs, the four main characters and the conundrums! Fun fast read for adults, too!
M.G. King
Just the kind of book my boys love - an adventurous tale of time travel and survival, with lots of interesting facts about paleontology to soak up along the way.
Edward Sullivan
A fast-paced, enjoyable time travel adventure set in the late Cretaceous period.
I found this unoriginal and not very well written.

liked his other books better... this was ok...
Quick adventure with a nice time travel aspect.
Traci marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2015
Freema Telotoy
Freema Telotoy marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2015
Lara Celeste
Lara Celeste marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2015
Kim is currently reading it
Jul 02, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn Tofu and T. Rex Borrowed Time Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd

Share This Book