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The Left Behinds: The iPhone that Saved George Washington
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The Left Behinds: The iPhone that Saved George Washington (The Left Behinds #1)

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Percy Jackson fans will embrace this humorous time travel adventure, the first in a series, about an iPhone malfunction that sends three kids back to 1776 in time to rescue George Washington.

On Christmas Day, Mel finds General George Washington lying dead as a doornail in a stable. But Mel knows that George Washington must cross the Delaware River, or the course of Americ
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Crown Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 07, 2015 Bailey rated it really liked it
Please note that I received a free ARC of this book in a contest and would like to say a huge thank you for the opportunity to read and review it!

Mel, Bev, and Brandon don't have the best relationship with each other. However, it's the Christmas holidays, and their parents are either too busy or too successful for these three children to come home with them. In turn, they made arrangements with their school to take care of these three over the course of the vacation. They are the Left Behinds. T
An iPhone malfunction sends a group of children back to 1776 where they find General George Washington lying dead in a barn. Unless they can figure out how to undo what has happened, the course of history will be changed forever. Although the kids were in constant danger, humor gave the book an overall lighthearted feel. The reader, Kirby Heyborne, did an incredible job. He is one of my favorite readers. I give him 5 stars and the book
3 1/2 stars. The Left Behinds has the potential to be a real
Apr 18, 2015 Emyrose8 rated it liked it
I actually listened to the audio book version... it was pretty slow. I think I would've liked it more if I had read the actual book instead of listening to it. Really cool concept! The author did a ton of research, so the book is packed with historic detail. The characters weren't very detailed, though. And I'm not the biggest sci-fi fan to begin with.
Greg W
Jul 19, 2015 Greg W rated it really liked it
The kids and I listened to the audio version of this book on a long car trip. The book provided historical details that added to the humor in the book as well as a history lesson. The audio version seemed a little slow and we lost interest near the end.
Oct 06, 2016 Brooke rated it liked it
Reminded me a bit of the Rush Revere series in that school-aged children travel back in time to important historical events. In this series their is an evil time traveler trying to alter history and the children first have to figure out how they got where they are, what is happening and then stop it. Should be fun for good elementary aged readers.
April Duclos
Feb 08, 2016 April Duclos rated it did not like it
The idea was silly but had fun potential: a trio of tweens left behind at Christmas by their overly busy parents end up traveling back in time to 1776 and see George Washington (yes, THAT, George Washington) dead in a barn. They quickly learn that their iPhones still work, and their teacher who was supervising their Christmas day outing, is still able to text them FROM THE FUTURE, and somehow there's a new app on their phones which allows time travel. But, Mel's phone only has 5% power left...

Jul 21, 2015 Utena rated it really liked it
I borrowed this book from a friend whom thought that since I enjoyed the Harry Potter series and the Percy Jackson series, I would enjoy this one as well. Normally I have stayed away from friends' recommendations seeing as some of the books have been less than stellar but I have to say I really enjoyed this one immensely.

An app sends the Left Behind Trio (known as Bev, Mel, and Ben) back in time to 1776 where George Washington is lying dead. But that cannot be. He is set to cross the Delaware R
Julia Nashif
Dec 24, 2014 Julia Nashif rated it really liked it
So, I know reviewers aren't supposed to quote from an ARC in case the author changes things around in the final copy, but this book was so darn funny I just had to.

Thank you, Netgalley and Random House Children's, for this free book to review!

I'm okay at history, but reading about a kid (and a boy, at that), who really loves it was awesome. Mel's always been more on the sidelines, but he's not afraid to take charge when no one else is capable.

I've got two quibbles about this book though. First o
Jul 19, 2015 Steph rated it liked it
The concept of this book gets 5 stars, and I think most kids I would hand this to would love it just based upon that general idea: time travel that is possible through an iPhone app.

This is totally modern and since most kids I know don't even set their phones down to brush their teeth or sleep, it might grab the attention of some reluctant readers. There are awesome historical figures, facts, and events during the American Revolution that the story is based around which is super awesome.

That be
Apr 04, 2015 Jtimko rated it really liked it
Mel, Bev, and Brandon (The “left-behinds” during Christmas vacation at an exclusive boarding school.) are transported via an i-phone app back in time to the Revolutionary War. There they must change history from George Washington being killed to successfully crossing the Delaware River on Christmas.
Historical buffs will enjoy this “What if…” novel that are so popular today. Written from Brandon’s point of view, George Washington is found dead and so the time travel begins. Many historical events
Kim McGee
Jan 12, 2015 Kim McGee rated it really liked it
Three kids, dubbed the "Left Behinds" because their wealthy non-participant parents left them behind at school, are suddenly transported to the American Revolution to help George Washington get across the river and take control of the war. They are able to do this through the use of their iphones and an app
that makes their lives more adventurous but a lot more dangerous as well. Mel needs Ben Franklin to charge his phone and get back to save General Washington and rescue his friends who are held
Dec 09, 2014 Jay rated it really liked it
The Left Behinds: The iPhone that Saved George Washington by David Potter was received from the publisher in exchange for this review. The lengthy book (bravo to the 3-7th graders who read this much, I know my children DID NOT at that age and still dont), is easy to follow and teaches things about Washington crossing the Delaware (I never realized the Delaware was Jersey/Pennsylvania border, I never really thought of it's location. I am not one to go into plot synopsis's in my reviews but I did ...more
Jun 09, 2015 Ann rated it it was ok
My kids and I listened to the audio version of this book and I can't tell if the narrator spoke too slowly and deliberately to bring out the humor or I just didn't care for the book, but either way this one just didn't grab me. It felt like there was too much historical detail (and I majored in history, too! ) and long conversations between characters, but not enough action. I'm sure there will be kids out there who will just eat it up (my 11 yr old liked it), but not enough general interest for ...more
C. L.
I wanted this to be good. I really did. But a great concept (an iPhone app that allows time travel) falls apart in the execution. The chapters are repetitive and weirdly short; the story takes way too long to explain the set up; at least half of the characters are wholly unnecessary. Normally I'd just say "Eh" and let it go, but this was SUCH a neat idea that I'm genuinely upset that it wasn't rewritten to repair these problems. Huge missed opportunity. Not recommended.
May 11, 2016 Alison rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it was funny and interesting. My favorite part was when Mel showed his phone to Benjamin Franklin. This part was important because Benjamin Franklin charged his phone so he could time travel. I would recommend this book to another student because it was interesting. If I could change this book I would make the ending less confusing. This book has a sequel called Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Changed the Union. I plan on reading this book.
Dec 28, 2014 Alice rated it liked it
Very clever start to what I am hoping is a series for fans of The Magic Tree House who are looking for something a little meatier. Can you change time? Should you interfere with history? All valid questions Mel and his friends have to figure out when they are transported to 1776 while on a school outing for "left behinds" - students who don't go home over break. And what would have happened had Washington been assassinated.
Ms. Yingling
ARC from Baker and Taylor's Common Core Collection

I adore time travel books, but this one seemed a bit slow, wordy, and long. Not only that, but who knows how long iPhones will be around, so there is also the issue of the book becoming dated. As much as I like historical fiction and time travel, my students are not fond of either, so I will pass. Definitely take a look at this, however, if those things go over well in your library.
Cara Noyes
Jun 04, 2016 Cara Noyes rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
While this book had a cool premise and interesting beginning (a dead general vVERY important in American history!), the writing style is jagged and abrupt. Sort of stream of consciousness style that did not make for a fluid read. Maybe it will appeal more to a kid, but this adult did not like its style.
Kent District Library
“First volume of the new series ‘Left Behinds’ is for G3-7, and it’s similar to ‘39 Clues’ ‘Infinity Ring’ series. Modern time kids time traveled back in history (not intentionally, and they even didn’t know how and why) and saves George Washington. I had such fun reading this (and learned a thing or two too!)”
—Yuko at KDL’s Service Center
Great Books
Jan 15, 2016 Great Books rated it really liked it
Shelves: ages-9-11
Mel, Bev, and Brandon are spending the Christmas holiday at boarding school when a field trip takes them to a battle re-enactment. Wandering into staff areas has consequences; finding a recently deceased George Washington makes them realize that they have somehow traveled back in time. The future of the country is at stake unless Mel can put things right.

Reviewer # 26
Alice Kuhn
What happens when the "Father of America" is killed? Mel, Bev and Brandon are transported into the year 1776. They find George Washington's body. Can their iphones their iphones help them change the past and take them back to the future? A little slow in the middle, sappy back stories but would recommend this book to patrons 4th grade and up.
May 24, 2016 Tamsen rated it really liked it
A very fun story about 3 12 year olds that I accidentally get sent back in time. They must save General Washington from the Heshon soldiers and the man that has been contracted to kill him in order to save history. A fun twist of history intermingled.
Feb 08, 2016 Dru rated it it was ok
A little overkill with this book. It could have ended about 150 pages earlier. I'm not sure that preteens would like it either and that's who it's geared for. I won't be reading anymore books in this series.
Mar 23, 2015 Betsy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
I found this to be a great fantasy book to compare and contrast current times to the Revolutionary in this crazy, jammed backed age of "teaching" subjects. My 4th graders loved it- took a mini tour of electricity and wrote our own iTimes stories.
May 05, 2015 Allison rated it really liked it
I loved this time travel Revolutionary War book. I have many favorite parts, but the most favorite was when the kids meet Ben Franklin and he is able to use his simple battery to charge an iPhone. So cool!
Diana Pettis
Jul 07, 2015 Diana Pettis rated it liked it
Interesting story. This reminds me of the Back to the Future movie only set in George Washington's life. Children who enjoy history and adventure and are transitional readers would really connect with this book.
Jun 04, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because they talked like actual kids talk today. They don't have an author make up how they think kids talk to each other and adults- they are pretty accurate on how the kind s interact with the other characters.
Mrs. Carey
Jul 06, 2016 Mrs. Carey rated it liked it
Shelves: jkes-library
An iPhone that sends children back in time? This book reminds me a bit of The Infinity Ring series; however, I did appreciate how historical characters were portrayed as real people who were not always perfect or right.
Jan 17, 2015 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I enjoyed the history aspect, real and fictionalized. I had a slight problem with how the book was written... At parts it was a tiny bit confusing and repetitive. That being said I still stayed up late to finish the book and I will read number two!
May 26, 2015 Jamie rated it liked it
It's like a cross between the TimeRiders series and it's conspiracies through time and Rush Revere's push to bring history to kids. I'm curious to see how the kids (and the writing) grows with the series.
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David Potter developed a love for American history as a boy growing up near Morristown, New Jersey, where George Washington spent the winters of 1777 and 1779. He was inspired to write The Left Behinds: The iPhone That Saved George Washington while taking his children to the annual Christmas reenactment of Washington’s Crossing the Delaware.

The premise of the novel is simple: three modern day kid
More about David Potter...

Other Books in the Series

The Left Behinds (2 books)
  • Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union

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