The Golden Hour
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The Golden Hour (Time-Travel Series #1)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  58 reviews
"[An] intriguing time-traveller tale with echoes of Tom's Midnight Garden.
, Richard Peck, author of Newbery Medalwinner "A Year Down Yonder
A classic adventure story of gadgets, eccentrics, and unexpected travel . . . This thrilling first novel will remind readers of the adventure stories of Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming, with their amazing inventions, mysterious adults, and c...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Harry N. Abrams
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I just loved this book. It was so wonderful. So basically, the book is about a boy named Rowan, who is forced to spend his summer in a small town in Maine with his silent sister Nina. But then, along with twins Xanthe and Xavier, he explores a mysterious old hotel, that suddenly comes to life at certain hours. Suddenly, Nina disappears, and Rowan, Xanthe, and Xavier must find her. At least, that’s what the book description says. What it doesn’t tell you is that they travel back in time to the Fr...more
I picked up a copy of this book a couple of years ago at my local re-use it center as the synopsis on the dust cover captured my attention. However, what really piqued my interest was an inscription to a young girl named McKinlee on her 12th birthday which was March 31, 2005 according to the date her Grandma & Grandpa Ward inscribed. Each grandparent had written a lovely & personal message to their young grand-daughter. I often find inscriptions in second hand books but usually they're o...more
This is a cute story about time travel.

Since it's a kids' book, I thought the author would make each chapter about a different aadventure going back in time, but there is only one time-travel adventure: to the French Revolution. I got a little tired of it by the end.

I'm also not sure who I'd actually recommend this book to since the author herself seemed a little confused about her audience. The children are treated as adults throughout France (partly because one is acting as part of the bougo...more
This is another one of those books I grabbed before it even hit the shelf at my other job. It just looked good. And it sounded rather unique. And it was.

This is a book that has a bit of something for everyone: time travel for the sci-fi lover, a place that can only be seen two hours out of a day (and the time travel) for fantasy lovers, lessons learned about life and self for the realist in us, and plain old fun and excitement for the rest.

The very beginning might take some bearing with; while...more
This is the beginning of the Time Travel series. I read book #3 a couple months ago and liked it a lot. However, this first book explained a whole lot of things that were a bit vague in book #3. I loved it! The author took time to adequately research the French Revolution and it was great reading about how the people felt during this terrible time in history. It seemed authentic. Marie Antoinette seems like a misunderstood person. In this book 13 year-old Rowen and his 11 year-old sister Nina, a...more
While it's nice to see some black characters in a fantasy book, the author is way too American in her perception of what life would have been like for a young black boy in Louis XVI's time. Also, many of the characters colonize the past... hello, editor, why didn't you catch this?

After their mother’s death, Rowan and Nina are sent to their (not biological) aunts’ home in Owatannauk, Maine for the summer where they learn that the town holds the secret of time travel. When Rowan travels to Re...more
Oct 22, 2013 Teresa added it
The Golden Hour
By: Maiya Williams

The Golden Hour is the first book of the time-travel series by Maiya Williams. In this book a boy named Rowan, and his sister Nina were invited to stay at their aunts house in Owatannauk, for the summer. Rowan and Nina soon found strange things about this little town. Their curiosity soon brought them and their new friends Xanthe and Xavier to a abandoned hotel. After looking around at the hotel something strange suddenly happened. The hotel looked new ag...more
Rowan, age 13, and his sister, Nina, age 11, lost their mother a year ago, and life has not been the same since. Their dad is drunk most of the time, and it looks like he'll lose his bakery. He hardly talks to the kids, and Nina hasn't spoken a word since her mom died.

Now Aunt Gertrude and Aunt Agatha, who they hardly know, have invited them to visit for the summer. They quickly find two friends--Xavier and Xanthe--and also discover the mysterious "Golden Hour" when the old hotel comes to life a...more
Cathrine Bonham
Mar 26, 2010 Cathrine Bonham rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Home Schoolers, Time Travel enthusists.
This is an awsome Time Travel fantasy adventure. I loved every minute of it. Fast paced action keeps the story flowing rather than digressing into long sections of historical disscusion like some other books of this genre.

I Loved the Characters; especially, the two witty and intelligent Homeschoolers. Xanthe and Xavier Alexander are great examples of the benefits of Home schooling they have the curiosity to go Time Traveling and the Smarts to help them survive it. A must read for every Home Sch...more
The Golden Hour was a great page-turner. I started it one night and was halfway through by about 2/3am. I really like time travel and, while the French Revolution isn’t an era of history that I love exploring, Maiya Williams made me able to enjoy it. There was something a bit old school in the style of adventure, very Edward Eager, whose Magic series books I read as a child, involving magic and time.

Check out more of my review:
This is a book about a 13year old boy named Rowan, and his 11 year old sister Nina going on an adventure with their 2 aunts that have very different personalities. One of the aunt is mental, and the other aunt is very unaware. The four of them are on an adventure to find their dad who left them 5 years ago, because their mother's death 1 year ago. They have very little money, plus, they need to make sure that the aunts are safe because, on their way, they meet dangerous events. Rowan is a boy th...more
Fun quick little time-travel book, good for historical fiction fans. Rowan and his sister Nina are staying with aunts for a while, still grieving over the death of their mom a year ago, while their dad deals with his own problems. They meet Xavier and Xanthe, twins their age, while exploring an old abandoned hotel--which turns out to be a portal to another time! (Kinda reminded me of the movie Somewhere in Time, but not in the same romantic sense, just a cool old hotel with people from another e...more
I liked the cover when I bought this but I didn't expect the story to be moving! It was really amazing how each of the mystery revealed itself. A unique way to find out another world beyond our own. This book made me think of things I've never paid attention before like for example as the title itself says 'Golden Hour'. The few minutes where both the sun and the moon can be seen and when unexpected thing happen. I never paid attention to that. Also about the things we could lose in j...more
The protagonist of this book is Rowan Popplewell. The antagonist is Nina, which is Rowan;s sister. They have been sent to stay in this tiny place in Maine, with two strange aunts they dont really know. They expect one month of being board, until Rowan notice this abandoned hotel in the woods. One of the aunts tell them not to go near it, but they ignore her and Nina goes missing.

I would recommend this book to people who always want to be at the tip of their toes when reading a book. This book...more
The Golden Hour is about a boy and his sister that move in with their "aunts" for a few months. These two children find two friends that are twins. They all go up to a hotel that is said to be haunted and that the aunts say not to go to. They find out that during the Golden Hour where the sun isn't down or up. This is when ghosts of the hotel's past appear. When all four of them go into the hotel the children and they are allowed to go back in time. The next day The main character's sister is mi...more
While this book is reviewed for time travel, I think it could accompany a French Revolution project as free-read material in a Junior High or 9th grade history class. It almost seems planned this way since the author very specifically places an abundance of French Revolution details throughout. So much so that the author's own story seems secondary to the historical writing.

The characters are a bit underdeveloped and I wasn't really taken with them in their journey. I did like the details in ex...more
One of my favorite books of all time. I first read this years ago, and I haven't forgotten it. I love it!
Neill Smith
When Rowan’s mom died his sister, Nina, stopped communicating with anyone. When his dad’s bakery got in financial trouble, Rowan and his sister were sent to spend some time with their great aunts in a tiny backwoods village. But the aunts know more than they tell and the village is a portal to time – an opportunity for Rowan and Nina to develop some talents, discover some truths, and restart their lives. In a search for his missing sister Rowan finds himself embroiled in the French Revolution wh...more
I liked this story and thought overall it was a good read for middle graders. There were a few references I thought could have been left out or re-phrased to make it more appropriate for school children. ie: no sexual relations when time travelling. Also one character is referered to as Miss for several paragraphs and then as Mrs. and then back to Miss and I hate seeing mistakes like that in a book as it invalidates the story. The time travel in France is the most interesting part.
Children's fiction/time travel adventure. It starts out as a suspense-mystery (are all those people really ghosts at the abandoned hotel?) but quickly turns into another book about time travel; characters find themselves in the middle of the French Revolution and must escape from several sticky situations. Reasonably entertaining, but apart from the Xavier's and Xanthe's African-American ethnicity, nothing very remarkable.
Jennifer Boyer
I loved it, and I'm overjoyed to see there are other books in the series. My 11 year old daughter loved it too.
Scottsdale Public Library
The Golden Hour is a delightfully crafted story, weaving together magic, humor, history, and emotion. The adventure of searching for Nina and time traveling to the French Revolution will capture the audience. The reader assumes that the characters will find the missing sister and return to their present time, but Williams keeps them guessing as to how all the events will transpire. -Sara G
Fantasy time travel novel based around a brother and sister coming to terms with the death of their mother. An engaging story which finds the brother in revolutionary France which will appeal to lovers of historical fiction whilst the sister goes to visit her mother before she dies. How they both come to terms with living in the present without their mother is told gently and sensitively.
this was a terrific introductory story in the series. A great blending of time travel and historical fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed the crafting of this story line. I think that any young person who enjoys either of these two genres may find a developing interest in the other ... and if you already enjoy both, prepare to be drawn quickly into this series.
This has weird aunts and family trama, but also time travel to a turbulent time in world history. Another brother and sister duo, but this one has also has another brother and sister set of twins. This is good to recommend to kids who like 39 clues and The Red Pyramid.
Oct 29, 2007 Wendee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Time Travel Lovers
Shelves: young-adult
This book is an entertaining time travel adventure. I enjoyed the characters and pace of the story. Once the kids figure out how to travel, the bulk of the story takes place in France just prior to the Reign of Terror. It was pretty creative.
Quirky time-travel adventure featuring two sets of brothers and sisters who meet in a small town in New England. They wind up back in the time of the French Revolution. Enjoyable. CHPL Battle of the Books title for the summer (09).
I picked this book up for $1 at my favorite local used bookstore. It was worth my dollar, and probably a little more. It's not going on my favorites shelf, but I did enjoy it. Then again, I like almost every book I read...
This was my favorite books as child long before I loved reading. The story was so adorable. An elevator that could take you to any place and time that you wanted to go definitely makes for an interesting story.
I really liked the time-travel premise, but I felt that the main character acted much younger than his stated age, and either needed a large injection of hormones, or needed his age dropped.
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