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The Lost Track of Time

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A magical fantasy, an allegorical cautionary tale, a feast of language, a celebration of creativity--this dazzling debut novel is poised to become a story for the ages! Penelope is running out of time! She dreams of being a writer, but how can she pursue her passion when her mother schedules every minute of her life? And how will she ever prove that writing is worthwhile if her mother keeps telling her to "get busy!" and "be more productive"? Then one day, Penelope discovers a hole in her schedule--an entire day completely unplanned!--and she mysteriously falls into it. What follows is a mesmerizing journey through the Realm of Possibility where Penelope sets out to find and free the Great Moodler, the one person who may have the answers she seeks. Along the way, she must face an army of Clockworkers, battle the evil Chronos, take a daring Flight of Fancy, and save herself from the grip of time. Brimming with clever language and masterful wordplay, The Lost Track of Time is a high-stakes adventure that will take you to a place where nothing is impossible and every minute doesn't count--people do!

320 pages, Hardcover

First published March 31, 2015

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About the author

Paige Britt

4 books36 followers
Paige Britt is the author of THE LOST TRACK OF TIME, "an exuberant homage to the power of imagination and creative problem-solving" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). She is also the author of WHY AM I ME? illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. This beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.

Paige grew up in a small town in Texas with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds. She studied journalism in college and theology in graduate school, but never stopped reading children’s books for life’s most important lessons. She hopes to write books that encourage children to ask big questions and discover their own answers. Paige lives in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband.

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5 stars
799 (38%)
4 stars
660 (31%)
3 stars
440 (21%)
2 stars
125 (6%)
1 star
40 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 313 reviews
Profile Image for Alison.
34 reviews1 follower
May 1, 2015
I really enjoyed the creative wordplay and storytelling in this book. So many puns! Kids will definitely relate to Penelope and appreciate her ability to moodle with the best of them. Despite the creativity and the interesting worlds constructed in this book, it just didn't grab me. Usually a book like this will take me a short time to read, but I kept wanting to put it down because I just wasn't that invested. I kept coming back, though, and did eventually finish it. I would guess that bigger fans of Alice in Wonderland and other similar books will appreciate this more than I did.
Profile Image for CJ.
15 reviews6 followers
February 7, 2017
The Lost Track of Time isn't just a beautifully written novel that yanked me into the pages immediately, The Lost Track of Time is a touching work of art which made me question and examine my own life and my relationship with external and internal expectations as well as the fast paced world around me. The main character, Penelope, is someone who I felt a deep connection with. Paige Britt is a masterful artist who has created a majestic novel for all ages. I can't wait to share this novel with my children as well as my peers.
Profile Image for Katie.
21 reviews
May 15, 2015
I wanted so badly for this book to be more than it was. The concept reminded me of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, which is one of my most beloved books, but this "retelling" fell flat. What makes the Phantom Tollbooth such a compelling read is the use of an authoritarian model of the moralizing allegory. The Lost Track of Time is a cheap imitation of that.

Penelope’s mother and father are caricatures. They are so over-the-top with scheduling Penelope’s time and refusing to listen to her desire to be a writer that they are rather ridiculous. Honestly, the plot seems a bit too forced and didactic, particularly in attempting to teach Penelope, and the readers, about the dangers of being over-scheduled.

To those who have liked this book- go pick up Norton Juster's masterpiece. You will love it.

I wish I could give a second rating to the illustrations. I adore them. I loved the art work- Lee White is a genius.
Profile Image for Libros Prohibidos.
868 reviews359 followers
January 13, 2016
Recomendado a quienes disfruten de las historias de fantasía sencillas, a aquellos que necesiten quitarle hierro a las preocupaciones, y a quienes lleven una vida dirigida por el reloj. Claro está, también es para cualquier niño de diez años al que sus padres no le dejen tranquilo con las actividades extra escolares. Reseña completa:
http://www.libros-prohibidos.com/paig...
36 reviews16 followers
May 1, 2016
AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the beginning i wanted to punch her parents so bad. lol. You should definitley read it. I love how the author makes all sorts of creatures and foods up to make a whole other world. Totally five star.
Profile Image for Sarah Swann.
763 reviews1,011 followers
April 8, 2019
This was cute! It was very whimsical. I loved the concepts of time that the author twisted to make a whole little world out of it. It definitely takes the reader on an adventure. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve read, but I can see how kids love it.
Profile Image for Anita.
487 reviews
November 17, 2015
Con solo mirar la edición que tiene por dentro El reino de las posibilidades demuestra ser un libro perfecto para los que seguimos con parte de la cabeza metida en un mundo de fantasía, pero mas allá de lo superficial el libro tiene una historia entretenida y original, de las que te hacen querer seguir a lo largo de sus paginas y sacar algo más de su lectura que una simples horas de entretenimiento.
http://perdidaenunmundodelibros.blogs...
Profile Image for alina.
66 reviews3 followers
February 7, 2022
I FOUND IT I FOUND IT I FOUND IT I FINALLY FUCKING FOUND THE BOOK PRAISE THE LORD I FINALLY FOUND THE BOOK I'VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR FOR SINCE 4TH GRADE :""""""")))))

Edit: "Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
-Alice in Wonderland.
Profile Image for File de  Poveste.
119 reviews8 followers
April 26, 2021
Probabil , daca as fi citit-o in urma cu un an sau doi mi-ar fi placut mult mai mult . In ciuda numarului de pagina (aproximativ 360) cartea s-a citit super rapid , avand scrisul mare si multe ilustratii (in tonuri de mov) absolut realizate . Recomand aceasta carte tuturor celor care sunt presati de timp , care incearca sa fie niste persoane extrem de organizate , (deoarece aceasta carte le va demonstra ca nu trebuie sa fii mereu organizat , ca uneori este bine sa mai si zabovesti, nu doar sa fi productiv si sa faci in fiecare moment cate un lucru ) . De asemenea , aceasta carte este perfecta si pentru oamenii care adora sa zaboveasca , sa lase totul pe ultima suta de metrii (cum sunt si eu uneori ) , care le va demonstra ca nu este intodeauna bine sa zabovesti , este bine ca uneori sa fi organizat , mai ales cand ai multe lucruri de facut .
Profile Image for Iris R..
26 reviews2 followers
December 20, 2017
I really enjoyed this book because it had a lot of interesting characters in it. It also had amazing landscapes. This book would be perfect for anyone who likes adventures. This book is amazing and you should like it to. It's about a girl who has adventures to different lands. If you want to know what happened next read this book to find out.
Profile Image for Chester Dean.
210 reviews157 followers
February 12, 2016


Conocemos a Penélope, una chica que sueña con llegar a ser escritora, que disfruta de mirar fuera de la ventana y de soñar despierta. El único problema es que para su madre, éstos sueños y placeres de Penélope, son una total pérdida de tiempo. Es casi un sacrilegio para ella perder un minuto del día sin hacer algo productivo.

Ésto deprime un poco a Penélope, porque tiene que ocultar sus cuadernos y hacer lo que le gusta en cortos periodos de tiempo, entre una u otra actividad programada por su madre o antes de irse a dormir.

Pero un día sus plegarias son escuchadas y amanece con la lista de actividades de su madre totalmente en blanco, no tiene nada qué hacer. Pero ésto termina llevándola al Reino de las Posibilidades.

El reino de las Posibilidades es un lugar en el que, como bien su nombre lo indica, todo puede suceder. Está lleno de personajes fantásticos y peculiares. Como lo es Pepinillo, un hombrecito pelirrojo de lo más inusual que acompañará a Penélope en su misión de regresar a casa, ya que para lograrlo, tiene que vencer al malvado Cronos.

¡Me encantó! Nada más bonito que las fantasías infantiles, y éste libro está lleno de ellas. Está ilustrado en blanco y negro y eso lo vuelve aún más maravilloso. A Penélope siempre me la imaginé como una niña pequeña cuando en realidad era una adolescente que cursaba la preparatoria (porque mencionan que debe prepararse para la universidad) pero mi cerebro se empeñaba en imaginarla como una niña de doce años más o menos. Ella llega al Reino de las Posibilidades confundida y con muchas preocupaciones, pero a lo largo de la historia podemos ver cómo logra adaptarse a su entorno y convertirse en una persona más del reino.

Mi personaje favorito definitivamente fue Pepinillo, es mega cómico y con una obsesión por las setas. En el libro hay muchos momentos de tierna comedia, con cosas tan sencillas que te sacan una sonrisa. Pepinillo logró sacarme muchísimas sonrisas. También me gustó mucho la escenografía. La autora logra plasmar sin exceso de detalles éste mundo mágico, y logra que el lector se pinte la idea en su imaginación.

Lo disfruté muchísimo. Estaba un poco predispuesta por las comparaciones que se hacían con Michael Ende, y aunque es totalmente diferente, yo digo que sí es digno de la comparación. Es un libro infantil exquisito. Siento que los niños disfrutarían mucho de él. Además de que tiene muchas enseñanzas ocultas durante la historia. Mensajes para que los niños aprendan sin darse cuenta. Como el aceptarse tal cual son.
Profile Image for Laura.
306 reviews1 follower
November 28, 2016
If you take Madeline L'Engle, Roal Dahl, and Frank Baum and put them together to come up with a great story they would undoubtedly come up with something like this wonderful writer - Paige Britt - came up with. This story is so good, it is imaginative and above all, fun. I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of this book with my four kids and ALL of us loved it!!! There are so many aspects of this story that are so inventive. There is word-play, adventure, quirky characters, a claim, a great lesson to be learned, and of course, a fantastically magical story. Penelope is a girl who wants to be a writer. However, her mother - a professional events planner - wants her to use her time more wisely. She wants Penelope to forget the silly notion of using her imagination and becoming a writer and instead focus on preparing for getting into an Ivy League school. She should want to become a time-obsessed, schedule keeping, money-making worker. One day, Penelope finds an unscheduled day in her calendar and falls right in. That's right. She falls right in! While there, she has to find her way back home through the Range of Possibilities, fighting off wild bores, listening to hunches and is encouraged to tickle the fancies to make them stronger. This gives you an idea of what you are in for; but, it is really worth the experience of going through Penelope's journey with her. This is a read that will appeal to both kids and adults alike - specially those who loved the whimsy of the BFG, Mary Poppins, A Wrinkle in Time and the Wizard of OZ. This book is well worth your time!!!
Profile Image for Cheryl.
9,813 reviews418 followers
June 9, 2016
First thing I noticed - book design is reminiscent of The Neverending Story (which didn't impress me), what with heavy paper, monochrome illustrations, etc. Second, the adventure that's dependent on word-play, metaphor, and philosophy owes a huge debt to The Phantom Tollbooth (which I've loved for over 4 decades). (Juster's book is mentioned in the acknowledgements.)

When I was able to stop making comparisons and immerse myself in the book, I began to enjoy it a lot more. Besides all the Worry Warts and Flights of Fancy etc., the messages & morals are worth thinking about. Less sly & subtle than PT, and at the same time less LOL absurd, I don't *imagine* that it has the re-readability of the classic. But, since I'm encountering this as an adult, I really can't know what the intended audience thinks of it.

"Humming drives away the trees [of the Naughty Woulds]. They can't catch you if you're listening to your own tune."
Profile Image for Saif Osman.
6 reviews
July 28, 2016
2 stars because it was a little confusing and it didn't have much action.
Profile Image for Sopterean  Georgiana.
3 reviews1 follower
April 26, 2021
Aceasta carte,în opinia mea a fost plictisitoare dar am învatat mai bine sa ma organizez datorita ei
Profile Image for D. B. Guin.
842 reviews75 followers
April 21, 2018
This book is a silly parable about the virtues of creativity, imagination, and thinking outside the box, wrapped in a thick coating of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland-type absurdity. It was all right -- a quick, inoffensive read, but there wasn't much there beyond a shallow romp and a lot of time terminology.
Profile Image for theona_reads.
63 reviews
May 3, 2021
A fost o carte faina despre cum sa iti faci timp pentru tine. Aceasta carte ne explica pe intelesul nostru (al copiiilor) ca TREBUIE sa ne facem timp si pentru noi. Acest lucru este foarte important, sau cel putin asa consider eu. Eu recomand aceasta carte cu drag, mai ales celor ce nu prea au timp pentru ei. 5 stele. ☺👌♥️⏰
3 reviews
May 8, 2019
Kept me up all night! I can relate slightly to this book in a way of never have down time but it kept me on the edge of my seat! Very interesting.
Profile Image for Maite.
61 reviews
August 26, 2018
Un llibre que recomanaria a alumnes d'entre 12-14 anys que els agradin les aventures i la fantasia. A part de transportar-se a un món imaginari aprendran a pensar sobre el temps, el sentit de la vida, les relacions amb els altres i allò que realment ens importa a tots: ser feliços.
Profile Image for Rita .
50 reviews
January 29, 2023
this book was no literary masterpiece ofc, but I'm still glad I read it bc of the nostalgia 🥹 I gave it a 3 bc I was bored at times and it wasn't my jam per say
Profile Image for Diane.
6,998 reviews
October 11, 2015
Clever wordplay enhances this allegory of modern society that is so overbooked in their day (slaves to the clock, so to speak) that no one has time for ideas or thought or moodling. "If I can't moodle I can't write"

Penelope wants to be a writer, but her mother has other plans for her. "If you weren't so caught up in your fantasies, you wouldn't be behind in your studies." Her mother has a jam packed summer planned for Penelope, leaving little time for her to write. "If I don't do something, my life will turn into a work flow diagram."

Quite by accident (or is it?), there is a hole in Penelope's meticulously planned calendar and she hurries next door to Miss Maddy's house to enjoy the break. It is here that she falls into another realm - a realm in which being idle is a punishable offense. Thankfully, she meets Dill (yes, like the pickle), who helps her navigate through this strange land. A land in which Cronus now rules. In Cronus' world, time dictates people's every move. There is no such thing as an internal clock. This is why the shadow has gathered over the country and the Great Moodler has disappeared. Penelope realizes that she must find the Great Moodler in hopes that she will help her find her ideas that are missing.

On her quest she encounters wild bores (yes, that's the right spelling), worry warts, flights of fancy, and the dreaded Clock Watchers (those that do Cronus' bidding.) As Penelope struggles to make sense of it all, there are wise beings who assist her. "Time isn't precious, Penelope, you are. As long as you remember that, you're sure to use it wisely." As she gains more confidence, she begins to realize that she can stand up to her parents and that her ideas are good and her writing is worthwhile.

Reminiscent of The Phantom Tollbooth, this would also be a great read aloud to initiate discussion of the writing process. I love some of the interesting details of the realm. Worry warts are actually tiny little words that attach themselves to your skin. The words that you are worrying about. To avoid being a wild bore means being inquisitive about something other than yourself. And to stop a wild bore, you must think of interesting words. How do you save time? How do you spend your time?

"Stop imagining! It's illegal."
Profile Image for Marsha.
Author 2 books35 followers
June 28, 2017
Reminiscent of The Phantom Tollbooth (from which it takes its main inspiration), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and, quirkily, The Lego Movie, Ms. Britt’s first novel deals with a girl who yearns to be a writer. But she’s stuck with parents who micro-manage her every day.

Penelope’s adventure (dream? imagination?) deals heavily with the notion of time. Its significance permeates her world as wordplay and actuality. Puns about times are deft and the action more or less swiftly paced. Even time spent in a prison or working on an assembly line are written so as not to bore the reader or bog down the action.

There is action here, too, plenty to engage juvenile readers. Penelope’s wish to crack her writer’s block and gain some control over her life are intertwined in her journey and you read with a smile as she is flown on the wings of Fancy and drinks invisible tea in the Realm of Impossibility. The creatures she meets are strange enough without being so bizarre. The author has used her own imagination but not in a way that seems forced or too outré.

It’s surprising to read that this book came out in 2015. It already has a timeless quality to it that makes it seem as if it had been written a century ago. If you’ve ever wanted to succumb to dolce far niente, this book is a reminder of what makes taking time out so precious.
Profile Image for Chris Otto.
60 reviews8 followers
March 28, 2016
I suspect this is a book that a lot of kids will enjoy, and it's great to see a female protagonist.

I would give it 4 stars for the targeted age range, which I would put at 7 to 14, depending upon the reading and maturity levels of the child.

For grown-ups who enjoy reading Middle Grade, I'd give it 3 to 3.5 stars. The wordplay, which I know is the main twist of the book, can be a bit much, even forced on one or two occasions. (As an aside, its wordplay reminded me of a book version of the old Infocom game "Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It") And the obstacle-despair-triumph cycle gets a bit worn and lacks any novel surprises or twists. Trying to put myself in the mind of a younger reader, though, I think I would definitely recommend it for them. It's kind of Beverly Cleary Meets Roald Dahl.
Profile Image for Juan Manuel Sarmiento.
720 reviews132 followers
November 29, 2015
El Reino de las Posibilidades es una de esas novelas que esconden más de lo que parece a simple vista. Llena de valores y significado entre líneas, cuenta una fantástica aventura como crítica a ciertos errores que a veces cometen los padres con sus hijos.
Reseña completa, próximamente EN MI BLOG
Profile Image for Teresa.
79 reviews3 followers
January 12, 2018
I needed something easy to read in order to give my brain a break from Nursing textbooks. it was a fun quick read with a great message about time. Being a mom, wife, nurse, and student I often find myself planning out every minute of the day. It's important to remember to actually live in those moments between all of the 'have-to-do's" on our list.
Profile Image for AMY.
2,474 reviews
July 12, 2017
306 pages. I read two chapters. Kind of boring. A girl is not enjoying her summer. Her mom has her on a rigid, ridiculous schedule. Dad keeps giving her prep talks about what is upcoming. They forbid her to visit her neighbor Ms. Mattie. So far is it sooooooo BORING. Not recommended.
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