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A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  47 reviews
He believes in science, but only magic can help his mom.
Twelve-year-old Finn is used to people in his family disappearing. His twin sister, Faith, drowned when they were three years old. A few months ago, his mom abandoned him and his dad with no explanation. Finn clings to the concrete facts in his physics books--and to his best friend, Gabi--to ward off his sadness. But
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Carolrhoda Books (R)
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Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  84 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Erin Kelly
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. Well-plotted, great pacing, fantastic characters. A must for readers who love time travel stories.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is just before Finn's 13th birthday, and everyone in his family seem to disappear. His twin sister when they were 3. His mother 3 weeks ago. Even his friendship with Gabi seems to ne ending. Finn is unhappy, clinging to the hard facts of s since and math. Suddenly, after his dad drops him off with his grandmother who tells him a deep family secret: the women in the family are time travellers, and his mom is trapped somewhere in time. There are enemies, and Finn with his friend Gabi, set out ...more
Martha Bullen
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was young, I spent countless hours reading my way through the children's fantasy and imaginative fiction section in my local library. I lost myself in books by Edward Eager and E. Nesbit, and went adventuring with Mary Poppins and Dr. Doolittle. I only wish I could have read A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity at that time —it's exactly the kind of book I craved as a young reader —but I'm fortunate to have discovered it now.

I immediately connected with Finn and his delightful friend
Chris Tebbetts
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite books and stories are the ones that bring story, character, and language to the table in equal measure. This mind-bending middle grade novel does exactly that. Even when I was scratching my head at the Mobius strip that is the (il)logic of time travel itself, I was loving the way Nicole Valentine handled such a complex topic in such an accessible way. Highly recommended.
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this story so much! It is full of hope and friendship. I love the family dynamics—their layers and richness. I was deeply touched by the protagonist’s (Finn’s) discovery of self—how well Valentine shows us the workings of the human heart and brain as we grapple with wanting to be loved and wondering if we are worthy. The author does a remarkable job of showing us how the stories we tell ourselves in our heads are seldom the true stories. The true stories are multi-layered and complex ...more
I loved this book that was a combo of quantum mechanics/time travel and magic. When I requested it, I was under the impression that it would be a middle school level book and therefore the plot would be fairly simplistic. But I found it to be very well written and crafted and I loved the main character as he slowly grew in understanding of his own role, not just in the world/town but also in his family. He was born a twin and always thought of himself as a "remainder" after his sister died when ...more
Erica Danielle
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this title on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This was a fun read and I think anyone interested in fantasy will enjoy it. I am giving this title 3.5 stars!

Two things I really enjoyed about this book:
1. The author's writing style
2. The author's storytelling skills

I don't read a lot of fantasy, so this was a nice change for me. I love how unpredictable the ending is. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys Robert Cormier's works.
M.L. Little
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
@kidlitexchange #partner: A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity by @nicolevalentine and Carolrhoda books. Releases October 2019.
This book reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time, but reversed. Instead of a girl saving his dad, a boy saves his mom...and his sister, and his friend, and himself. Really nothing is as it seems in this book and the plot twists came out of nowhere, keeping me reading.
Finn (who I loved) is an almost-teenaged boy living in the shadow of his twin sister, Faith, who
Rich Zahradnik
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a bit obsessed with time travel stories, going all the way back to "Danny Dunn, Time Traveler" in the fourth grade. There are many far better, and I must add Nicole Valentine's "A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity" to the list. I could not stop reading. Like other great novels in the genre, Valentine's book deals with family, memory, loss—and the chance of redemption. Twelve-year-old Finn's twin sister drowned when she was three and his mother disappeared a few months ago. Finn is a ...more
First sentence from the prologue: We lie to ourselves when necessary. Some of us are more convincing than others. My family has always been particularly good at it.

First sentence from chapter one: Finnegan Firth slid out of his bedroom window and padded on bare feet across the cold slate patio.

Premise/plot: Finn, our hero, believes that science holds the answers to everything. But he's forced to question and re-question everything he believes to be true after his grandmother's death. For the
Nora Carpenter
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extremely likeable protagonist, time travel, and a story full of surprises highlighting our most powerful truth: how we treat others can literally change the world. What more can you ask for in a book? Excellent middle grade read.
Jessica Rinker
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written story that’s also a serious page-turner! I really loved Finn’s journey and my fingers are crossed for a second book and movie!
*Thank you to the publisher for a review copy of this. All opinions are my own.

“We lie to ourselves when necessary. Some of us are more convincing than others. My family has always been particularly good at it.” So begins Nicole Valentine’s new middle grade sci-fi/fantasy novel. The words are spoken by an unknown narrator who chimes in frequently throughout the book. This is a story about a by trying to understand his family, about relationships, and about the lies we tell.

Finn is a 12 year old
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
1/2 (rounded up)
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Finn Firth is on the verge of turning 13, and is convinced his father will forget his birthday. Which is troubling to him, but really, it's the least of his troubles. When they were three, his twin sister drowned (and he's always felt this absence, and is sure everyone around him does, too). He's not that close with his father, and his mother left home a few months ago, with no warning and no one has heard from her
Natasha Sinel
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh how I loved this book! By the end I could not put it down! Finn is such a lovable character, and it's such a warm feeling to watch his character grow and learn throughout. Highly recommend this for children and adults alike. Five stars.
Laura Sibson
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My heart ached for Finn as he navigated the loss of important females in his life. And then my heart raced as I followed Finn and his friend Gabi on their adventure to try to obtain answers (trying really hard not to be spoilery here). I was eager to return to the story when I had to leave it and stayed up late to finish it. I loved the structure of the novel, the setting was evocative and the characters became close to my heart (my heart was apparently very affected by this book). This is a ...more
Theresa Grissom
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book.

I really enjoyed this book and I think kids will like it as well. It's one of those books that makes my brain hurt but in a good way. Reading about time travel does that to me. Great characters and underlying themes in this one.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
A fun, mind-bending time-travel story about a boy who discovers his mother and extended family are time travelers. Reminiscent of A Wrinkle in Time, Finn is a twelve-year old who must try to save his mother, who is lost in time, and reverse or change the fate of his twin sister. In the course of doing so, he learns about love, friendship, loss, and fate.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Received from NetGalley, review to come.
3.5/5 - review to come
Matt Godfrey
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is fantastic. So inventive and believable. I have no idea if there will be another but I really hope there is!
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not the target demographic but I loved it. Authentic voices for all the characters and doesn't talk down like YA sometimes can. Imagine A Wrinkle In Time where the adults aren't completely peripheral but still centered on the kids. Much more than a by the numbers hero's journey.

Looking forward to more!
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It's smart, with a hugely likeable protagonist. In fact, I fell in love with character after character. If you love fun, quirky characters, you'll definitely like this book--and sci-fi doesn't have to be your usual thing. Plus, the story has so much heart. I definitely recommend it!
Dena (Batch of Books)
This is a cute middle grade novel about a boy who comes from a family of time travelers. But only the women can travel through time, and his mother went missing a few months ago. Determined to find his mother and bring her safely home, he recruits a friend to help him search for her. But there is much more going on than just a missing mother and some dangerous people are poking around.

This book is intended for kids ages 9-12. It's a little slow-moving, but it's well written and interesting. I
Liz Friend
The story: Finn’s life has felt incomplete since the death of his twin sister when they were three; and now that his mom has disappeared ten years later, it threatens to fall apart. A trip to Gran’s does little to help: she warns him not to trust anyone, and dies in her bed the night he arrives. But most disconcerting is the Gran who arrives from five years ago, telling him that theirs is a family of time travelers: that his mother is one, and that his dead sister (snatched out of time) has ...more
Rosie Rizk
Finn's twin sister drowned when they were toddlers. Life is never the same after that, but things get infinitely worse when his mother disappears several years later following many arguments with his father. Finn's afraid she left their family for good. When his grandmother reveals some of his family's time traveling secrets to Finn and charges him with a mission to save and bring back his mother, Finn needs to reevaluate his scientific outlook on life and discover for himself some secrets of ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!

A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity was a book I never knew I needed to read! But knowing how complicated time travel got, I was trying not to expect too much from this book. However, I was blown away by the plot and characters. It was all well written, and I adored Finn as the protagonist and his friendship with Gabi! There were so many layers to Finn that unraveled throughout the book. His love of science, his initial denial of time
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW. I just gobbled this book up in one weekend. I absolutely adored it. It's a beautiful homage to Wrinkle in Time, one of my very favorite books growing up...and yet, it's completely its own story, too. The world the author has built, the magic system, the characters--everything is so gorgeously and deftly drawn. This book has so much heart. I cannot wait to give it to all the middle graders I know!
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nicole Valentine has crafted a fast-paced time travel adventure that already feels like a classic. It’s that good! There are many surprises along the way. You can’t help rooting for the main character, Finn. Great science discussion points. Can’t wait to see a movie adaptation of this!
I loved this book! It’s a smart, moving, page turner with great characters, beautiful writing, and whole a lot to ponder!
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Nicole Valentine is a children’s book author, educator and technologist. She has an MFA in Writing from VCFA and teaches writing at The Highlights Foundation. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her family and two dogs Merlin and Arthur, and two cats, Pickwick and Tink. One day she would like to add a falcon or hawk to the mix.