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Time at the Top (Time at the Top #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  489 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
It's strange enough when Susan Shaw disappears without a trace on a wintry March afternoon. It's stranger still when her uninformative note is found in the hallway of her apartment building, along with a black cat that no one has seen before. And it's strangest of all when she suddenly appears again, wearing clothes that are eighty years out of date, and tells a wild story ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Purple House Press (first published 1963)
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4.5 stars, this was a fast paced really enjoyable story. We didn't enjoy the first chapter much, day to day life in a noisy block of flats holds no interest for us but as we read on and became hooked we could see that this was setting a scene that our protagonist was desperate to escape from.

We loved the way the story started at the end and along the way we could pick up threads that tied in to the start. The time slip part was really interesting, the characters interesting and some likeable and
Lisa Vegan
I loved this book. It’s about an intelligent, imaginative, dramatic, kindhearted, and resourceful New York girl named Susan and her adventures “at the top” This takes place in New York in the early 1960s and goes back about 100 years. It’s an adventure tale for girls. Interesting that in the early 60s the author and Susan were talking about how the pace of life was too fast and there seemed to be longing to long ago more peaceful times. This is a fun read and I’ve read it many times. One of my f ...more
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa Vegan
A charming, breezy read perfect for a summer's afternoon. Here is the story of Susan Shaw, a tween in the early 1960s, utterly disgruntled with just about every aspect of her life (except her dear father). Susan has a penchant for acting and a yearning for something more interesting than taking a chorus role in the school play and waking up to the annoying blare of the neighbor's television every morning, and her imagination runs wild when an old woman promises her "Three" (three what, though?) ...more
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Warm and fun, this tale of a time-traveling girl and the adventures she has in the past is set off brilliantly by the author's wry presence as a character. Delightful.
I discovered Edward Ormondroyd's charming time travel fantasies, Time at the Top and All in Good Time, years ago when I was eight or nine; then I forgot about them for a long time until I happened upon a used copy of the first book (leading me on a long search for the second, which was much harder to track down). Upon rereading them for the first time in a few years, I find that they still hold up very well.

Susan Shaw is having a bad day, but when she stops to help an elderly woman with her fly
I believe this wonderful story about Susan, who time travels via a falling apart elevator, is back in print. Try to find a copy!
Matthew Gatheringwater
Oddly enough, I've read far more children's books as an adult than I have as a child. As a young person, I was offended by the very idea of a children's book or a special part of the library for children. I was a Reader and I didn't want any babyish books, thank you very much. The idea that the best children's books (and, indeed, the best books of any genre) can transcend their target audience and be enjoyed by all sorts of readers had not yet impressed itself upon me.

Still, children's books are
Jamie (ReadsInTrees) Dacyczyn
Another middle-grade book that I probably would have loved as a kid. In this one, a girl named Susan has a brief excursion into the past via the elevator in her apartment building. As per usual with books for this age group written in the 50-70s, everything wraps up very neatly in the end when the kids save the day. I'm not sure if they made a WISE choice in the end (view spoiler) ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This great book was definitely worth five stars in my opinion. It reminded me a lot of books I used to read in school like Yesterday's Doll and The Water and the Wild, and it has some interesting themes of fantasy and science fiction.
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read this book some thirty years ago in elementary school and it lit a spark inside of me about time travel that has yet to die. Since then, I have read this book with my children ( six of them ) who have all enjoyed it.
Virginia Messina
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-travel
A great tale of time-travel, brilliantly and amusingly told by the author, who places himself as a character in the story. I loved the ending. Nice illustrations, too!
May 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Enjoyed by a 6 and 12-year-old as a fast read-aloud, I liked it a lot when I first read it as a child.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Adored this book as a child and its still a fun read. Cute the way the author is both the narrator and a minor character. And who knew the author was a Berkeley guy?

Understand why Susan wants to live in the past and would probably have felt the same in her position. Yet, worry that she will have her beloved quiet world for not very long. Probably within fifty years of her arrival in the past--when she is a mere 60 years old (really, not that old) the beautiful mansion will be at risk of teardown
Julie Hatch
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
very original story and conclusion. there were some places where the writing just really got on my nerves, though. I can't quite explain it without direct quotes, but it was like the author was trying to be funny, but was very much falling that for me. luckily, such ill-fated attempts at humor only occur a few times
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

When Susan Shaw disappears suddenly one afternoon, her father and others in her apartment building fear that she has been kidnapped. In reality, though, Susan has ridden the elevator to the top floor and slipped through a time warp that has transported her back to 1881. There she meets Victoria and Robert, a pair of siblings who are concerned about a smooth-talking gold digger who is after their widowed mother's money - and her hand in marria
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got attracted to reading this book while deriving a list of Books that have been adapted into movies for our latest monthly Time Travel book club group.

I love a good children's time travel tale of which my all time favourite is the utterly enchanting classic, Tom's Midnight Garden.

While this 1960 novel is not quite in the league of the aforementioned classic, it is nevertheless a deliciously charming and eloquently narrated time travel adventure filled with warmth, humour and a very engaging
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm wondering why I had never heard of this darling little book! It was published in 1963, and our library system shelves it under Sci-Fi, rather than Young Adult, and the cover on the library edition is a mustard yellow with a tiny picture of 3 children dressed in old-fashioned clothing. Hmm, this book needs to be better marketed and shelved?

I loved the author's voice and style. And I like that he plays himself, a writer living in the same apartment building as the main character. He takes an i
Ms. Yingling
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
This 40th anniversary edition tells the tale of Susan Shaw, who lives in an apartment building with her widowed father. When she goes missing, the whole complex is thrown into a tizzy, and it's not an better when a note appears in Susan's handwriting, telling her father not to worry, and that she will be home soon. After meeting and helping a strange old lady on the street, Susan has been able to travel from 1960 back to 1881, and has met a very nice family. Victoria and Robert are at first take ...more
Terri Lynn
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I truly love this charming book. Originally published in 1963 and including the author as a character (a non-intrusive one, an interested neighbor), this book was republished in 2003.

The story begins on a blustery winter afternoon when Susan Shaw is headed home to the apartment she shares with her widowed dad. An odd encounter with a mysterious older lady on the street leads to adventure when she is given "three" as a reward for helping the strange woman. Three turns out to be the number of time
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this some years ago and remembered it particularly for the unusual ending--very unlike most time-travel books for children, and I appreciated the difference. It was the ending that, as a child, I would certainly have chosen for the book, though of course as an adult I can see all the issues! But the book was not intended for me, so it's pointless to comment on those.

I will take a bit of issue with how the book was written, though--my last writing teacher would have flayed me for doing it
Sep 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-juv
Recommended by my boss who just bought the 40th anniversary copy for the library...a really charming book, a fun read, with really nice moments like when Susan (love main characters named Susan) is back in time and seeing the country sky full of stars in a way she has never seen them before and realizes that the night sky is actually making the same kind of sound a seashell makes ...good stuff.
The fact that the present time is the 1980's in the story did not detract for me, but did give me the s
Aug 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like kid's books
Shelves: childrensbooks
Sweet little book that I picked up for a dollar at a used book store. It has great drawings in it, and the story is simple and involves: time travel, costumes, buried treasure, romance and tomfoolery (they trick the money-hungry suitor into packing up and leaving by pretending the recently widowed mother has just lost her fortune to a confidence man AND has smallpox... Need I say more?). A very quick read—it took me a lazy afternoon.
David Wolowsky
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: when-i-was-young
I wouldn't go by my review when deciding whether to read this book or not. I read it over forty years ago. What I do remember is how much I liked it. A friend (we were 12/13) told my his two favorite books were "A Wrinkle in Time" and "Time at the Top". It's funny that I remember the former better but I also remember that I liked the latter more. I didn't know at the time that there was a sequel. Dang!
Kristi Lamont
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Read this because I'm on a mission to rediscover a book about time travel/ghosts that made a huge impact me when I was in either fourth or fifth grade. The concept of the book I'm seeking is that time is always happening -- past, present and future -- in a circle, and you can meet yourself at some point on that circle. It was fairly deep for the age group for which it was written. Alas, this was not that book. But it was a pleasant little read.
Meghan W
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't read this until I had seen the movie over and over and over again about a hundred times during my childhood. So of course there were differences, and since I was so young, I liked the movie better than the book because I'd seen the movie first. However, the plot is still compelling and enjoyable and the ending still had be wishing I could time travel. A must read for all little girls!
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Cara by: Marty
Time at the Top would have been better if I was younger. The basic premise was a girl rides the elevator in her building to another time. While back in time she meets a girl who needs her help, and makes a new friend. Cute story.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this as a child from the elemetary school's library and re-read it 2-3 years ago. It must have some staying power. Great time travel story of a lonely girl and father who find happiness in the past as they travel up their apartment bulding's elevator to another time.
Cute book about a girl from the 1960s who inadvertently travels back in time to the 1880s. Well written and surprisingly modern for a 50-year-old tale. Also has an interesting and satisfying ending.
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it
This was sweet, with a plot centered on wish fulfillment via a time traveling elevator. I personally liked the description of Sarah's mysterious windswept 'gypsy witch' best of all, even more than the following adventures.
Joanne Moyer
I'm pretty sure this is the book that started my love of time travel stories -- I remember getting it from the Book Mobile one summer and reading it in my backyard. It's still one of my all time favorites.
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Edward Ormondroyd grew up in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. During WWII he served onboard a destroyer escort, participating in the invasions of Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

After the war he attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a bachelor's degree in English. Later he went back for a master's degree in library science.

He lived in Berkeley for 25 years, wo
More about Edward Ormondroyd

Other books in the series

Time at the Top (3 books)
  • All in Good Time
  • Time at the Top and All in Good Time: Two Novels

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