Glitch by Laura Martin : A review and summary. This brand new Middle Grade Book is a time traveling adventure you definitely should not miss!
I love a good time travel story, but I always approach them with some trepidation. Time travel is tricky to get right. I should have known, however, that if anyone could write a spectacular middle grade time travel adventure, it would be Laura Martin.
In Float, Martin dabbled with time travel and we loved every page of it. In Edge of Extinction, my whole family hung on her every word as we sped through an epic adventure. And, in all of her books, Martin has a way of imparting great life wisdom even while managing to thoroughly entertain us. Glitch is my favorite book by Laura Martin so far!
Today is Glitch's book birthday and I'm so excited to share it with you!
What is Glitch About?
12 year old Regan Fitz is a cadet at the Glitch Academy, a special school for people born with a rare gene that allows them to travel through time. As a Glitch cadet, Regan is training to identify and stop Butterflies (the term for people who illegally travel through time and attempt to change history). She has good intuition, but she struggles at school.
Elliot Mason, however, is at the top of the class. What he lacks in gut instincts, he makes up for in ambition and intelligence. He's also Regan's archnemesis. They are constantly clashing, which is why it comes as such a surprise when Regan receives a letter from her future self that tells her that she and Elliot Mason have to work together to prevent an epic time travel disaster.
The unlikely duo grudgingly embarks on a top secret mystery mission. The stakes are life-and-death and the ensuing action is a fast paced adventure that will keep the pages rapidly turning.
Review of Glitch by Laura Martin
Glitch is everything I want in middle grade fiction! The sci-fi time travel is clever and fun, and the historical fiction aspect of the book is phenomenal. I also thoroughly enjoyed watching Regan and Elliot transform from enemies to friends. Best of all, the plot is fast paced and the mystery is gripping enough to engage even the most reluctant readers.
What I loved most of all was the complexity of the history Martin includes in the book. She doesn't shy away from the unsavory aspects of American history and, in fact, lets her characters grapple with the injustices of the past. Not only do Regan and Elliot travel back in time to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 (which brought to light the despicable working conditions for immigrants and led to significant workplace reform), but they also travel in time to the Civil War where Elliot, a young Black adolescent, comes face to face with confederate soldiers.
In her author's note at the end of the book, Martin explains that her motivation to write the book began with a research project she assigned as a seventh-grade language arts teacher. It involved a book put out by LIFE Magazine entitled 100 Photographs that Changed the World, which led her down the time travel path and eventually all the way to Glitch. Martin says,
Glitch wasn't just my story, you see; it was also America's story, and America's story wasn't always pretty. It's because of this that I made sure the first time you met Regan, she was on a mission to preserve the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, not prevent it. Which, let's be honest, is weird. Shouldn't we want to right the wrongs of history? Wouldn't it make sense to correct the injustices of the past and prevent pain?
This struggle is at the heart of the novel. And while young readers will enjoy the fast-paced, action-packed mystery, there's a lot of learning that can happen along the way too. Ultimately, Regan and Elliot see that "[Y]ou can't fix an injustice until people realize that it is one." I hope young readers will take note.
While no one really wants to launch a book during a global pandemic, that aside, I think this book couldn't have come at a better time. I highly recommend Glitch by Laura Martin for kids ages 8 to 14. It makes an excellent read aloud book as well.
Check out the book on Amazon here. (Amazon affiliate link)
I received an advance reading copy of Glitch from the author for review purposes. All opinions are entirely my own.