The Boy Who Stepped Through Time
By Author / Illustrator
Paperback / softback
When Perry steps into a crumbling ruin while on holiday in France, he is not expecting to be transported back 1700 years to Roman times. While he hunts desperately for a way home, he must blend in as a slave - even if it means eating mice for dinner! Gradually, Perry is caught up in the fascinating world of grand Villa Rubia and a life he could never have imagined. But when he makes a new friend, he thinks he might already know her terrible fate. Perry is faced with an impossible choice: to find his way home or stay and guard his friend's life - and risk being trapped in the past forever...
Teacher's Notes for The Boy Who Stepped Through Time
Anna Ciddor's novel The Boy Who Stepped Through Time is a glorious tale of a boy who time travels back to the Roman era whilst on holiday with his family. The story begins with Perry and his family visiting a Roman grape harvest festival at a Roman villa in France. Perry inadvertently ends up being transported back in time and has to work as a slave in the same villa.
There, Perry (Peregrinus) begins the most magnificent adventure; he not only has to fit in with his new friend, Carotus, but he also has to help avert a disaster involving Valentina - the master's daughter. The story is littered with historical facts and it's apparent that the author has researched the Roman era to the nth degree - there were lots of facts that I did not know, especially the peculiar foods Romans ate and the way the slaves were treated.
The story is fast-paced, Perry is a loveable character, he is kind, thoughtful but the reader also empathizes with him - it's easy to forget that he is still a young boy that is missing his family. This story would be an excellent class read - especially if the class is studying the Romans. I would also use it alongside Egyptians or ancient Greek topics as it would be a brilliant link to retrieval practice - where links can be made to other periods in time.
If it was to be read as a standalone text - it would suit upper key stage 2 (for readers aged 9+), the vocabulary is just pitched right for this age. This will definitely be a welcome addition to my class library.
336 pages / Reviewed by Emma Nelson, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+