The Infinite

The Infinite

By Author / Illustrator

Patience Agbabi


Science Fiction

Age range(s)



Canongate Books Ltd




Paperback / softback





Leaplings, children born on the 29th of February, are very rare. Rarer still are Leaplings with The Gift - the ability to leap through time. Elle Bibi-Imbele Ifie has The Gift, but she's never used it. Until now. On her twelfth birthday, Elle and her best friend Big Ben travel to the Time Squad Centre in 2048. Elle has received a mysterious warning from the future. Other Leaplings are disappearing in time - and not everyone at the centre can be trusted.  Soon Elle's adventure becomes more than a race through time. It's a race against time. She must fight to save the world as she knows it - before it ceases to exist . . .

Watch Patience Agbabi introduce book one, The Infinite.  Book 2: The Time Thief


Lily - Age 12

Amazing book, I read it at school and it is such an exciting adventure. The author describes the setting and the characters really well!

Suggested Reading Age 9+


The Infinite is the debut novel by Patience Agbabi, a thrilling and original time-travelling adventure that starts in the Year 2020. This compelling story is focused around 'The Gift' bestowed upon Leaplings - children born on the 29th February who have the ability to travel between the past, the present and the future.

We are first introduced to the characters of Elle and Big Ben, who are Leaplings that see the world differently. They both attend Intercalary International, which is a special school for Leaplings from around the world. Each character is challenged daily by their own minds, with Big Ben having to manage his anger and Ellie having to deal with her sensory overload issues, due to them being autistic. The world can sometimes become overbearing for them both and we are taken on a journey through the mindset and eyes of these characters from the very onset of the book.

The year is 2020 and some students have been selected to attend 'The Time-Squad Centre' in 2048 that helps to tackle time-crimes. However, before Elle goes, she receives a predictive, an SOS from the future. In her haste, she deletes the text and is innocently unaware of the danger she is about to plunge herself into.

In 2048, the world is plagued by global warming and the mysterious disappearances of Leaplings. On her arrival to the Time Squad Centre all is not what it seems and Elle is immersed in futuristic change and craves new friendships with Ama, GMT and Noon. Little does Elle know that Big Ben's discovery of a red hat, as well as Elle's uncovering of the infinity symbols craved into the round, are all part of a conspiracy masterminded by an evil time-criminal.

It took me a while to find the rhythm of this book because it was not like anything that I had read previously. However, I was absorbed by the overly obsessive, self-aware character of Elle. This book truly brings to life how the minds of Elle and Big Ben work, as well as the environmental themes of a meat-free world and climate change.

This would be a good classroom story for Upper Key Stage 2 as the themes would help to ignite discussion around controversial environmental issues linking to the PSHE/Citizenship curriculum.

243 pages / Reviewed by Hayley Summerfield, Teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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