Time Travelling with a Tortoise

Time Travelling with a Tortoise

By Author / Illustrator

Ross Welford


Science Fiction

Age range(s)



HarperCollins Publishers




Paperback / softback




Exciting, funny, heartwarming, and mind-bendingly clever, Time Travelling with a Tortoise is the extraordinary, adventure-packed sequel to Ross Welford's beloved, bestselling debut, Time Travelling with a Hamster.

Al Chaudhury travelled back in time to save his father's life.  And it worked - Al's dad is alive again and life is back to the way it should be. At least, that's what Al thinks.  But when an accident robs Al's beloved Grandpa Byron of his world-beating memory, Al is forced back in time again, this time leaving someone behind, trapped in a prehistoric dimension.

Al is forced into a rescue mission to recover his friend from the past... and to make sure that there will be a future waiting for them all.  It turns out time travel is far more complicated than Al thought.

See also: Time Travelling with a Hamster (book 1)                          ReadingZone's Q&A with author Ross Welford




Al Chaudhury has successfully travelled back in time and saved his father's life. So, everything is back to the way Al thinks it should be…only somehow it isn't. And then an accident leaves Grandpa Byron struggling to remember things, forcing Al to travel in time once more, leaving someone trapped in the past and a pre-historic tortoise in the present. Al must somehow rescue his friend from the past and save the future for them all.

Clever and compelling, Time Travelling with a Tortoise is a worthy sequel to Time Travelling with a Hamster! Told in a chatty, engaging style, the reader feels as if they had never left Al's company and yet, those who have not read Time Travelling with a Hamster will be able to enjoy this just as much as those that have.

Grandpa Byron is as charming and unique as ever and his relationship with Al wonderfully highlights the role which grandparents can play in the lives of their grandchildren. In his new 'old' life, Grandpa Byron seems to be the one constant for Al, making the accident all the more shocking.

Unable to piece together events which have led to his friendship with Paulie MacFaddyen, nephew of his arch nemesis Macca, also causes Al complications - and encourages the reader to look beyond preconceptions and first appearances.

There is so much to enjoy in this wonderful story that it is hard to put down. Teachers will enjoy reading this aloud to their classes as much as the children will enjoy listening to it. It is sure to encourage much conversation- about time travel and much more! Highly recommended!

272 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


If you've read the wonderful Time Travelling with a Hamster, you'll be excited to hear about this inventive and light-hearted sequel in which Al(Bert Einstein) Chaudhury returns for more adventures with parallel worlds.

In Time Travelling with a Tortoise, having successfully travelled back in time to save his father's life, Al no longer has to put up with an infuriating stepfather and even more aggravating stepsister. He hasn't had to move to a new school in a new area. Everything is just the way it should be - except that nothing feels quite right. Instead of writing phenomenal computer codes, his dad now breeds champion hamsters while his mother becomes impatient if he even mentions time travel. Even worse, all Al's memories of the last four years belong to his old life and not his new one.

When an accident messes up his grandfather’s spectacular memory, Al risks one more trip back in time, only to find himself and two companions in a prehistoric dimension. It turns out playing with time is much more complicated than he first thought. Can Al rescue his friends from being eaten by dinosaurs? And can he save his family from the chaos that his experiments appear to have unleashed?

We plunge straight into the story as Al and his companions shoot back to prehistory - although that is in fact a flash forward. Appropriately for a time travel story, the non-linear narrative zips around to create an ingenious adventure that whisks the reader from pillar to post in the blink of a computer screen. It's got great emotional range too - tense excitement gives way at any moment to humour or poignancy.

Then, after all the exuberance of the action, the final note is not just heartwarming but philosophical: "sometimes, not getting exactly what you want turns out to be the best luck of all." What a beautifully thought-provoking ending.

272 pages / Reviewed by Louisa Farrow, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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