Arnie Jenks and the House of Strangers

Written by Tim Bradley
Review by Liz Bryan

Arnie Jenks is twelve years old and a snowstorm during a school trip to Shabbington Hall forces an overnight stop. Like all young boys he is always up to mischief, and while wandering around the old house he is transported back in time to a room full of Victorian servants. Certain that this must be some sort of historical re-enactment, he soon discovers that the surroundings are indeed real. Then Arnie is plunged into the midst of one time period to another before finally returning to 2014 where he has to make sense of a secret hidden for four-hundred years. During his series of adventures  a figure appears, who Arnie is certain is familiar . He return, puzzled, to the present day, where, with the snow thawing, Arnie has to go home. But in the nick of time he discovers the truth behind his experiences.

Possibly a little predictable as a novel…but that is the view of my adult experienced reader mind, this is a story for younger readers who probably have not read as many time-travel books as I have. Arnie Jenks and the House of Strangers may well be a first foray into this genre, and if so it is an excellent, exciting story as a starter point. It is action-packed, with believable and interesting characters with whom younger readers can easily identify. A lively novel of just the right length for younger readers, and well suited for ten to twelve year olds (and for readers with a couple more score added to that).