by Paige Britt
Penelope’s life is scheduled completely. Her mother details out what Penelope is to do with every minute of her day, leaving Penelope with very little time to pursue her own hobbies and ideas, such as her writing.
One day, Penelope somehow has absolutely nothing scheduled–a hole in her planner. An entire day free. But her neightbor Miss Mandy warns Penelope that she could fall into a hole like that. And that’s just what happens to Penelope.
Before she knows it, Penelope finds herself in the Realm of Possibility and gets caught up in an adventure to find the Great Moodler and free the realm from the control of Chronos and his Clockworkers.
When I first read The Lost Track of Time, my first thoughts were that it is very similar to Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth. And, humorously enough, Britt gives a nod to Juster in her acknowledgements. But while The Phantom Tollbooth has its characteristic cleverness in several areas, The Lost Track of Time focuses its cleverness in the arenas of time and words. Did you know how many different types of time there are? Also, be on the lookout for Wild Bores.
I do wish the the relationship between Penelope and her parents was different. I love when parents and children have a strong, solid relationship in novels, and even more when the parents are more developed as characters. In The Lost Track of Time, Penelope’s parents feel a little bit like they are just there to make the time restrictions on Penelope’s life. However, once she goes to the Realm of Possibility, her parents disappear from the plot, so it didn’t really bother me after that. And the ending hints at a better relationship between them, so that was nice.
Because of the style that The Lost Track of Time is written in, it won’t appeal to everyone. If you’ve read The Phantom Tollbooth and didn’t like the style, I’d avoid The Lost Track of Time. However, if you’re like me and enjoy the type of cleverness and whimsy it takes to write novels like these, you’ll enjoy The Lost Track of Time.