About the Book, Vaulting Through Time
- Publisher : CamCat Publishing; Large Print edition (July 25, 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 522 pages
Can she perform the vault of her life to save her loved ones―and herself?
Sixteen-year-old gymnast Elizabeth Arlington doesn’t care that her mother is older than the other girls’ moms or that she doesn’t look anything like her parents. She has too much other stuff to worry about: an embarrassing crush on her ex-best-friend Zach, and changes in her body that affect her center of gravity and make vaulting and tumbling more terrifying than they used to be. But when she makes a discovery that throws her entire identity into question, she turns to Zach, who suggests a way for her to find the answers her mother won’t give her: a time machine they found in an abandoned house.
As Elizabeth catapults through time, she encounters a mysterious abandoned child, an elite gymnast preparing for Olympic Trials, and an enigmatic woman who seems to know more than she’s revealing. Then when a thief makes off with an identical time machine, Elizabeth finds herself on a race to stop the thief before the world as she knows it―and her own future―are destroyed.
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About the Author, Nancy McCabe
Acclaimed author, Nancy McCabe, is best known for her work in non-fiction writing on the subjects of Chinese adoption with nine years of accolades from The Best American Essays, she debuts her young adult novel featuring her expertise in adoption, her relationship with her daughter, as well as engaging storytelling that Margaret McMullan, author of Sources of Light, calls “evocatively written, McCabe weaves a heartwarming and absorbing journey. Great mother-daughter read!”
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Vaulting Through Time is a refreshing take on both time travel and the search for identity that hits so many of us as we begin the transition from girls to young women.
Elizabeth Arlington is a sixteen-year-old gymnast who has developed a fear of vaulting after an injury. At the same time, her body is beginning to betray her, with the inevitable physical changes that come with maturity changing her center of gravity so that what was once effortless is becoming less so. Her coach’s request for her birth certificate (necessary for entry into USAG events) re-kindles her lifelong search for who she is, because she doesn’t look anything like her mother. When her friend Zach presents her with a watch he claims is really a time machine, Elizabeth’s adventures go into high gear.
What I loved about this book was that author McCabe perfectly captured the mother-daughter dynamic, the in-jokes that are so ingrained that they happen automatically and turn anger into laughter, the favorite foods, and the knowing of each other’s habits. I also appreciated the author’s use of age-appropriate dialogue. Elizabeth’s habit of mixing up words only when she’s around Zach was a delightful detail, and done so well.
Putting this novel into the context of gymnastics and using Olympic years as touchstones was a creative way to track travel through time, and also added to the rich texture of this novel. I liked that Elizabeth’s search for her family roots also helped her find her true desires in life, and felt that the plot addressed both parts of the story in a balanced way.
I often say that the young adult / new adult genre has some of the most provocative stories in contemporary literature, and Vaulting Through Time is proof of that. It’s a well-written story that feels much shorter than it’s 500+ pages, and I recommend it to readers of all ages.
Goes well with: peanut-butter toast, sliced apples, and chocolate milk.
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