Time Traveling with a Hamster


Twelve is the right age to learn how to use a homemade time machine, meet your dead father in the past, and somehow get home without getting caught in a time paradox, right? On his twelfth birthday, Al gets a letter from his father that died four years earlier. In it, his father asks Al to go back in time and prevent the accident that ended his life. “Time Traveling with a Hamster” by Ross Welford tells the story of a brave young boy as he travels back in time to get his father back.

Al’s father told him to act within a week and find his time machine. The one difficult part about following those instructions is that the time machine is at Al’s old house. Sneaking in there, in itself, is hard to accomplish, but what is Al supposed to do once he finds it? Al has to make the choice to go back in time and change the past or live without a father, all while following laws of relativity and doppelgangers.

“Time Traveling with a Hamster” by Ross Welford is a fun book for kids 9 to 12. It is packed with facts teaching about time paradoxes, Einstein’s theories, and the laws of physics. Kids will get a head start and learn these complicated ideas through the simple examples and analogies in this book. An example of this is in one of the letters Al receives from his father. In it, he explains Einstein’s Theory of Relativity through a goldfish analogy. “It’s like a goldfish in an aquarium. He might understand everything there is to know about his environment: every rock, every stone, every bubble. . . but he doesn’t know what people are, what cars are, what a fruit smoothie is, what a cup-winning goal looks like, or what any of it means, and that’s because he simply cannot. . . ‘put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.’”

These ideas are enveloped in a heartwarming story that everyone should read. If you’re seeking to learn a few ideas or theories without putting in the effort, “Time Traveling with a Hamster” is the perfect book for you. Go on! Impress your science teacher!