The Time Traveler's Apprentice
by Kelly Grant

 

The book is called The Time Traveler's Apprentice. The basic premise is that of a young boy who becomes apprenticed to a Master Time Traveler. He is thrown back through time to 12th century England and becomes involved in a mystery surrounding the death of Thomas Becket. The book is a fast-paced mystery adventure that stands alone as a compelling YA novel, but is built upon an authentic and valid historic structure that reflects the society, politics and technologies of 12th century England. The teacher's resource book that goes with the novel contains language arts and social science activities for each chapter of the novel. The activities vary greatly and expand on the historic premise of the book, exposing students to primary source material, reading charts and tables, and incorporating differentiated activities for teaching reading comprehension.

 

Simon Grant has an unlikely friend in Professor Moira Ananke, whom he met while visiting the museum where she works. One day, while looking through dusty bookshelves he comes upon a series of black, leather journals. He quickly becomes engrossed in reading her accounts of archaeological excavations: digging at Ramses' tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings in 1995, excavating ancient Indian cities at Harappa in 1986.

His attention is drawn to a dozen more journals stretching along the bookcase: Field Notes from the Discovery of Tutankhamen's Tomb, 1922, Finding Troy, 1871, Work with Johannes Burkhardt, 1812. Simon glances toward his mentor who silently watches him take down several books and scan their pages. They are what they appear to be--her personal notes from excavations stretching back nearly 200 years. So begins Simon's introduction to time travel. Professor Ananke is a Master Time Traveler. She agrees to accept Simon as her apprentice, to teach him the secrets of time travel.

After a few brief practice trips, Simon feels he is beginning to learn the tricks of this dangerous business. But one day, while photographing a mysterious medieval manuscript, he is grabbed and thrown through time under no control of his own. Simon lands, shaken and confused, in a medieval wood in Yorkshire, England. He is discovered by a young lady, Bryn Berengar, who involves him in a dangerous and suspenseful mystery tied to the murder of Thomas Becket. Their search for the manuscript that provides clues to the mystery exposes them to many dangers, including being poisoned by monk's hood, locked in a tower room with a corpse, and fighting a desperate knight with a secret to hide.

They travel to Carlisle Castle to thwart a plot to overthrow King Henry II and Simon finds the fencing lessons he took at the local youth bureau take on great importance as he fights for his life. Perhaps most dangerous however, is the relationship he is developing with Bryn.

Available on amazon.com: The Time Traveler's Apprentice

To the Reader,

I regret to say that this book is full of historic facts and events. Because of that, you will likely learn quite a bit about life in the Middle Ages. I apologize, but there is nothing to be done about it. I have tried to make up for it by inserting a significant amount of imagination and fiction however. King Henry II and his Queen, Eleanor, certainly did live in 12 th century England. Their troubled marriage is well documented. Thomas Becket was murdered quite brutally in Canterbury Cathedral and Hildegard of Bingen really was given as a tithe payment to the church. Much of what you will read about daily life in the Middle Ages is accurate, but quite a lot is also imaginative. You will have to listen carefully in your history class to figure out fact from fiction, which while tiresome, will at least give you the satisfaction of making your history teacher wonder what you are up to.

About the Author:

Ms. Grant a tenured teacher with the Ithaca City School District in Ithaca, New York. She has been a curriculum co-chair for the district for social studies (history) and has taught middle school social studies and language arts for 19 years. Beyond developing curriculum for the district, she have also completed two major curriculum pieces on Africa and The European Union for Cornell University.

Ms. Grant found through many years of experience working with over two thousand students, that the content of history and skills of language arts are most engaging and offer the best chance for retention when taught through the vehicle of story telling. Unable to find exactly what she wanted in the available resources, she decided to write an historical novel with an accompanying workbook that would offer substantial historical information about the Middle Ages while integrating  language arts skills such as Question Answer Relationships (QAR), Prediction, Questioning, Summarizing, Analysis, Synthesis, Use of Graphic Organizers and many other process skills needed to become a literate adult.

The book is called The Time Traveler's Apprentice. The basic premise is that of a young boy who becomes apprenticed to a Master Time Traveler. He is thrown back through time to 12th century England and becomes involved in a mystery surrounding the death of Thomas Becket. The book is a fast-paced mystery adventure that stands alone as a compelling YA novel, but is built upon an authentic and valid historic structure that reflects the society, politics and technologies of 12th century England. The teacher's resource book that goes with the novel contains language arts and social science activities for each chapter of the novel. The activities vary greatly and expand on the historic premise of the book, exposing students to primary source material, reading charts and tables, and incorporating differentiated activities for teaching reading comprehension.

Workbook:

This is still with the editor, should be available by the end of June.

 

The Time Traveler's Apprentice

Workbook

Suggested Uses

Teachers:

This workbook provides an activity supporting each chapter of The Time Traveler's Apprentice . Several of the activities reference the novel directly but most of the exercises, while tied to themes from the book, could be used to support any lesson on medieval England. The workbook could be used to differentiate between advanced students who could read and use the workbook independently at their own pace, or with guidance from the teacher for students who need more structured and slower-paced lessons.

The activities focus on best practices in:

  • reading comprehension
  • vocabulary development
  • main and supporting ideas
  • analyzing a primary source document
  • QAR practice
  • inference
  • language history and etymology
  • historic themes from medieval England

 

Homeschool Providers:

These materials can be used by more mature learners independently, and by younger learners with guidance. Most of the activities, while tied to themes from the book, can support any lesson on medieval England, independent from the novel. The lessons are also divided into categories to provide either language arts skills or social studies lessons.

Parents:

The Time Traveler's Apprentice workbook is an excellent way to enrich the reading experiences of your young adult student. It can keep skills sharp during summer vacation months, provide enrichment and challenge for more motivated students during the school year, and be used either independently by a more mature reader, or with guidance for a younger reader.

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