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The Time Fetch : a novel
2013
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Summary

Edward thought he had picked up a rock. He didn't know it was a sleeping Time Fetch--and touching it would alter the entire fabric of time and space.

Under normal circumstances, a Time Fetch sends out its foragers to collect only those moments that will never be missed or regretted. It then rests, waiting to be called back by the Keeper, who distributes the gathered time where it is needed in our world and others.

When eighth-grader Edward innocently mistakes a sleeping Fetch for an ordinary rock, he wakes its foragers too early, and they begin to multiply and gobble up too much time. Soon the bell rings to end class just as it's begun. Buses race down streets, too far behind schedule to stop for passengers. Buildings and sidewalks begin to disappear, as the whole fabric of the universe starts to unravel.

To try and stop the foragers, Edward must depend on the help of his classmates Feenix, Danton, and Brigit--whether he likes it or not. They all have touched the Fetch, and it has drawn them together in a strange and thrilling adventure in which the boundaries between worlds and dimensions are blurred. The places and creatures on the other side are much like the ones they've always known--but slightly twisted, a little darker, and much more dangerous.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-This transcendent middle-grade debut could almost be subtitled "A Young Person's Guide to Existentialism." The opening scene presents Edward struggling to get out of bed with the knowledge that "it was all dancing atoms. Nothing was solid." It's not a depressing novel, though. The story is strange and beautiful, with profundity hiding in the mundane while science and magic come to a comfortable alliance. After convincing himself to leave his bed, Edward has to find a rock for a science project. The rock turns out to be a Fetch, a magical vessel for small glints of light called Foragers, who collect and feed off unmissed moments of time. But when the mean girl steals Edward's rock and is in turn kidnapped by three evil hags in the classic tradition, the Foragers are let loose and begin wreaking havoc on Brooklyn's temporality. It is up to Edward and three mismatched schoolmates (the popular guy, the nasty girl, and the silent newcomer) to return the Foragers to the Fetch and save the world. The narrative seems to follow a well-trodden path (Brooklyn, fairies, unexpected friendship) but the introduction of scientifically based ennui as well as a deep thread of pagan traditions provides an accessible, age-appropriate introduction to deeper themes of both the intellect and the spirit. But it's not heavy-the plot is suspenseful, moves at a rapid pace, and is heavily sprinkled with fascinating characters. Despite the well-wrapped-up ending, this book screams for a sequel.-Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York City (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Eighth-grader Edward is a loner and a slacker and, you know, nearly causes time itself to vanish. Edward remembers he must bring in a rock for science class, but what he finds is no ordinary rock. It is a Fetch, and the purpose of the tiny organisms inside, called foragers, is to steal time, just a second here and there. Because the Fetch is opened prematurely, the foragers multiply rapidly and begin stealing time in a frenzy. They will destroy the world on the winter solstice unless Edward and the three others who touched the Fetch can stop them. Tension mounts on several fronts, but Edward, Feenix, Danton, and Brigit remain central to preventing the disaster as they follow the quirky, detailed instructions Edward's aunt gives them. Herrick weaves a fast-paced fantasy with great twists and turns that will grab readers from the start. In the final chapter at Aunt Kit's winter-solstice party, Herrick ties the characters together and brings closure to situations, leaving readers with a satisfied sense of coherency.--Petty, J. B. Copyright 2010 Booklist
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