10 Favorite Time Travel Books for Kids

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When you think of time travel books, you might not think of children’s books initially. Yes, there are popular adult books like The Time Traveler’s Wife and Outlander, but there are also several middle grade books for kids ages 9 to 12 that include time travel in their historical or science fictional universe.

You might find a portal, a time machine, or even a wormhole in these time travel books for kids. Here are my ten favorite time travel books I think your readers will enjoy, too!

time travel books

Time Travel Books for Kids

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
(ages 9 – 12)
I’ve read this book so many times, I can’t count — many times with my classes as a read aloud — and every time, it’s just as fantastic. (That doesn’t always happen with books.) A Wrinkle in Time is a remarkable, well-written adventure in space that deals with the overarching theme of good vs. evil. Meg and her brother, Charles Wallace, and friend, Calvin, set off to find her scientist father who disappeared while researching Tesseracts.

Pages & Co The Book Wanderers by Anna James, illustrated by Paola Escobar
(ages 9 – 12)
Tilly is a lonely girl who spends her days at Pages & Co, her grandparents’ bookstore. When two of her favorite book characters arrive, she follows them into their stories and learns she is a bookwander. She suddenly has hope that she can find her missing mom in her mom’s favorite book. But she’s being chased by a sinister underlibrarian. Can she find and save her mom before he stops her? Loosely related to time travel, this book explores universes within fictional worlds. (Find book club activities and questions for this book on Brightly.)

The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander
(ages 9 – 12)
Lenora steps into a section of the library that suddenly appears under an arch that reads, “Knowledge is a light.” There, she takes a job as a librarian, which begins her marvelous and bizarre adventure …at the Calendar help desk on the world’s largest globe, conversing with robots and whales and penguins and ants, shrinking and growing, and ultimately fighting bad guys in bowler hats who want censorship, ignorance, and fear.

The Time Museum by Matthew Loux (GRAPHIC NOVEL) 
(ages 9 – 12)
Delia interns at the Time Museum, a time travel museum where she and other kids her age compete for a permanent spot with the museum in this sci-fi graphic novel. A sinister time traveler forces the group to work together to stop permanent damage to the world and the time museum. My 11-year-old says this was one of the best time travel books on the list.

Glitch by Laura Martin 
(ages 9 – 12)
In this world, some people have the genetic ability to time travel. Regan is one of those people. Like all kids with this ability, she’s required to train as a Glitcher so as teens and adults, they’ll be ready to stop the bad guys from interfering with historical events. She gets an illegal message from her future self that she could go to jail for— and start to suspect that things aren’t as they seem. Then, she and her nemesis, another kid called Elliot, get sent to a secret partner program. They’re forced to work together clandestinely to stop a catastrophe that could destroy the entire Glitch program. Fast-paced, unique, and entertaining!

The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams, written by Mindy Thompson
(ages 9 – 12)
In this historical time-ravel story, Poppy’s family’s magical bookshop is open to anyone from any time period if they need it! But it’s losing its magic. Dark creeps in, influencing the customers with anger and lies. Even worse, Poppy’s brother, Al, in his grief over his best friend’s death in WWII, is taken over by the Dark. And Papa is very sick. Poppy must save both the shop and her brother, but how? I loved this sweet, exciting, and unique story, and so will anyone who loves bookstores, stories with themes of good vs. evil, family, and awesome heroes.

The Thrifty Guides Handbooks for Time Travelers by Jonathan W. Stokes, illustrated by David Sossella
(ages 9 – 12)
These are irresistible, wildly imaginative romps through history. These books are filled with tongue and cheek hilarity while also being boldly informative about their historical topics, so far The American Revolution and Ancient Rome. If you’re looking for the BEST history books of your life, look no further than The Thrifty Guides. Kids will love the sarcastic humor, the brilliant illustrations, and all the pertinent historical facts packed into these engaging guidebooks written by Jonathan W. Stokes and illustrated by David Sossella.

The Odyssey and Henry’s Box: The Adventures of Charlie & Baxter by Sarah J. Aris, illustrated by Sarah Nieves 
(ages 7 – 10)
Siblings find a robot in their basement and use their coding ability to make it time travel back to 1849 where they help Henry “Box” Brown ship himself out of slavery. I’m excited to see kids of color in a historical time travel book series!

The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga
(ages 9 – 12)
Quinn and Cora used to be best friends, but after a school shooting where Quinn’s older brother killed Cora’s older sister, the two no longer speak. Quinn feels guilty because she saw her brother with the guns and did nothing. She decides to find a wormhole to time travel backward and stop what happened. She invites Cora to help her; Cora, who feels so much regret at her last words to her older sister, and Cora agrees. The two work out their scientific hypothesis while they continue to try to make sense of what happened. This powerful story beautifully addresses grief, gun violence, friendship, family, and the complexity of love.

Foxheart by Claire Legrand
(ages 9 – 12)
In Foxheart, you’ll find time travel, good vs. evil, friendship and belonging, and a compelling story about a 12-year-old orphan and thief. When her much older self time travels to find her, Quicksilver learns that she’s magical and there is an evil controlling the wolf king. After accepting the truth of her many life-long quests to stop this destructive evil, Quicksilver, along with her dog and a boy named Sly Boots, joins her older self in the past when magic wasn’t persecuted. Now all they must do is the impossible 

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
(ages 12+)
In this award-winning graphic novel, choose your own adventure in a mad scientist’s lab. Choose between a mind-reading device, a time-travel machine, or the Killitron 3000 for your adventure.


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