Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers Favorite
Puggie cannot escape the bullies at school, especially Sammie and her groupies. Puggie's sister Gigi does her best to protect her brother from those students who ridicule Puggie's weight and his super "nerd" status, but her efforts are not always effective. There is no escape...until the two fall into a swimming pool formerly owned by Thomas Edison. At the bottom of the pool, a vortex swirls around the pool's drain and pulls the siblings into the past and an adventure that includes a visit to the Chicago World's Fair. While there Thomas Edison and his nemesis Tesla compete over who will own the mysterious time machine located in Puggie's rebuilt Game-boy. As Puggie and Gigi endure a variety of comical captures, the siblings find themselves in a race against the Game-boy's battery life to find another vortex to return them to the 21st century.
Karen Mueller Bryson has created an interesting angle on time travel in a story that is rich in actual historical facts that keep the novel strangely realistic. Information about Thomas Edison, the World Fair, the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and even slave travel during the Civil War fills the pages of this engaging pre-teen tale. The characterization portrayed between Puggie and Gigi provides an accurate picture of a brother/sister relationship that many young people can appreciate. Their constant bickering is realistic and the fact that their underlying loyalty to one another is heartwarming. I raced to the conclusion only to discover an opportunity for more advcentures with Puggie and Gigi. A fun read!