Stacey Casey: The lost city by Michael C. Madden

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The lost city is not recommended to read as a first choice when sampling this unoriginal timetravel series. Stacey, Gabriel (Dad) and Amelia are preparing to return post haste to colonial Australia, to rescue Oliver from the clutches of Stacey’s time-travelling nemesis, Isla.

Repairing one of Dad’s inventions takes time, but they are not prepared for the reality of how much time has elapsed for Oliver, when an old man knocks on the door. Old Oliver has waited for Stacey and her dad all these years. He needed to choose the precise moment in time to guide them and save them and in doing so ensure that he can return to his original family as a boy again.

In following Oliver’s instruction, they begin to right their mistakes. However the path is circulatory. Picking up Oliver, dropping Cooper the dinosaur back in time to his home, and doing a deal with Plato in Ancient Greece all resulting in retaining the second artifact - the ability to translate and communicate with anybody anywhere.  

A few more near misses take them to destinations, which are the stuff of legends – those places and times in the mythological canon for which there is no written historical evidence. Thankfully no cliff-hanger again, but Stacey learns what she did to ‘tick off’ Isla, her nasty 'Sister in Time'. We also know that Stacey hasn’t seen the last of her. 

With ten chapters and an Epilogue, this simple chapter book would not be too challenging for an 8yr old reader, who may not question why Plato is classically sketched and not a caricature like the other characters.  Michael C Madden certainly layers the simple story with both facts about historical figures and interesting new action objects, like the growing collection of artifacts which assist the time-travelling house and its occupants to survive new adventures.  Begin with The House that Time Remembers, followed by Stacey Casey and the Cheeky Outlaw in order to get the most from the third volume, The Lost City.

Themes: Time travel, Adventure, History, Family.

Deborah Robins