The librarian at my school is always on point when it comes to suggesting books for me. This week, she recommended “Once Was a Time” by Leila Sales.
I cannot tell you how happy this book made me.
Starting off in England in 1940 in the midst of WWII, Lottie and her friend Kitty are inseparable. They spend holidays together, go to school together, and listen to Lottie’s dad tell his theories on time travel.
One night, the girls are captured and taken away to an unfamiliar place and used as bait to get Lottie’s dad to tell them the secrets of time travel. Just as one of the guards is about to pull the trigger, Lottie sees a portal open and takes her chance to run through it.
She finds herself in America in 2013, still 10 years old and way behind the times. After befriending a librarian (and living in the library for 3 days without anyone noticing), Lottie (now known as Charlotte) is put in a loving foster home while she learns about the time she missed and catches up on the present. No matter what, her mind is always on Kitty and how awful she feels that she abandoned her.
3 years go by and Charlotte is still haunted by visions of her friend. After giving up on her group of “friends” (I use that term loosely), she retreats to the library and finds a note in her favorite book.
From her best friend Kitty.
Now Charlotte is on a mission to find her best friend.
Can she do it?