The Accidental Time Traveller

Janis Mackay


Quick Look

  • Full of funny misunderstandings as Agatha tries to navigate a world full of strange devices like photos, TV and mobile phones.
  • Can Saul really make time travel happen and send Agatha back to her own time?
  • This pacy, time-travelling adventure will appeal to boys and girls alike.

Agatha Black is from 1812, and Saul needs to find a way to get her back there. With new friend Agnes, can he work out how to make time travel happen?

Floris Books
Age Range:
From 8 to 12 years
208 pages
Publication date:
21 Feb 2013
Time Traveller


Winner of the Scottish Children's Book Award 2013 Younger Readers (8-11 years) category

One ordinary day, Saul is on his way to the corner shop when a girl appears suddenly in the middle of the road. She doesn't understand traffic, or the things in shops, and she's wearing a long dress with ruffled sleeves. Her name is Agatha Black.

Agatha Black is from 1812, and Saul needs to find a way to get her back there. With help from his mates Will and Robbie, he tries to work out how to make time travel happen.

This pacy, time-travelling adventure from Janis Mackay, author of the Magnus Fin series, is full of funny misunderstandings and gripping action.

Shortlisted for a Scottish Children's Book Award 2013


'This book is very exciting [...] I especially enjoyed learning some history while I read. I would recommend this book for boys and girls who like history.'
-- Children's Books, The Guardian

'This is really a sweet story [...] While it's written for young adults, I really enjoyed this and intend to buy a copy for my personal library.'
-- Journey of a Bookseller blog

'This is a well-structured time-slip story that cleverly keeps its momentum and manages, largely through the sympathetic character of Saul, to draw the reader in.'
-- Books for Keeps

'This story is really charming, and in the end, very heartwarming [...] I highly recommend it for middle school readers and beyond.'
-- The Goode Word blog

'I like the book and I think upper elementary school readers will like it as well.'
-- Guys Lit Wire blog

'Janis is a clever teacher. Rather than explain the differences between life then and now, she uses humour and misunderstandings to provide a gentle history lesson in the midst of an exciting adventure.'
-- Lothian Life

'This book had a great story line. The characters in the book felt and acted their age. There was a good character arc throughout the book. I read this book in a fairly short time because the story just sucks you right in.'
-- Rantings, Ravings and Ramblings blog

'Mackay has written another playful, easy going story for pre-teens full of lively dialogue [...] Agatha comes off the page as an interesting, talented person, presenting fascinating facts of life in the past.'
--New View

'Young readers familiar with time transfers from TV will enjoy the situation and absorb some information about life 200 years ago along the way.'
-- School Librarian journal

'A good, solid adventure story that engages the reader throughout and moves towards a satisfying conclusion.'
-- Carousel

'I would highly recommend this book to adventure lovers'
--Rhona, aged 11, Flora Stevenson Primary

'I loved this book, it is the best I have ever read, I would read this again and again'
--Cera, aged 11, Law Primary School

'I have never been so inspired by a book'
--Rebecca, aged 10, Kilmartin Primary


Janis Mackay was born and grew up in Edinburgh, but moved to London to study journalism. She has an MA in Creative Writing and has held writer-in-residence posts in both Caithness and Sutherland. She currently lives in Edinburgh, where she teaches creative writing and works as a writer and storyteller. She is the author of the Magnus Fin series.

You can also visit the author's own website at



If you like The Accidental Time Traveller, you'll love Janis Mackay's brilliant Magnus Fin series:
Magnus Fin and the Ocean Quest
Magnus Fin and the Moonlight Mission
Magnus Fin and the Selkie Secret

Don't miss the Discover Kelpies website for children with exclusive author interviews, fun stuff and latest gossip on your favourite Scottish stories.

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