St. Martin's Griffin
Nick of Time is the first young reader's book written by bestselling author Ted Bell.
In the grand tradition of epic novels like Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island comes a wondrous tale of time travel, adventure, and riches, in which twelve-year-old Nick McIver sets out to become “the hero of his own life.”
The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his younger sister, Kate, live in a lighthouse on the smallest of the Channel Islands. Nick and Kate come to the aid of their father who is engaged in a desperate war of espionage with German U-boat wolf packs that are circling the islands. The information they provide to Winston Churchill is vital as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion.
One day Nick discovers an old sea chest, left for him by his ancestor, Captain Nicholas McIver of the Royal Navy. Inside, he finds a time machine and a desperate plea for help from the captain. He uses the machine to return to the year 1805. Captain McIver and, indeed, Admiral Nelson’s entire fleet are threatened by the treachery of the French and the mutinous Captain Billy Blood. Nick must reach deep inside, using his wits, courage, and daring to rescue the imperiled British sailors.
His sister, Kate, meanwhile, has enlisted the aid of two of England’s most brilliant “scientific detectives,” Lord Hawke and Commander Hobbes, to thwart the invading Nazis. She and Nick must face England’s underwater enemies, a challenge made all the more difficult when they discover the existence of Germany’s supersecret submarine.
In this striking adventure for readers of all ages, Nick must fight ruthless enemies across two different centuries, on land and sea, to help defeat those determined to destroy his home and his family.
Listen to this audiobook excerpt of Ted Bell's children's book Nick of Time, narrated by John Shea. Nick of Time is an epic adventure story starring young Nick McIver, who uses a time machine to rescue two young children taken prisoner by pirates. Along the way, with courageous feats of derring-do, not to mention his resourcefulness, our young hero—"the most reliable boy in England"—changes the course of events in two time periods, the Napoleonic Wars and World War II.
Praise for Nick of Time
"An immensely appealing book... Nick is the pluckiest, most likable boy-hero since Robert Lewis Stevenson's David Balfour (Kidnapped ). With great battle scenes; lots of nautical jargon; and themes of courage, integrity, and honor, this book will appeal to restless boys who can never find books written just for them. Three huzzahs and a great big 21-gun salute to Bell for his first novel for kids. Hopefully, it won't be his last." --School Library Journal, Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
“Nick of Time is a blast---the best of Robert Louis Stevenson, Horatio Hornblower, and Harry Potter. The kid in me loved it, and so did the adult.”
---James Patterson, New York Times bestselling author of the Maximum Ride series
"Nick of Time is one heck of an adventure! Filled with colorful characters, non-stop action, scary pirates, nasty Nazis, technically advanced submarines, rousing old-time sailing ships, thrilling battle scenes, heart-pounding sea voyages and nail-biting espionage, this story has it all... If you are looking for a thrill and a new hero, this is it." --TeenReads.com, Chris Shanley-Dillman, author of FINDING MY LIGHT and THE BLACK POND
“A brilliant adventure, hidden within a rolling saga, tucked inside an intriguing mystery. That's Nick of Time. Ted Bell proves that he's the master of swashbuckling for both young and old.”
---Steve Berry, author of The Venetian Betrayal
“Wow! Some books sweep you away. NICK OF TIME amazed me, dazzled me, and swept my imagination off to sea.... I've been craving an adventure story with a good mystery and this arrived in the nick of time to rescue me.”
---Diane Chen, School Library Journal.com
“Nick of Time reminded me of Brian Jacques, one of my favorite authors. Everything clicks together perfectly. . . . I really like the era and technology of WWII, especially the ‘secret weapons’ . . . the whole pirate thing really appeals to me. . . . The time travel idea is cool, and what’s even better is that da Vinci created it!”
---Henry Willshire (13 years old)