Lottie and Kitty are best friends who boost each other’s spirits in World War II England. Lottie’s dad is researching time travel, which he insists exists. Lottie believes him, and she and Kitty plan for what they would do if the opportunity ever arose for them to be transported to a different place in a different time. But nothing prepares them for the reality of time travel when it comes upon them unexpectedly.
Once Was a Time by Leila Sales is a story of friendship, resiliency, and courage in the face of the unknown. When Lottie is transported from England to Wisconsin, she realizes how alone she is in the world. With the help of a librarian and an empty-nest couple, she survives. Unable to explain her circumstances, she hides behind a mask until the day she believes she may be able to find Kitty. Then she goes on a relentless search that has a surprising conclusion.
Once Was a Time is tender and heart rending as it leads the reader in a satisfying journey that examines friendship in many different forms. Questions to examine in mother-daughter book clubs include: What is the value of friendship? What does it mean to be a good friend? How would you act if everything in your life changed in an instant? And of course, there could be great discussion on the possibility of time travel. I highly recommend it for groups with girls aged 9 to 12.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.