How often do you find a book that talks about a hamster in an almost magical angle? I want to think not very often but Alan Shearer, the hamster, time travels with it’s master, Al in Ross Welford’s debut book
My favourite thing about Time Travelling with a Hamster is a pet hamster who is called Alan Shearer. The hamster sounds dangerous. Almost as dangerous, as this children’s tale by Ross Welford is. In the book, the protagonist is a twelve year old boy whose father tragically died in a go-kart accident.
When his father passes away, Al (also known as Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury) receives a letter from his father which tells him to go on a time travelling journey. In the letter it is written that Pye (Al’s father) had invented a provisional time travelling machine when his son was only aged eight, and it was the most miraculous invention ever.
Pieced together from simple objects, such as a laptop and a garden center’s tin tub, is a time travelling machine, which Pye suggests can turn back time and save his life if only Al goes on that journey to the past. Pye and Al always had a very special bond: he teaches Al about science through a periscope-like mundane vision.
Because of Pye, Al learns that keeping your hand on the stove for a minute makes you feel like it has been an hour, and that when you are with a good looking girl, an hour turns into only a minute. It is precisely the nature of this relationship that propels Al to time travel with Alan Shearer, and it is a fine kind making the children’s novel both endearing and comedic.