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The Mona Lisa Key (Time Castaways #1)
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The Mona Lisa Key

(Time Castaways #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
When Matt, Ruby, and Corey Hudson discover their subway train is actually a time-traveling eighteenth-century frigate captained by a mysterious pirate, they are thrown into a series of adventures that offer cryptic clues about their past and their future.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun time traveling adventure!!! The Hudson children’s parents work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their frazzled start to the school day leads them to a subway car adventure they never imagined! Once they discover they have entered a time traveling ship, they don’t want to leave. They meet Captain Vincent and the ship’s crew and take part in stealing the Mona Lisa in Paris in 1911 (they think to save it from a future heist). As their journey in time continues, they realize it’s not al ...more
What a surprising and delightful book! I did not expect to love it do much and now it has turned into one of my favorite middle grade reads in a long time.

I originally picked up this book because of the time travel element and the whole idea of time pirates appealed to me. It was slow to start, I mean seriously slow. We didn't get to time travel or pirates or anything weird until at least 60 pages in. But once we got there, the action just kept going. About halfway through, it didn't stop. I cou
Grace T
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really fun middle-grade book! Time travel, pirates, betrayal, new friendships and old siblingships. You think it's tying up nicely, and then--it does, but you need the second book anyway because one very important question is yet to be answered.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
* Thank you to Eidelweiss and Harper Collins for an advanced DRC of this book. All opinions are my own.

While a big fan of Liesl Shurtliff, this particular book didn't grab me the way I had hoped it would. The concept of three kids traveling through time seemed fascinating, but I kept waiting for something to actually happen. I was also waiting for their parents to become a part of the story, especially as I figured out their role quite early on in the book, and it seemed like that was where the
Nicole Wagner
Jul 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
Disclaimer: did not finish.

I received an advance reader copy of this book, and I'm aware that it's an uncorrected proof. But the continuity problems were bad enough to make this already bland book plainly unreadable.

Example: trio of kids gets on subway on their way to school. It's April, it's New York, they're rushing, it's 8-ish a.m. The mysterious train is a time machine. They get off the train and it's Paris, 1911. The sky is blue, without a cloud in it. They enter a museum. AND SUDDENLY MOO
Valerie McEnroe
I'm giving this 2 stars only because it's written by Liesl Shurtliff who wrote the best fairytale series out there. I'm a big fan of hers, so this book is a major disappointment. She had me in the beginning. I love the idea of three kids with an overprotective mom who ironically collects old swords. She doesn't let them ride the subway, but kids will be kids. Late to school, they take the wrong subway train and end up on a time-traveling carrier than changes into trains, ships, cars, and any oth ...more
Teresa Osgood
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
The idea of a time-traveling pirate with a small, handheld controlling device reminded me, immediately, of the old Voyagers show. Ah, happy memories. This story is actually completely different, which is fine. The device controls a shape-shifting ship, which is actually pretty cool. Matt and his siblings interact in believable sibling ways. The time pirate charmingly convinces Matt of his good intentions of stealing things from real thieves, with intent to return them later. However, his mission ...more
Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
When Matt Hudson and his slightly younger twin siblings Ruby and Corey board a Metro train in their home town of New York City, they learn why their parents have always strict forbidden them from taking public transit. The children wind up on the Vermillion, a time-travelling ship, headed by pirate Captain Vincent and a crew of orphans from different eras, each with his or her own special talent. The Hudsons willingly join the adventurous band pulling off heists at strategic times in history. Ho ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are a number of moving parts in this book -- literally. The time travelling ship can morph into most any other type of transportation from a yacht to a train to a golf cart. Behind all the travelling is a magic compass. I got a bit of a Back In Time vibe from this book. This series will be appealing to both boys and girls and teaches a bit about history in the midst of all the action. I look forward to learning more answers to the mystery of the Mona Lisa Key.

Thank you, Katherine Tegen Bo
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
First book in her new series. This time her characters are time traveling pirates who steal treasures throughout the ages.
The three main characters are children in the same family - one is adopted and hints are given that this will be significant in this trilogy. They are kidnapped by their mom's former partner and head out on adventures.
Several chapters are devoted to character development and plot background. It's a long read for a middle grader but chapters are short enough to keep them going
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 rating

This was a fun, action-packed read with a mix of time travel and clue hunting. At times, it reminded me of the Castle Glower series, 39 Clues, and The Dead Gentleman. There is a theme of strong family bonds and sticking with family, no matter what. Readers also learn facts from different historical periods. Two things I personally did not care for was the brief, conversation about dinosaurs living hundred millons of years ago (erroneous theory) and the modern, distorted way the term "f
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this is the beginning of a great book series!
First of all - the main characters are quite enjoyable. I think that middle grade readers will relate to parts of each of them. There are also secondary characters that are wonderful as well. I especially liked Jia and Pike.
It feels has an early Peter Pan vibe to it - time pirates - orphans and betrayal!
I am excited for the next one!
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! The story was fresh and original, the characters unexpected and engaging, and the plot fast-paced and full of fun turns and surprises. I can't wait to read the other books in this new series!
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
It took me awhile to get into this one but by the end I was hooked. Looking forward to the next one.
Lisa D
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Great adventure! I love a good adventure ! Totally different than her other series! Great start to a series! Well written! Loved it!
Ms. Yingling
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Did not meet the needs of my collection at this time.
Michele Knott
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked the story until the end. The end I loved because it was fast and fun but then I didn’t like it at all because it ended!!! Already looking forward to book #2....
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
A most imaginative read. I think I may have taken that train. Excellent read for YA.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read for a review. A good book about time adventures and family
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fun read. Looking forward to reading more.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Good concept, but I didn't like it as much as Rump.
Elizabeth S
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That. Was. Awesome! I've enjoyed Shurtliff's (Mostly) True Fairy Tales, and now this new series is even better. I love the characters, the plot, the... the... well, everything.
Love the context of the time-traveling ship that changes shape and the ambiguity of some characters loyalties, but the overall drama was a little slow and the climax left so much hanging.
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Nov 18, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2018
Marilyn Ostermiller
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Sep 27, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 24, 2018
Cora Shaklee
rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2018
rated it it was ok
Jan 31, 2018
Erin Varley
rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2018
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Liesl Shurtliff is the author of the New York Times Bestseller RUMP and other (Fairly) True Tales. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the mountains for her playground. Just like Rump, Liesl was shy about her name, growing up. Not only did it rhyme with weasel, she could never find it on any of those personalized key chains in gift shops. But over the years she’s grown to love ha ...more