Out of Time (1996)



A preposterous but entertaining yarn.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most male characters constantly belittle women, and a hotel advertises that it does not accept Jews. The author clearly opposes these views.


Asylum attendants routinely beat helpless inmates for fun.

Not applicable
Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this gothic, romantic fantasy actually does give an interesting and fairly accurate picture of the plight of women in the 19th century. A silly plot, but teenage romance fans devour it.

What's the story?

In the sequel to Both Sides of Time, Annie is now back in the present. She soon travels back in time. The simplistic, breathless plot is pulpy but entertaining, and will painlessly leave an impression of social conditions during the 19th century.

Is it any good?


The cliffhanger ending of Both Sides of Time forgotten, Annie begins this book in the present; this will disappoint readers who left the first book eager to find Annie in a different time. Nevertheless, fans will love the escape thriller that follows.

Complete with irredeemably evil villains and a kind, innocent girl imprisoned in the asylum only because she was born ugly, the story won't tax readers' brains to distinguish the good guys from the bad; the characters are all one-dimensional. The ridiculous story could come from an early silent movie. Yet readers will learn even more about the restrictions against women in the late 19th century and other inequities of the time than they learned from the first book.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the restrictions against women and girls in the 19th century. What has changed since then? Do you think boys and girls (and men and women) are treated equally today?

Book details

Author:Caroline B. Cooney
Genre:Historical Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:January 1, 1996
Number of pages:210
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 14

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byofee1211 December 23, 2011

Out of time

What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byjeremy123 August 31, 2009
hate it
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages


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