Time and the Tapestry: A William Morris Adventure

  • Title: Time and the Tapestry: A William Morris Adventure
  • Author: John Plotz
  • Illustrator: Phyllis Saroff
  • Hardcover: 208 pages with 16 black and white illustrations
  • ISBN: 978-1-59373-174-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-59373-145-8
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
  • Publication Date: May 2014
  • Ages 9 – 14

About the Book

What kind of adventure begins in the living room on a rainy Monday afternoon? It depends. Say you just found out that Granny, who raised you, is going to lose her house because there’s nothing valuable left to sell except an unfinished tapestry. And say that your pet blackbird Mead starts talking and swells up to the size of large motorcycle, and that you suddenly find yourself on his back falling into what you could have sworn was just an old rug covered with pictures of knights galloping through forests. If that’s your situation, then this adventure could be weirder, scarier, and more amazing than anything you ever imagined.

Time and the Tapestry tells the story of a 13 year old, would-be artist Jen and her not-quite-as-nerdy-as-he used-to-be- 10 year old brother Ed. They find themselves adrift in 19th century England, unable to make their way back home until they’ve gathered the missing pieces to make that tapestry whole. It’s great that they can ride on Mead’s back. But not so great that his feathers are falling off, too fast to count. Great that they keep meeting up with the rugmaker himself, Jen's hero, British radical William Morris. But not so great that he always seems to be yelling at somebody or tossing something at them. Great that as they travel from London to Oxford to Iceland, they begin to figure out a way to save the Tapestry (and Granny's house along with it). But downright terrifying that Mead’s going to be grounded soon, leaving them trapped with Morris and his wacky daughter May in a Victorian London that may be filled with cranky artists and loveable animals, but....it's a long long way from home.

The scenes set in Canterbury, Oxford, the English countryside, Trafalgar Square, Iceland, and Boston will enchant those drawn to the tapestry of history. Along with its magnificently detailed illustrations, this expertly woven tale threads together the best of classical fantasy with a tale of modern-day adventure that will captivate readers of all ages. First-time children’s book author John Plotz--who’s spent years studying, teaching, and dreaming about William Morris--brings the story of Arts and Crafts to life with a yarn about a world where the power of imagination may just be strong enough to bring dragons, flying birds and enchanted books to life.

About the Author

John Plotz teaches English at Brandeis University. He has written two scholarly books about Victorian literature, but he rereads The Hobbit, Huck Finn, and A Wizard of Earthsea every year, and is now at work on ...

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About the Illustrator

Phyllis Saroff is a professional artist who can't remember when she didn't draw pictures. Inspired in First Grade by an older girl drawing pictures for a story she had written Phyllis started to illustrate her own stories. ...

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Lyrical. Beautiful. Magical. It’s a marvelous book.

 —Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians and The Magician King

Do you like dragons? Would you like to ride on the back of a talking bird? Or travel in time to unlock the
mystery of a great treasure? Beautiful, puzzling, illuminating, Time and the Tapestry is fit for a scholar but
as fresh as a daisy.

 —Roland Chambers, author of The Last Englishman and The Rooftop Rocket Party


Remember Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game? E. L. Konigsburg’s Mixed-Up Files? Kit Williams’s Masquerade?
Brainy, kinetic, and bursting with vim, Time and the Tapestry is an arresting puzzle-novel and
rousing quest tale of two children zooming through history on the back of a giant talking blackbird:
what’s not to love?

 —Ellis Avery, author of The Last Nude and The Teahouse Fire