The Crystal Navigator

A Perilous Journey Through Time

Young Adult - Action
166 Pages
Reviewed on 12/31/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Nancy Kunhardt Lodge has a Masters Degree in Classics and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Art History and has taught at Universities in Maryland, Boston, and Washington, DC. She has written scholarly articles and delivered papers at Renaissance conferences in Italy and the U.S. She is the granddaughter of famed children's book writer Dorothy Kunhardt, author of Pat the Bunny and US Senator, Ambassador, and diplomat, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Dr.Lodge is a member of SCBWI, the College Art Association, and the American Library Association. She is writing the second book in a series about Lucy's dare devil adventures. She is indebted to her husband, Walt, and to Wilbur, the befuddled and wise Corgi, who owns her and who sat her down one afternoon and told her a story. She lives in the Annapolis, Maryland area.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite

The Crystal Navigator: A Perilous Journey Through Time by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge is a children's fantasy book in the same tradition as The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. Within the pages we find young Lucy Nightingale, a girl who can make things happen with her thoughts. The trouble for her comes when during an oral report she draws a blank and loses her confidence. When a new teacher assigns a project about paintings, Lucy knows the best way to make this assignment an A is to talk to the painters, and so she finds someone to help her time travel to finish her assignment.

On a mission to find more books my nephew can enjoy, I decided to read The Crystal Navigator. This book made me smile and laugh and truly feel like a kid again while I was reading it. It is the perfect book to get kids engaged and enjoying a story. Whether you have a kid who likes to read already or one you are hoping will start to read more, Nancy Kunhardt Lodge really knows what she is doing. Lucy is an engaging little girl who could easily be any child today. Her imagination is wonderful and the adventure she has in seeking to speak with the painters is amazing and truly fantastic. I am making sure that my nephew reads this one and would highly recommend any parent who wants to encourage their child to read to take a look at it too.

Jack Magnus

The Crystal Navigator: A Perilous Journey Back Through Time is a children’s fantasy written by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge. Lucy Nightingale is in the sixth grade and getting A’s in all her subjects is very important to her. Her best friend, Sam, is different. He’s an inventor and really doesn’t care what grades he gets as he’s just too busy with his inventions. Lucy had an awful day, which started out fine until the middle of her oral report on Hannibal and his march across the Alps. Her presentation was interrupted by a loud sneeze; she dropped her papers on the floor; and then she couldn’t remember a thing she meant to say. Her teacher, the horrible Miss Dawson, stared at her with laser eyes and made nasty comments. The next day, Lucy dreaded going back to class and was thrilled to discover that Miss Dawson was not there. In her place was a magical woman named Arabella Lang, who gave the class cake and lemonade and promised that everyone would love their homework assignments. When Lucy saw hers, she was not at all sure that would be the case.

Nancy Kunhardt Lodge’s children’s and preteen fantasy, The Crystal Navigator: A Perilous Journey Back Through Time is fast-paced, full of adventure and exciting. Lucy and Sam are intriguing and thoughtful characters who complement each other wonderfully. Lucy’s trip back through time is a fabulous historical journey where she learns a lot about her assignment and, more importantly, about herself. I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this book, and I also learned quite a bit from Lucy’s travels. Lodge paints glowing word pictures throughout The Crystal Navigator: A Perilous Journey Back Through Time. There’s magic both in the story and her writing. From that first dreadful sneeze, and on to Lucy’s nighttime walk on the red path, it was as though I was there in the story along with Lucy. The Crystal Navigator: A Perilous Journey Back Through Time is a marvelous and magical book, and it’s most highly recommended.

Mamta Madhavan

The Crystal Navigator: A Perilous Journey Through Time by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge is a magical adventure story that will keep readers enthralled with its mystery, suspense, adventure, whimsy and enchantment. Lucy Nightingale loses her confidence and it is at that time her new teacher gives her an assignment - to do a report on five paintings by four famous painters. Lucy asks her friend Wilbur to join her on this trip back in time. What the readers encounter is a magical journey which witnesses many sensory delights. The book, apart from its suspense, mystery and adventure, also has some interesting concepts and messages for young readers.

I found the book rich in imagery and the author's exquisite imagination and use of language complements the scenes and gives them more impact. Lucy and her friend Wilbur tell readers a lot about art and about the painters Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli and Vincent Van Gogh. The plot is original and the imagination of the author brings alive the era of the Renaissance painters. Lucy and Wilbur pull readers into the story and make them participate actively in their journey back in time.

The characters are well portrayed and the inspiration, imagination and excitement make it an exciting read. The story encourages readers to dream, break barriers while thinking, and let themselves be carried away by their imaginations. The weaving of an educational angle into the otherwise whimsical plot has been done with expertise by the author.