Read Time at the Top by Edward Ormondroyd Online


It's strange enough when Susan Shaw disappears without a trace on a wintry March afternoon. It's stranger still when her uninformative note is found in the hallway of her apartment building, along with a black cat that no one has seen before. And it's strangest of all when she suddenly appears again, wearing clothes that are eighty years out of date, and tells a wild storyIt's strange enough when Susan Shaw disappears without a trace on a wintry March afternoon. It's stranger still when her uninformative note is found in the hallway of her apartment building, along with a black cat that no one has seen before. And it's strangest of all when she suddenly appears again, wearing clothes that are eighty years out of date, and tells a wild story about an old woman with a fly-away hat, an elevator that travels into the past, and a distressed family that only she can save. Who is going to believe such a tale? Certainly not her father. But Susan is determined to prove to him that it's all true. And she has other plans for him as well...Who, in fact, could believe such a tale? Even the author, who takes part in the story, has his doubts. But just as those doubts are all laid to rest, the mystery thickens once more. This time it's a double disappearance......

Title : Time at the Top
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781930900196
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 191 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Time at the Top Reviews

  • Lisa Vegan
    2019-03-23 03:15

    I loved this book. It’s about an intelligent, imaginative, dramatic, kindhearted, and resourceful New York girl named Susan and her adventures “at the top” This takes place in New York in the early 1960s and goes back about 100 years. It’s an adventure tale for girls. Interesting that in the early 60s the author and Susan were talking about how the pace of life was too fast and there seemed to be longing to long ago more peaceful times. This is a fun read and I’ve read it many times. One of my favorite books from childhood and worth a reread at least once every decade.

  • Kathryn
    2019-03-21 11:31

    A charming, breezy read perfect for a summer's afternoon. Here is the story of Susan Shaw, a tween in the early 1960s, utterly disgruntled with just about every aspect of her life (except her dear father). Susan has a penchant for acting and a yearning for something more interesting than taking a chorus role in the school play and waking up to the annoying blare of the neighbor's television every morning, and her imagination runs wild when an old woman promises her "Three" (three what, though?) in gratitude for Susan helping her with a grocery bag one afternoon. "Three wishes!" Susan guesses; but it turns out to be something else, but with the potential to give Susan everything she always wanted. You see, Susan is granted three trips to the top of the old elevator in her apartment building; three trips to the year 1881 and the beautiful country home with the type of family she dreamed of belonging to. Victoria, the daughter of the house, believes that Susan is there in answer to her own wish--for they need someone to get rid of the too-polished, handsome, black-hearted gold-digger after their mother's hand in marriage--and her fortune.I thoroughly enjoyed Susan's story. It's told in an interesting and engaging way, as Mr. Ormondryod places himself in the story, as one of Susan's neighbors, and recounts the story from what he witnessed and overheard during the police hunt for the missing Susan, and from what the housekeeper overheard (and glibly conveyed to him) when Susan returned home (this is not much of a spoiler as she comes home early on in the book and the story of her time in 1881 is then shared). The period details are enjoyable without being too overwhelming, and I think this would charm many girls from about ages eight or nine on up. There's even a cute black cat ;-> The illustrations by Peggy Bach are charming and really add to the story, especially in conveying the period clothing, furnishings and architecture. The end is satisfying while also hinting at a sequel, and I look forward to reading more of Susan's adventures. Many thanks to my friend Lisa for recommending this book!

  • Melody
    2019-02-24 10:20

    Warm and fun, this tale of a time-traveling girl and the adventures she has in the past is set off brilliantly by the author's wry presence as a character. Delightful.

  • Margaret
    2019-03-04 06:21

    I discovered Edward Ormondroyd's charming time travel fantasies, Time at the Top and All in Good Time, years ago when I was eight or nine; then I forgot about them for a long time until I happened upon a used copy of the first book (leading me on a long search for the second, which was much harder to track down). Upon rereading them for the first time in a few years, I find that they still hold up very well. Susan Shaw is having a bad day, but when she stops to help an elderly woman with her flyaway umbrella and unwieldy packages, the old woman tells her, "I'll give you three." Three what, wonders Susan. When she takes the elevator in her apartment building up to the top floor and finds herself back in time eighty years, she figures out that "three" means three trips in the elevator to the past, where Susan meets Victoria and Bobbie Walker and their beautiful widowed mother, who are having troubles which only Susan (with the eventual assistance of her also-widowed father) can solve. These are simply charming light fantasies, with wonderful characters, particularly the spunky, clever Susan.

  • CLM
    2019-03-25 07:38

    I believe this wonderful story about Susan, who time travels via a falling apart elevator, is back in print. Try to find a copy!

  • Jamie (ReadsInTrees) Dacyczyn
    2019-03-16 04:18

    Another middle-grade book that I probably would have loved as a kid. In this one, a girl named Susan has a brief excursion into the past via the elevator in her apartment building. As per usual with books for this age group written in the 50-70s, everything wraps up very neatly in the end when the kids save the day. I'm not sure if they made a WISE choice in the end (view spoiler)[ by choosing to leave 1960 permanently to live in 1883...I mean, Susan went from being a few years away from having legalized birth control and other body autonomy, to living back when she wouldn't even be allowed to vote.(hide spoiler)] Oh well. What can you expect by allowing a child to make drastic life decisions like that? Her dad obviously wasn't doing a great job at adulting, that's for sure....

  • Matthew Gatheringwater
    2019-02-23 05:38

    Oddly enough, I've read far more children's books as an adult than I have as a child. As a young person, I was offended by the very idea of a children's book or a special part of the library for children. I was a Reader and I didn't want any babyish books, thank you very much. The idea that the best children's books (and, indeed, the best books of any genre) can transcend their target audience and be enjoyed by all sorts of readers had not yet impressed itself upon me.Still, children's books are pretty much all you get in an elementary school library--supposing your school is big enough for a library an not just a few shelves and a colorful bean bag or two--and I read what I could get, often while sitting in bean bags.I was a fast reader, which was a good thing, because my family was on the move and I might already be gone by the time the due date on the book came around. Even fast readers can get caught out, however. I can remember, quite vividly, the irritation I felt when I was unable to finish this particular edition of Time at The Top, with its yellow cover and pen-and-ink illustrations. I soon forgot the book, but I remembered the irritation and years later, I'd be wandering around bookstores trying to remember the name of the book or the author of it. Finally, I re-discovered it through a friend on goodreads.It is strange to encounter evidence of a former self. Not only is there very little in this book my adult self finds interesting, but I have a hard time believing my child self liked it, either. It just doesn't jibe with my self-identity. Yet here it is, the book I remember being sad to leave behind and not a little tempted to steal when I moved.The best I can figure is that this is a story about a child who is able to arrange a better life for herself and her family--through time travel, which is probably less incredible to a child's imagination than the half-guessed realities of adult life.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-03-24 08:30

    This great book was definitely worth five stars in my opinion. It reminded me a lot of books I used to read in school like Yesterday's Doll and The Water and the Wild, and it has some interesting themes of fantasy and science fiction.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-12 04:31

    I read this book some thirty years ago in elementary school and it lit a spark inside of me about time travel that has yet to die. Since then, I have read this book with my children ( six of them ) who have all enjoyed it.

  • Virginia Messina
    2019-03-24 08:42

    A great tale of time-travel, brilliantly and amusingly told by the author, who places himself as a character in the story. I loved the ending. Nice illustrations, too!

  • Bhan13
    2019-03-20 03:17

    Enjoyed by a 6 and 12-year-old as a fast read-aloud, I liked it a lot when I first read it as a child.

  • Donnell
    2019-03-04 05:41

    Adored this book as a child and its still a fun read. Cute the way the author is both the narrator and a minor character. And who knew the author was a Berkeley guy?Understand why Susan wants to live in the past and would probably have felt the same in her position. Yet, worry that she will have her beloved quiet world for not very long. Probably within fifty years of her arrival in the past--when she is a mere 60 years old (really, not that old) the beautiful mansion will be at risk of teardown and replacement by the apartment building that Susan is living in at the start of the story.

  • Julie Hatch
    2019-03-24 06:30

    very original story and conclusion. there were some places where the writing just really got on my nerves, though. I can't quite explain it without direct quotes, but it was like the author was trying to be funny, but was very much falling that for me. luckily, such ill-fated attempts at humor only occur a few times

  • Katie Fitzgerald
    2019-03-13 07:39

    This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.When Susan Shaw disappears suddenly one afternoon, her father and others in her apartment building fear that she has been kidnapped. In reality, though, Susan has ridden the elevator to the top floor and slipped through a time warp that has transported her back to 1881. There she meets Victoria and Robert, a pair of siblings who are concerned about a smooth-talking gold digger who is after their widowed mother's money - and her hand in marriage. When Susan strategizes to help them scare the suitor away, her own fate becomes magically wrapped up with theirs in a way that will eventually alter history.I think I was a little bit unfair to this book as I was reading it because I could not stop comparing it to the brilliant novel that is Tom's Midnight Garden. The comparison is virtually unavoidable, since both books are time slip stories where ordinary kids step into other eras by simply exploring different parts of their own homes, but it still felt like I was constantly thinking, "This isn't how Philippa Pearce would handle this." Time at the Top simply isn't as emotional as Tom's Midnight Garden. The story is told in the voice of the author, who has purportedly heard Susan's story secondhand from their mutual neighbors, and who is one of the few who believes wholeheartedly in what eventually happens to Susan. The story is written more like a report than a reflection on an experience, which makes it more difficult to empathize with the characters.That said, if I don't compare the two books, Time at the Top is an interesting novel on its own. I like that the entire story is told in the first couple of chapters from the logical, reality-based point of view of Susan's father and other adults, and then retold in detail from Susan's perspective in the remaining chapters. I also like the ending. Susan has an idea which is not entirely unpredictable, but it is thoroughly surprising that she is able to pull off what she plans. I wasn't sure I liked the ending at first because it is told in Ormondroyd's voice as the narrator, and we don't get to find out Susan's feelings at the final moments of the story, but then I found out there is a sequel (All in Good Time), and I realized the ending really is one heck of a good set-up for a follow-up story. I only hope I can find a copy of that second book!Time at the Top is the exact kind of fantasy novel I tolerate best. There isn't a complicated explanation of how the magic (in this case, time travel) works, but it's not so vague that I was constantly distracted or confused. I always felt that I could completely believe in what was happening, and that Susan, despite many obstacles, would eventually come out okay. A really enjoyable and quick read appropriate for all ages.

  • Tej
    2019-02-24 09:40

    I got attracted to reading this book while deriving a list of Books that have been adapted into movies for our latest monthly Time Travel book club group. I love a good children's time travel tale of which my all time favourite is the utterly enchanting classic, Tom's Midnight Garden. While this 1960 novel is not quite in the league of the aforementioned classic, it is nevertheless a deliciously charming and eloquently narrated time travel adventure filled with warmth, humour and a very engaging teenage heroine. The narrative prose is a delightful mix between first and third person perspective as the author himself writes in first person as a witness embroiled in the mystery of the daughter of a single parent father (living in a 7 storey apartment building) who goes missing. Then the third person narratives are injected from the perspective of the missing girl herself.Its a lovely time travel tale with well defined and engaging characters sprinkled with just enough romanticism of the late nineteenth century albeit not expansive in scope and not overly described for the story never lingers needlessly and is always moving forward in its efficient 193 page delivery.What I most enjoyed about the book and one reason why I could almost read the book in almost one sitting is that there are no irritatingly naive characters. Although many great novels have to feature a great deal of naivety in their protagonists to serve the narrative, I find that they are too often overbearing, unrealistic and hard to read with a comfortable flow unless the author is a supreme master of engaging the reader. In this story, there is naivety in the main protagonists but it is realistic and minimal. Most enjoyable is our heroine who is a very sparkly headstrong character. Nice to see that in a 50 year old novel.I must point out that there is no action set pieces, big thrills, significant psychological tension, or any edginess. Its a very breezy story, full of charm and innocence with thick air of time travel mystery. Its one of those books where they just dont write 'em like this anymore, know what I mean? There is a sequel which I will read straight away but this first book is satisfying enough as a standalone. Its seem pretty complete to me but I still look forward to reading the next one.4.5/5

  • Starry
    2019-02-22 09:32

    I'm wondering why I had never heard of this darling little book! It was published in 1963, and our library system shelves it under Sci-Fi, rather than Young Adult, and the cover on the library edition is a mustard yellow with a tiny picture of 3 children dressed in old-fashioned clothing. Hmm, this book needs to be better marketed and shelved?I loved the author's voice and style. And I like that he plays himself, a writer living in the same apartment building as the main character. He takes an interest in Susan's outrageous tale, because -- as a writer -- he's the only one who believes her (though she doesn't know it; he hears her story through an even more nosy cleaning lady who is brilliantly portrayed). The story is engaging in the manner of an Edward Eager or E. Nesbit story (2 of my fave children's authors) -- a girl (older than most Eager and Nesbit heroines) is "magicked" back in time and finds adventure and friendship. After she begrudgingly helps an old woman, the elevator in her building goes up beyond the top floor. When the door opens, Susan finds herself back 80 years in the same location. She uses information learned in 1960 to help the family in the 1880s and, in so doing, helps her own family too. I see from GoodReads that there's a sequel -- I'll definitely check it out. No mustard-yellow cover could keep me away![One comment on Juvenile vs Young Adult: The only part a younger child might find upsetting is the beginning, when you learn that Susan has disappeared. Her father and the police are searching desperately. It's only after this chapter that the reader learns Susan's side of the story.]

  • Ms. Yingling
    2019-03-06 11:20

    This 40th anniversary edition tells the tale of Susan Shaw, who lives in an apartment building with her widowed father. When she goes missing, the whole complex is thrown into a tizzy, and it's not an better when a note appears in Susan's handwriting, telling her father not to worry, and that she will be home soon. After meeting and helping a strange old lady on the street, Susan has been able to travel from 1960 back to 1881, and has met a very nice family. Victoria and Robert are at first taken aback, but then intrigued that Susan was able to take the elevator in her building "to the top" and end up back in their time. They are very worried about their widowed mother, so when Susan reads, in the present day, about treasure being found not far from their house, the children look for it so the family will have no money problems. There is still the problem of both parents being widowed, and Susan has to decide whether living in the past with "swishy" dresses would be something that she would like.Strengths: This observes my most important rule of time travel-- it doesn't work too hard, just asks you to believe. Is a little bit of a twist, since Susan spends more time in the past than many characters do. Definitely shows the 1950s affinity for the late 1900s.Weaknesses: A bit dated, both in details of Susan's everyday life and in the writing style. It is criminal that the original Charles Geer illustrations were replaced in the 2003 reissue. Just not the same! His illustrations, as well as those of Joe and Beth Krush, are some of my very favorite!

  • Terri Lynn
    2019-03-25 04:27

    I truly love this charming book. Originally published in 1963 and including the author as a character (a non-intrusive one, an interested neighbor), this book was republished in 2003.The story begins on a blustery winter afternoon when Susan Shaw is headed home to the apartment she shares with her widowed dad. An odd encounter with a mysterious older lady on the street leads to adventure when she is given "three" as a reward for helping the strange woman. Three turns out to be the number of times young Susan can ride up the apartment elevator to the top and find herself going further than the 7th floor- in fact, leaving 1960 and arriving in the same building when it housed a sweet and pretty widow and her daughter Victoria and son Robert- in 1881!! As it happens, Victoria had wished on a star that she could prevent her mother from becoming entrapped in an unwanted marriage to gold digger Mr. Sweeney who wanted her money (the sweet lady thought Mr. Sweeney had his own money but he did not)and was sure Susan Shaw had been sent from the future to prevent it. How Susan helps Victoria and Robert in their efforts to protect their mom, help them in a treasure hunt, and find a way for both her dad and their mom to have a happy ending is the focus of this sweet, fun book. I love this book to my very core.

  • Rebecca
    2019-03-20 07:17

    I read this some years ago and remembered it particularly for the unusual ending--very unlike most time-travel books for children, and I appreciated the difference. It was the ending that, as a child, I would certainly have chosen for the book, though of course as an adult I can see all the issues! But the book was not intended for me, so it's pointless to comment on those.I will take a bit of issue with how the book was written, though--my last writing teacher would have flayed me for doing it the way the author did it. He adds an extra, distancing layer to the story by telling part of it--only part of it--in first person, with himself as a character in the story. I believe it was intended to add verisimilitude to the story, but I thought it was just confusing and completely unnecessary, as well as distancing.Otherwise, I liked the book.

  • Susan
    2019-02-28 09:16

    Recommended by my boss who just bought the 40th anniversary copy for the library...a really charming book, a fun read, with really nice moments like when Susan (love main characters named Susan) is back in time and seeing the country sky full of stars in a way she has never seen them before and realizes that the night sky is actually making the same kind of sound a seashell makes ...good stuff.The fact that the present time is the 1980's in the story did not detract for me, but did give me the same feeling I get in the car when I'm cruising with the music and Prince's "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999" comes on. It does give one pause...but then you get back to rockin' out in your car, right?

  • Andrea
    2019-03-08 11:41

    Sweet little book that I picked up for a dollar at a used book store. It has great drawings in it, and the story is simple and involves: time travel, costumes, buried treasure, romance and tomfoolery (they trick the money-hungry suitor into packing up and leaving by pretending the recently widowed mother has just lost her fortune to a confidence man AND has smallpox... Need I say more?). A very quick read—it took me a lazy afternoon.

  • David Wolowsky
    2019-02-24 08:39

    I wouldn't go by my review when deciding whether to read this book or not. I read it over forty years ago. What I do remember is how much I liked it. A friend (we were 12/13) told my his two favorite books were "A Wrinkle in Time" and "Time at the Top". It's funny that I remember the former better but I also remember that I liked the latter more. I didn't know at the time that there was a sequel. Dang!

  • Kristi Lamont
    2019-03-14 06:29

    Read this because I'm on a mission to rediscover a book about time travel/ghosts that made a huge impact me when I was in either fourth or fifth grade. The concept of the book I'm seeking is that time is always happening -- past, present and future -- in a circle, and you can meet yourself at some point on that circle. It was fairly deep for the age group for which it was written. Alas, this was not that book. But it was a pleasant little read.

  • Meghan W
    2019-03-25 06:17

    I didn't read this until I had seen the movie over and over and over again about a hundred times during my childhood. So of course there were differences, and since I was so young, I liked the movie better than the book because I'd seen the movie first. However, the plot is still compelling and enjoyable and the ending still had be wishing I could time travel. A must read for all little girls!

  • Cara
    2019-03-04 10:31

    Time at the Top would have been better if I was younger. The basic premise was a girl rides the elevator in her building to another time. While back in time she meets a girl who needs her help, and makes a new friend. Cute story.

  • Joanna
    2019-03-16 10:13

    I read this as a child from the elemetary school's library and re-read it 2-3 years ago. It must have some staying power. Great time travel story of a lonely girl and father who find happiness in the past as they travel up their apartment bulding's elevator to another time.

  • Ellice
    2019-03-25 07:25

    Cute book about a girl from the 1960s who inadvertently travels back in time to the 1880s. Well written and surprisingly modern for a 50-year-old tale. Also has an interesting and satisfying ending.

  • LemontreeLime
    2019-03-06 11:39

    This was sweet, with a plot centered on wish fulfillment via a time traveling elevator. I personally liked the description of Sarah's mysterious windswept 'gypsy witch' best of all, even more than the following adventures.

  • Joanne Moyer
    2019-03-21 04:22

    I'm pretty sure this is the book that started my love of time travel stories -- I remember getting it from the Book Mobile one summer and reading it in my backyard. It's still one of my all time favorites.

  • Jenni
    2019-03-23 09:23

    Loved this book as a child. Decided to read it again tonight. Fabulous little yarn. No wonder I have a life-long love affair with time travel.