Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Backwards, Forwards, Or From A New Angle

Egypt Game - (ISBN: 978-1416990512)

by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Besides both loving the history and legends of Egypt, Melanie and April are up for adventure. When their love of Egypt leads them to explore an old warehouse, they find the past appearing before their eyes in the form of Egyptians, secret codes, and elaborate activities. If you love Egypt too, or even if you do not, try this imaginative classic.

Found - (ISBN: 978-1416954217)

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Thirteen years after they arrived on a mysterious airplane filled with just 36 babies, Chip and Jonah get a strange communication that informs them they are one of the “missing!” Missing from what they wonder! Long since adopted by community members, the thirty-six babies never knew where they came from or how they got on the plane. Enjoy this easy-to-read gripping mystery. Follow them as they discover facts about their origins! What would you do first if you discovered that YOU were one of the “missing?”

Half Magic - (ISBN: 978-0152020682)

by Edward Eager

After the children in this book discover a special coin is magical (really only half-magical), they wrack their brains to find the logic that allows the magic to work. This book has plenty of time travel both backwards and forwards. Using the coin and its peculiar kind of magic livens up their summer, and trying to figure out the magical formula keeps their brains popping! If you had a magical coin that could take you back in time or into the future: which would you choose? Who would you want to meet? What would you want to do?

Inside-Outside Dinosaurs - (ISBN: 978-0761456247 )

by Roxie Munro

This book allows you to learn about dinosaurs in reverse. First you see the skeletons and then pictures of the way scientists imagine the dinosaurs looked, all fleshed out. Try drawing a colorful fish, using your imagination, after you just see the fish bones.

Leonardo da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas - (ISBN: 978-1556522987)

by Janis Herbert

Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most prolific and variously talented of Renaissance artists, wrote backwards. Was he dyslexic, or did his immense creativity allow him to easily write in this unusual manner? Read about this great man, his art, and his science in this book filled with facts and activities! Can you write backwards? Try a short letter to a friend backwards.

Another Whole Nother Story - (ISBN: 978-1599904368)

by Dr. Cuthbert Soup

Knights of the Kitchen Table - (ISBN: 978-0440849902)

by Jon Scieszka

The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep - (ISBN: 978-1599902982)

by John Hulme

Activities for this Theme

Visit another re-creation of another time.


Make a secret code to communicate with your best friends. Write all the words backwards to make the coded message!


Try looking in a mirror at one of your important messages. Then try to write it down as it looks in the mirror for a new kind of secret writing!


Make a backward timeline. Instead of having the left side begin in the past, have it be the present, and trace the events from left to right back through time. Use an online timeline creator like the one found at Knight Lab.


Go with your family to visit a place where history reverses itself, as in a recreated village or museum.