A Handful of Time

by Kit Pearson

readability, grade 5, read aloud grade 4


Patricia is about to have a summer that she will never forget, even though she is less than enthused when it begins. Her mother and father are sending her away to her cousin’s cottage, which used to be an annual summer destination for her mother when she was young. When Patricia arrives at the cottage, her apprehensions come true; she doesn’t feel like she belongs and her aunt and uncle overwhelm her with pampering. The summer is saved, though, when Patricia finds an old pocket watch. Suddenly is whisked back into time to when her mother was her age and experiences an exhilarating adventure and personal growth.

A few themes covered in this novel are growing up, sibling rivalry, family relations, individuality, and dealing with divorce…


  1. Interview an adult, preferably a parent.
  2. Ask them to describe a time in their childhood that was very meaningful and full of personal growth.
  3. Take notes throughout the interview and/or take notes.
  4. Put yourself into that same time / experience. How does it feel? What do you see?
  5. Write out the experience as though you are watching it happen.