time_spies_ya_bitb time_spies_ya_fitc time_spies_ya_sits time_spies_ya_gith time_spies_ya_hitw time_spies_ya_ritn time_spies_ya_sitt time_spies_ya_gitg time_spies_ya_mitm time_spies_ya_mitt
Full Name: Mattie, Alex, and Sophie Chapman
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Kids

Creator: Candice Ransom
Time Span: 2006 - 2008


Alex, Mattie, and Sophie Chapman are kids.

That pretty much sums them up nice and neat. They are kids. Mattie and Alex are tweens while Sophie is not there yet being around five (Alex is just a tad older than Mattie but since he got mentioned first in the previous paragraph, it seemed prudent to let her go first here.)

They are not really spies, despite the name of the adventures they have. I mean, yes, they kinda are spies, in a sense, but they do not work for any organization and have no affiliation with any organization and would have to ask permission from grownups to join or even talk with any organization so, not really spies as we think of that.

So, why are they here?

To quote the scribe for the nearly dozen adventures: "Mattie, Alex, and Sophie Chapman move from the Maryland suburbs to the Virginia countryside where their parents have opened a bed and breakfast. The old Gray Horse Inn dates back before the Revolutionary War. The kids think they will die of boredom, but they find a secret room in the tower. In an old desk they discover a magic spyglass that transports them to little-known events in American history or trips through American literature. Because the inn is near Monticello, Jeffersonian themes tie the books together."

Using this strange and extra-special spyglass, the three kids are able to travel through time and space into interesting periods of the country's history. There are even a couple of excursions that stray big time from the move-into-history paradigm and put them up against even strangers things. Can you see a giant?!

Alex, being the oldest, should be in charge [though if he really was responsible enough to be giving the orders, would he really let all three pop around into the past? I'm just asking!] but there are more than a couple of times when Mattie takes over because she is really, really smart and even if Alex might get annoyed, letting smart girls run the show is the - um - smart thing to do. Sophie just goes along because it is a lot of fun but boy can she gabber!

Are they really spies? Nah, not really. But they have neat adventures and they do have that very special spyglass.


Number of Books:10
First Appearance:2006
Last Appearance:2008

1 Secret In The Tower Secret In The Tower
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2006

"The Chapman kids find themselves in their own house, during the Revolutionary War. At the Battle of Yorktown, General George Washington needs their help."

2 Bones In The Badlands Bones In The Badlands
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2006

"The kids zoom back to the Wild West in 1898 during the Bone Wars. They must help a dinosaur cowboy keep his fossil discovery a secret."

3 Giant In The Garden Giant In The Garden
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2007

"Sophie’s fairy tale book comes to life with an enormous beanstalk in the Chapman’s garden. When their cat Winchester climbs into the clouds, the kids must face the giant!"

4 Magician In The Trunk Magician In The Trunk
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2007

"At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the Chapman kids are on a mission to save the struggling magician, Harry Houdini."

5 Signals In The Sky Signals In The Sky
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2007

"It’s 1863, and the kids are whisked into the Civil War to aid spies on opposing sides while sending secret messages from signal towers."

6 Rider In The Night Rider In The Night
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2007

"On Halloween, the Time Spies kids track down the fearsome Headless Horseman and unmask the mystery rider with a trick of their own."

7 Horses In The Wind Horses In The Wind
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2007

"Famous racehorse Seabiscuit is up against the mighty War Admiral. The kids must keep the race fair because others want to ruin Seabiscuit’s chances."

8 Gold In The Hills Gold In The Hills
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2008

"During the Klondike Gold Rush, the kids meet writer Jack London and help a young prospector whose prize sled dog is stolen."

9 Message In The Mountain Message In The Mountain
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2008

"In 1934, the sculptor creating Mount Rushmore is in trouble. The great monument may never be finished unless the Time Spies kids step in."

10 Flames In The City Flames In The City
Written by Candice Ransom
Copyright: 2008

"It’s 1812 and war is raging in Washington, D.C. First Lady Dolley Madison and the Time Spies kids must rescue the portrait of George Washington before the nation’s capital burns."


This is a fun, easy-and-quick-to-read sort of spy series for young kids and it is the kind of book I would have dearly loved to read back then. It was good enough that I found I had read several when I expected to just read one or two to learn what they are about. I did say they were quick, right?

If you have young readers to give something to, please make it a point to find a few of these to hand to them. They will likely thank you and it might make them into future spy-fi fans. Or into time travel adventures Or both. Nothing wrong with being both!


My Grade: B


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