Chronal Engine

Clarion Books, March 2012 (ages 10+).

Black and white illustrations by Blake Henry

Click the hyperlink for a Common Core and TEKS-aligned Educators’ Guide: CHRONAL ENGINE Educator Guide!

ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547608495
ISBN-10: 0547608497

ISBN-13/EAN: 9780544022775

ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547822471

ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544022775
ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544022775

Audio book:
Narrated by Andrew Keltz
Available from!

Click Chronal Engine Activity Kit to download a free activity kit based on the novel!

  • A Junior Library Guild Selection

“Who has time to be indulging in a lot of teen angst when you’re running from a T. rex?…The short length, breathless pace, and graphic-novel-esque, full-page illustrations might make this one appealing to reluctant readers” – School Library Journal

“[T]his is exactly the book young dino fans would write themselves, crammed with sandbox-style action and positively packed with words like Nanotyrannus and Parasaurolophus. Great back matter clarifies fact from speculation, while Henry’s manga-inspired illustrations provide a good sense of the monsters’ scary scale.” – Booklist

“Dinosaurs, time travel, mystery and adventure—this novel for teens has it all…The characters are believable and likable, and the story carries itself quickly along. Black and white illustrations effectively give the reader a nice visual of the happenings as well.”  – Children’s Literature

When Max, Emma, and Kyle are sent to live with their reclusive grandfather for the summer, they’re dismayed to learn he thinks there’s a time machine in the basement.

But when Grandpa Pierson predicts the exact time of his own heart attack, and when Emma is kidnapped by what can only be a time traveler, they realize he was telling the truth about the Chronal Engine.  And if they want their sister back, they’ll have to do it themselves.

So Max and Kyle, together with their new friend Petra, pack up their grandpa’s VW and follow Emma and the kidnapper back in time, to Late Cretaceous Texas, where the sauropods and tyrannosaurs roam.  Can the trio find Emma and survive the hazards of the Age of Dinosaurs, or are they, too, destined to become part of the fossil record?

Here are some interviews with me about Chronal Engine:

It Started with a Picture Book.  Guest post on the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) blog about researching CHRONAL ENGINE.

The Timeless Draw of Dinosaurs and Space.  Guest post at the Teacher to Teacher blog of the International Reading Association.

Process Talk: Greg Leitich Smith on Chronal Engine (Setting, Genre, Audience).  Part 1 of Interview at Uma Krishnaswami’s Writing with a Broken Tusk.

Process Talk: Greg Leitich Smith on Chronal Engine (Culture, Humor and Time).  Part 2 of Interview at Uma Krishnaswami’s Writing with a Broken Tusk.

Greg Leitich Smith – Author Profile.  At Steven R. McEvoy’s Book Reviews and More.

Greg Leitich Smith: Dinosaurs, Writing, and Research. At Sarah Blake Johnson’s Explorations.

Welcome to the Spotlight — Greg Leitich Smith.  At Debbi Michiko Florence’s DEBtastic Reads!

Greg Leitich Smith on Dinosaurs, Time Travel, Heritage, and Chronal Engine.  At Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Cynsations.

Middle Grade Memories: Greg Leitich Smith on The Enormous Egg.  At Claire Legrand’s blog.

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