19 Time Travel YA Books For Fans Of This Is How You Lose The Time War

For readers enchanted by the lyrical prose and intricate time-traveling narrative of “This Is How You Lose the Time War,” the quest for similarly captivating stories can feel like traversing through the corridors of time itself. Fear not, fellow chrononauts, for this curated list unveils a trove of Time Travel YA books that will transport you across epochs and dimensions, weaving tales of love, adventure, and existential contemplation.

From the whimsical realms of fantasy to the gritty landscapes of dystopia, these 19 literary gems promise to ignite your imagination and leave you pondering the mysteries of time and fate. Join us as we embark on an exhilarating journey through the annals of temporal fiction, where every page holds endless adventure.

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Time Travel YA Books

From epic journeys through history to mind-bending explorations of parallel universes, these books promise to whisk readers away on exhilarating adventures where every page turn holds the promise of new discoveries and unforeseen consequences. So, gather your courage, adjust your temporal coordinates, and prepare to lose yourself in the pages of these captivating tales where time is both a foe and a friend.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Time Travel YA Books
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An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

time travel YA books: a wrinkle in time
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Late one night, three otherworldly creatures appear and sweep Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe away on a mission to save Mr. Murray, who has gone missing while doing top-secret work for the government. They travel via tesseract–a wrinkle that transports one across space and time–to the planet Camazotz, where Mr. Murray is being held captive. There they discover a dark force that threatens not only Mr. Murray but the safety of the whole universe.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Time Travel YA Books
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“I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.”

Dana’s torment begins when she suddenly vanishes on her 26th birthday from California, 1976, and is dragged through time to antebellum Maryland to rescue a boy named Rufus, heir to a slaveowner’s plantation. She soon realizes the purpose of her summons to the past: protect Rufus to ensure his assault of her Black ancestor so that she may one day be born. As she endures the traumas of slavery and the soul-crushing normalization of savagery, Dana fights to keep her autonomy and return to the present.

Midnight Strikes by Zeba Shahnaz

Time Travel YA Books
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Seventeen-year-old Anaïs just wants tonight to end. As an outsider at the kingdom’s glittering anniversary ball, she has no desire to rub shoulders with the nation’s most eligible (and pompous) bachelors—especially not the notoriously roguish Prince Leo. But at the stroke of midnight, an explosion rips through the palace, killing everyone in its path. Including her.

The last thing Anaïs sees is fire, smoke, chaos . . . and then she wakes up in her bedroom, hours before the ball. No one else remembers the deadly attack or believes her warnings of disaster.

Not even when it happens again. And again. And again.

Time Traveling with a Hamster by Ross Welford

Time Travel YA Books
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My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty-nine and again four years later, when he was twelve. On his twelfth birthday, Al Chaudhury receives a letter from his dead father. It directs him to the bunker of their old house, where Al finds a time machine (an ancient computer and a tin bucket). The letter also outlines a mission: travel back to 1984 and prevent the go-kart accident that will eventually take his father’s life. But as Al soon discovers, whizzing back thirty years requires not only imagination and courage, but also lying to your mom, stealing a moped, and setting your school on fire—oh, and keeping your pet hamster safe. 

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

Time Travel YA Books
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Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods.  Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.

Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. 

Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer

Time Travel YA Books
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It’s natural to feel a little out of place when you’re the new girl, but when Charlotte Makepeace wakes up after her first night at boarding school, she’s baffled: everyone thinks she’s a girl called Clare Mobley, and even more shockingly, it seems she has traveled forty years back in time to 1918. In the months to follow, Charlotte wakes alternately in her own time and in Clare’s. And instead of having only one new set of rules to learn, she also has to contend with the unprecedented strangeness of being an entirely new person in an era she knows nothing about. Her teachers think she’s slow, the other girls find her odd, and, as she spends more and more time in 1918, Charlotte starts to wonder if she remembers how to be Charlotte at all. If she doesn’t figure out some way to get back to the world she knows before the end of the term, she might never have another chance.

23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde

Time Travel YA Books
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By both society’s measure and her own, fifteen-year-old Zoe Mahar is pretty much a loser. Then one day she ducks into Spencerport Savings and Loan simply to get out of the rain—and witnesses a bank robbery gone horrifyingly wrong.
The good news is that Zoe has a unique ability: she can play back time and repeat events. But it’s not an unlimited deal—she can only jump 23 minutes, and her first playback creates an even more disastrous outcome. Zoe has only ten tries to get it right before this particular 23 minutes becomes irreversible. 

Time Travel for Love and Profit by Sarah Lariviere

Time Travel YA Books
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When Nephele has a terrible freshman year, she does the only logical thing for a math prodigy like herself: she invents a time travel app so she can go back and do it again (and again, and again) in this funny love story, Groundhog Day for the iPhone generation.

The Upper World by Femi Fadugba

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During arguably the worst week of Esso’s life, an accident knocks him into an incredible world—a place beyond space or time, where he can see glimpses of the past and future. But if what he sees there is true, he might not have much longer to live, unless he can use his new gift to change the course of history.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

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Stop the Magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

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Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time traveler from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in ancient Rome, Far’s very existence defies the laws of nature. All he’s ever wanted was to explore history for himself, but after failing his entrance exam into the government program, Far will have to settle for a position on the black market-captaining a time-traveling crew to steal valuables from the past.

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

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When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. And she’s alive, though currently trapped in the twelfth century, during the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Passing through the Dim, Hope enters a brutal medieval world of political intrigue, danger, and violence. A place where any serious interference could alter the very course of history. And when she meets a boy whose face is impossibly familiar, she must decide between her mission and her heart—both of which could leave Hope trapped in the past forever.     

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

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Don’t forget the rule. No one can know what you are. What we are. You must never tell anyone about monsters.

Joan has just learned the truth: her family are monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers.

And the cute boy at work isn’t just a boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to destroy her family.

To save herself and her family, Joan will have to do what she fears most: embrace her own monstrousness. Because in this story…she is not the hero.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

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Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte is ready for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon—the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Project Nought by Chelsey Furedi

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Ren Mittal’s last memory in the year 1996 is getting on a bus to visit his mystery pen pal Georgia. When he wakes up in 2122, he thinks he might be hallucinating…he’s not!

Tech conglomerate Chronotech sponsors a time-travel program to help students in 2122 learn what history was really like…from real-life subjects who’ve been transported into the future…and Ren is one of them.

In 2122, Ren’s life in the 1990s is practically ancient history—and Ren’s not sure how to feel about that. On top of it all, he learns that his memory will be wiped of all things 2122 before he’s sent back to the ’90s. Adding to Ren’s complicated feels, he’s forming a crush on his student guide, Mars.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heiling

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As the daughter of a time traveler, Nix has spent sixteen years sweeping across the globe and through the centuries aboard her father’s ship. Modern-day New York City, nineteenth-century Hawaii, other lands seen only in myth and legend—Nix has been to them all.

If there is a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place and any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, the year before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life, her entire existence, is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past.

Timebound by Rysa Walker

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When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and speaks of time travel, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence.

Kate learns that the 1893 killing is part of something much more sinister, and her genetic ability to time travel makes Kate the only one who can fix the future. Risking everything, she travels back in time to the Chicago World’s Fair to try to prevent the murder and the chain of events that follows.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

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Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn’t even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time. 

Genres Similar to Time Travel YA Books

While time travel remains a timeless fascination, there are other literary realms that offer similar thrills, complexities, and imaginative possibilities. In this section, we journey beyond the constraints of time’s arrow to discover narratives that bend reality, traverse alternate dimensions, and challenge our perceptions of existence. Join us as we delve into genres that blur the boundaries of space and time, offering readers a kaleidoscope of adventures and thought-provoking journeys.

YA Science Fiction

Why not branch out from time travel and explore what other wonderous stops are on the Sci-Fi expedition? Ranging from spaceships, aliens, advanced technologies, and more!

Funny Sci Fi Books

If you enjoy epic tales of adventure set against the backdrop of interstellar empires, space battles, and grand cosmic landscape – all with a lighter tone like found in Time Travel YA books, then funny sci fi books may be just up your street!

Dystopian Teen Books

Dystopian Teen Books often have similar themes to that of Time Travel YA Books. These books typically contain sci-fi elements but also boast plenty of other genres. Why not branch out?

Hard Science Fiction

If you’re drawn to stories grounded in scientific realism and rigorous speculation, then hard science fiction provides a wealth of intellectually stimulating reads. Authors like Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Egan excel at crafting meticulously researched tales that explore the

Whether you’re looking for thrilling adventures, mind-bending speculative fiction, or thought-provoking explorations of the cosmos, these genres offer something for every fan of time travel YA books. So grab your spacesuit, buckle up, and prepare for an unforgettable journey beyond the stars!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes time travel YA books so popular?

Time travel YA books often combine the allure of adventure with the complexity of altering historical events or exploring the consequences of time manipulation. They offer readers a chance to engage with both fantastical elements and relatable teenage protagonists.

Are there different types of time travel portrayed in YA books?

Authors often employ various theories of time travel, including fixed timelines where events cannot be altered. Also timelines where changes in the past affect the future. Some stories also involve parallel universes or alternate realities.

How do time travel YA books explore themes beyond time manipulation?

Many time travel YA books delve into themes of identity, belonging, and the consequences of one’s actions. They often explore the idea of whether individuals can truly change the course of history or if fate is inevitable.

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