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Children's Fiction General

Tunnels of Time

Moose Jaw Time Travel Adventure #1

by (author) Mary Harelkin Bishop

edited by Deana Driver

illustrated by Wendi Nordell

DriverWorks Ink
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
General, Canada
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 18
  • Grade: 4 to 12


Instead of going on a school field trip to the mountains, 13-year-old Andrea has to go to boring Moose Jaw for a boring wedding. While having a meal with her family in a restaurant, she hears tales of gangsters who hid in tunnels that ran below the city. She barely listens, but when she accidentally falls into one of those mysterious tunnels under the city’s streets, she finds herself back in the 1920s and those dangerous days of Moose Jaw’s underground. Can Andrea possibly outsmart the gangsters who are demanding that she work for them? And will she ever see her family again? Updated & republished.


This first book in the popular children’s adventure series has been updated since the book’s initial release in 2000. The chapters have been shortened for easier reading and read-alouds, especially for teachers and parents. Readers will also enjoy the addition of 12 beautiful illustrations, a Historical Note, an Ask the Author section, and Discussion Questions.

About the authors

Mary Harelkin Bishop's profile page

Deana Driver's profile page

WENDI NORDELL has been drawing for as long as she could hold a pencil. It has always been a favourite pastime and eventually became an occasional job. While her three children were growing up, she painted many murals, including the pediatrics wing in a hospital, a school entrance, and in many homes. She also attended festivals and craft shows, selling hand-drawn gift cards, bookmarks, and illustrations. Now that her children are grown, she has pursued an illustration career, illustrating a dozen books in the last five years, mostly for children, but also including Edward Willett's science-fiction and fantasy poetry collection I Tumble Through the Diamond Dust. Recently, Wendi decided to improve her artistic skills and abilities by returning to the Alberta University of the Arts, pursuing a degree in illustration. Wendi has almost always picked up books based on their cover art, and if there are illustrations inside the book she thinks that’s even better. She truly hopes that her illustrations enhance readers' experience with books--including this one!

Wendi Nordell's profile page


  • Runner-up, Great Midwest Book Festival, Young Adult

Excerpt: Tunnels of Time: Moose Jaw Time Travel Adventure #1 (by (author) Mary Harelkin Bishop; edited by Deana Driver; illustrated by Wendi Nordell)

9:15 PM – Friday Night


Secrets Revealed


The tunnel seemed much more friendly this time, light even, and somewhat airy after the gopher hole she had last travelled through. Andrea almost skipped along as she hurried toward The Four Star Café. She felt more confident in the darkness, although she would have preferred to travel above ground like a normal person.

She wondered what was going on in the world above. Were people walking overhead right now on the streets of Moose Jaw? Was it raining? What would they think of the hidden tunnels right under their feet?

But the biggest question on her mind was had she really gone back in time? It just didn’t seem possible. Things like this didn’t happen, did they? She shuffled along in the tunnel trying to figure out what could have happened, working her brain so hard that sweat popped out on her forehead. She still wasn’t one hundred per cent convinced that she was trapped in the past.

Pondering and puzzling, Andrea continued her journey toward The Four Star Café. Her feet made little crunching noises in the gravel as she moved and then kicked something that rattled and echoed eerily. Stooping to investigate, she picked up a piece of a newspaper. Smoothing it out, she walked to the nearest lantern and held the newspaper up to catch the weak rays of light. Her hands trembled slightly when she found what she was looking for – the date. “July 5, 1921,” she read slowly.

Andrea stared at it for several seconds, hoping to see the numbers magically transform, but they didn’t. Unfortunately, the paper looked in good condition, except for having been crumpled, so it couldn’t have been very old. It didn’t have that yellow aged look she had seen on some of the mementos and clippings her grandparents kept in a special photo album. This was concrete evidence that she had somehow gone back in time.

With a sigh of resignation, Andrea dropped the newspaper and pushed on in search of Vance. She did have to admit that it was almost fun having this adventure with him and the racketeers, if only she could eventually get home again. It would be terrible to be stuck here forever. No more mountain biking, she thought morosely. No more videos and video games. No more computers and Internet. No more cellphones! What would the world be like without all those things?

Tough, Andrea decided. It would be tough to live without all the luxuries she was growing up with. But toughest, she knew, would be to never see her family again. Sure, she fought with them at times and sometimes even thought that she hated them. The truth was Andrea was quite close to her family and would really miss them. Cousin Vanessa and pesky Greg, she had to reluctantly admit, didn’t seem bad at all when she compared them to gangsters like Ol’ Scarface and Joe.

Thinking of her family was making Andrea very sad. She pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind. She knew that she needed to concentrate on navigating the tunnels. Her life depended on her doing a good job and staying on the right side of Ol’ Scarface. She would have time to think about her family later.

At the appropriate lantern, Andrea stopped and surveyed the pole. Yes, she was in the right place. She knocked quietly on the door and waited this time until it opened. It took a few moments, but soon it swung back and Vance’s anxious face peered out.

Andrea was so happy to see him, she almost threw her arms around his neck and hugged him. Only the tough expression on his face and the tense way he held his body reminded her that she was supposed to look and act like a boy. Andrea changed her mind at the last second, clapping him clumsily on the shoulder instead. “I made it!” she proclaimed triumphantly. She looked past Vance to Ol’ Scarface.

“All safe?” he demanded from the table in the centre of the room. He half rose from the chair, his beady eyes pinning Andrea to the wall near the secret door.

Andrea studied him in the dim light. “Yes, sir,” she replied. “I got there in time and we hid in the secret storage place.”

Scarface returned Andrea’s gaze for a long moment. “Ya did a good job,” he finally admitted. “Didn’t think ya had it in ya; thought you was a namby-pamby, but I see I was wrong.” A slight smile crinkled the corners of his mouth. A strange smile, Andrea thought, and she wondered why. Then she realized that his eyes were flat, void of all emotion. His lips did a good imitation, but the smile never reached his eyes.

“Th-thanks,” Andrea stammered, trying hard not to stare. She searched her exhausted brain for something to say. “Oh!” she suddenly remembered, “R-Rosie’s h-hoping to see you t-tonight.”

“That so?” Ol’ Scarface questioned. His voice was low and suddenly frightening again. It caused the hair on Andrea’s scalp to prickle in fear. He was inconsistent, she realized, never reacting the same way twice, and that in itself was dangerous. With most people, couldn’t you more or less guess how they would react to a given situation? There was safety in knowing how a person might respond.

“I don’t see nobody unless I want to see ’em, ya got that?” he said crossly. Andrea nodded and backed slightly away while Scarface made a big show of pulling an expensive pocket watch out of his vest pocket and checking the time….

Editorial Reviews

"Even though I’d read the story before and sort of remembered how it ended, I couldn’t put it down. I refused to turn the light off until the book was finished. Mary Harelkin Bishop is so good at planting clues and dangling loose ends that don’t seem to make sense that you simply have to keep turning the pages. This is the twentieth anniversary edition of the original book which has been updated and includes illustrations and new resources."

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