Time travelling has always been one of the most favourite topics of young readers for years. The Time Machine, A Christmas Carol and Doctor Who just to name a few. Return ticket is no exception and one of the most suitable time travel novels for adolescent readers today. Features including the themes, characters and morals make it popular with young audiences. It provides an insight into Australian History combining both characters and dialogue from this world today, and the amazing yet different time of the late 1800’s.
Return Ticket entertains readers with engaging and comical characters, who appeal to a vast range of audiences. This is expressed through the dialogue, the personalities of the individuals and their actions. This is important to younger audiences as they find interest in these aspects, opposed to depth of the novel. To this age of readers, characters supply just as much meaning as the plot or themes of the story. Each character supplies a fascinating side to every issue, creating a fruitful, interesting yet evocative novel. The three main characters are relative to individuals from this time, and develop as the story matures. Zak, an immature yet determined character is very similar to boys nowadays and is a particular strength of the novel. He grows with the story and is surprisingly skillful, conquering hikes, dark mines and the struggles of 1899. He creates hilarious dialogue with his common aggravation and often lets a word slip. ‘Shit! said Zak, ‘Farr out’ Zak quipped, ‘About bloody time!’ Zak shouted.’
Warren Flynn exhibits strong and diverse themes, which are of great significance to the story. These ideas cater to a variety of tastes, and make the novel enjoyed by many. It is fictional but historic, as well as being adventurous and romantic. The students make their way back in time to a world they could only but read in history books. Lifestyle and information of the 1800’s are displayed throughout the novel, as well as incorporating humorous but educational situations. They discover unknown things, venture on journeys and romance is sparked. Innocent Sam from 2000 and beautiful Beth from 1899 seem to have an evident and blooming relationship on the way. From these themes lessons are portrayed, which are of importance to the targeted audience. Zak, Sam and Shannon learn how differently people lived and the growing world around them. It teaches readers that life was very different then, and much tougher than it is now. The majority of these readers are adolescent, and most likely take all the modern things we have for granted. Return Ticket’s main and strongest moral is to appreciate the simplicity of our daily lives. These issues are mature but simple, and are one of the most valuable features of Return Ticket.
The language used in Return Ticket is simple, entertaining and intelligent. It displays an interesting writing style, quite suited to the book. It is understandable, uncomplicated and compelling which always benefits a story no matter the novel. Many chapters are simply diary entries from Beth, providing a different but descriptive and olden style of language.’ I confess for a small moment I felt quite naïve and vulnerable. If their intentions were other than honest, I had exposed my defenceless siblings and myself in a most foolish manner.’ This tongue and method is considerably different to the more modern approach, providing both detailed and straightforward text. The more present language is often humorous and continuously mentions products and objects from this time. Both these methods can be stated as effective, however in some cases it is viewed that it could have been written better.
In conclusion, Return Ticket is fitting for adolescent readers through its portrayal of characters, various themes and simple yet meaningful morals. It is capturing and entertaining, will not lose a reader’s interest and just the right amount of difficulty for young audiences. Return Ticket depicts one of the most important messages that teens are constantly reminded of, and presents the history of Victoria making, it both amusing and an educational novel, a great novel for young adult readers.