The Time-Thief

Patience Agbabi

The Time-Thief by Patience Agbabi (Paperback ISBN 9781786899903) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook

Elle is back! This time she’s leaping almost three whole centuries back in time, to catch a thief, help her friend and save our future

It’s midsummer’s day and thirteen-year-old Elle and her Leapling classmates are visiting the Museum of the Past, the Present and the Future. But on the day of the school trip, disaster strikes, and the most unique and valuable piece in the museum, the Infinity-Glass, is stolen! And worse still, Elle’s friend and fellow Infinite, MC², is arrested for the crime!

To prove his innocence Elle must leap back centuries in time, to a London very different from today. Along the way she will meet new friends, face dangers unlike any she has ever known, and face an old enemy who is determined to destroy her. Can Elle find the missing Infinity-Glass and return it to its rightful home before it’s too late?


“An ingenious, exhilarating adventure”
Sophie Anderson, Author Of The House With Chicken Legs

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“An adventure so thrilling it makes time fly!”
Ben Miller, Author Of The Boy Who Made The World Disappear

“A time-travel mystery that manages to incorporate criminal masterminds, neurodivergence, racial inequalities, intertemporal friendships and Samuel Johnson – all narrated in Elle’s exuberant and energetic voice. Even better than The Infinite! Loved it!”
Fleur Hitchcock, Author Of The Boy Who Flew

“In The Time-Thief, Agbabi has written a second instalment to the Leap Cycle series that even exceeds the first. Elle is a delightful character to follow: not just a well-rounded heroine with a unique set of beautiful insights, but also an important example of meaningful representation in a literary arena where Black autistic girls are rarely represented. In reading The Time-Thief you also get a clear sense of how much Agbabi loves creative wordplay, as she tells a gripping time-travel story that keeps you guessing, while clearly having fun with the English language along the way! A creative, imaginative novel with a fascinating lead character”
Chris Bonnello, Author Of Underdogs

“The main characters in Patience Agbabi’s The Time-Thief [are] as literate as they are skilled on the athletics field. They are also neurodivergent, not least narrator Elle, whose autism is depicted accurately and sympathetically … just as clever and enjoyable as its forerunner”
financial Times


Patience Agbabi

Patience Agbabi was born in London in 1965 to Nigerian parents, spent her teenage years living in North Wales and now lives in Kent with her husband and children. She has been writing poetry for over twenty years, and her first novel for children, The Infinite, the first in the Leap Cycle series, was published in 2020. Like Elle, she loves sprinting, numbers and pepper soup, but, disappointingly, her leaping is less spectacular.