Book Review: HARLEY HITCH AND THE FOSSIL MYSTERY by Vashti Hardy (Middle Grade Monday)

I received a review copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in black on green next to illustration of a girl with purple hair with a magnifying glass
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: book 3



Book cover for HARLEY HITCH AND THE FOSSIL MYSTERY: title in gold on blue and green image of a girl in front of a monster

Harley Hitch goes on a time-twisting adventure!

On a school trip to the Inventia Jurassic Coast, Harley finds an unusual fossil. Has she discovered an entirely new species of dinosaur?

Her class nemesis, Fenelda, doesn’t believe it, so Harley decides to build a time machine to prove the discovery and win the “best invention” competition.

But messing with time can have unexpected, BIG effects…

Blurb taken from back of copy (not on Goodreads at time of writing.)


As the blurb suggests, HARLEY HITCH AND THE FOSSIL MYSTERY is a time travel goes wrong tale!

This is a caper of time unfolding and needing to fix it as soon as possible. I loved watching everyone’s reactions to it going wrong, how they tried to rationalise it, as it leads to some funny moments. Plus I love history, so the melding of STEM and history was perfect for me!

Like with the other entries in this series, the book introduces readers to new STEM concepts – this time it’s fossils and the process of uncovering them. The inner sides of the cover and back contain excerpts from Harley’s notes on the topic, a great way to summarise some of the new information into fun, bite-sized parcels.

HARLEY HITCH AND THE FOSSIL MYSTERY also continues the theme of showing that science and invention is about making mistakes and learning from them. Harley is once again attempting to create something overly ambitious that then goes wrong and needs to be fixed. Only once she’s worked out what’s gone wrong can she attempt it. And this time, she can only do so by being willing to ask for help from someone she doesn’t like.

I hope there are more books to come in this series! It definitely feels like Harley hasn’t quite attained all her goals yet, and has room to grow with Fenelda, so fingers crossed!

Read my reviews of other books by Vashti Hardy:

Harley Hitch (this series):


Ghost Machine:


Griffin Gate (Barrington Stoke):

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