My 13-year-old son grabbed this book and read it very quickly. He loved it, and I liked it. It is labeled for 8 to 12-year-olds but I think it should be for children just a little older, 10- to 14-year-olds maybe. I can't imagine younger children reading a book this long (432 pages) and complicated. I also found some of the language to be beyond most 3rd graders. Maybe as a read-aloud book, although, beware, there is some violence that might be frightening for some children.
Kate (14), Michael (12) and Emma (11) have lived in orphanges for 10 years after being sent away by their parents. Despite never hearing from them, the three siblings never give up hope that their parents will find them. One day they are sent to a very strange orphanage and, after placing a photograph in an old book that they found, they are whisked away to a time 15 years previous. This starts the non-stop action and adventure with more time travel, an evil witch, dwarves, heroes, and self-discovery.
It is the first in a trilogy. I rate it PG for the violence.