Friday, January 8, 2016

Time and Again by Deborah Heal *****

Time and Again by Deborah Heal is YA historical fiction with a twist. The book intertwines two threads. The contemporary thread is the story of Abby on a summer tutoring job for tween Merridith, and the historical thread is about Charlotte who manages a stop on the underground railroad secreting escaped slaves through Illinois to Chicago while the men in the family are fighting the Civil War.

The trick to the combination of these two story lines, is a magical computer that allows Abby and Merri to "time surf" back in history and observes Charlotte's life. The author nicely balances the two plot lines so they are both engaging. More importantly, enough happens and is resolved so that when book 1 ends in the middle of both narratives, the reader still can feel satisfied with the story thus far.

Civil War period history is nicely woven into Charlotte's story so that the pedagogical content does not detract. Highly recommended for young readers, especially during a year where American history is covered.

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