Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
Publisher: Harper Collins
As much as Margaret O’Malley has been told she shouldn’t use her family’s “quirk” of time travel, she feels she could reverse her innocent father’s murder conviction if she did. It is not her father she wants to go back in time to save though, it is the judge, Lucas Biggs. In 2014 with the help of her friend Charlie and his Grandpa Joshua, Margaret defies her family’s advice and travels back seventy-six years to 1938 when Lucas Biggs was Luke Aggripa, age 13. His father was fighting for worker rights against the big mining company, Victory Fuels. When Luke’s father dies, Elijah Biggs, the mine owner, lies to Luke about what happened and takes him in as a son, leaving Luke angry at his father. Margaret finds out quickly that she cannot change the events of that night. When she returns to 2014, she discovers that she has more power to change history now rather than in the past, she just needs to convince Lucas Biggs to listen. Eventually Lucas Biggs opens his mind and heart to the evidence and reality of events currently and historically to reverse John O’Malley’s conviction.
Two powerful themes connect with readers in this science fiction novel. First, there is more power in changing history in the present than in the past, meaning the choices made in the present have a lasting effect in the future and can help heal the past. Second, discovering another person’s perspective is the only way to understanding them and opening doors of change. As Margaret, Charlie, and Joshua try to convince Luke of the truth, they find that they cannot make him listen, no matter how crazy the scheme. Rather when Luke finds that others have tried to understand his feelings, he is willing to listen. This high-stakes adventure has some high-emotion topics including murder, massacre, and suicide. These scenes and feelings surrounding them are described. However, like Margaret discovers, for every bad thing that happens, “there are thousands of small good ones, acts that might even seem ordinary but really aren’t.”
*Contains moderate violence.