A.J. Flynn’s future looks bleak: his grades are less than desirable, his home life is rocky, and his friends Leon and Slim are always in and out of trouble. When A.J. is offered a job as a junior clerk at a London law firm, things take a turn for the extraordinary. Finding a peculiar key labeled with his name and birthday leads 17-year-old A.J. to a nondescript door that transports him to 1830s London, where secrets about his paternity and family history are revealed. But the magic of time travel is tempered by murders in the past and in the present, as well as the harsh realities of the lives of A.J. and his friends. A.J., Leon, and Slim begin Gardner’s novel as boys from whom society expects nothing but trouble, but when they are presented with an opening to make something of themselves, they seize it, powerfully illustrating the good that can come out of opportunity and second chances. Skillfully blending time travel, intrigue, and social commentary, Gardner (Maggot Moon) delivers a thought-provoking page-turner. Ages 12–up. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/2016 Release date: 11/08/2016 Genre: Children's
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