cover image Throwback


Peter Lerangis. HarperCollins, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-240638-5

After learning that he is a Throwback, who can travel back in time and alter the past, Corey Fletcher, 13, vows to do what his grandfather couldn’t: prevent his grandmother from dying in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Things go awry, though; he ends up robbed and stranded in New York City in 1917, and he must retrieve his possessions and avoid myriad dangers if he wants to return to his own era. With this exciting adventure, Lerangis (the Seven Wonders series) captures the diversity of New York throughout the decades, and Corey’s own heritage (his mother is Puerto Rican and father is Greek-American) plays a small but important role along the way. The narrative works best when it focuses on the personal stakes; elements of the worldbuilding—such as the long-term side effects of time travel—are less successful, while related subplots are left dangling for future installments of the planned trilogy to address. Nevertheless, the thought-provoking concept and Corey’s own heartbreaking attempts to prevent tragedy should easily draw readers. Ages 8–12. [em](Oct.) [/em]