cover image Yesterday Is History

Yesterday Is History

Kosoko Jackson. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4926-9434-2

Six months after a liver transplant helps him beat cancer, 17-year-old Andre Cobb, who is Black, should be focused on graduating on time. But his new liver has given him the ability to time travel from 2021, which he discovers when he crawls into bed in his Boston home and ends up outside the same house in 1969, chatting with Michael, a handsome white 18-year-old who’s happy to flirt with him. Once Andre’s back in 2021, his deceased donor’s mother invites him over to explain their wealthy, powerful white family’s “genetic gift”—time jumping—and to introduce him to her other son, Blake, who can guide Andre in traveling time. Andre finds himself falling for Michael, though he can’t help noticing how handsome Blake is. In his YA debut, Jackson has a great gimmick as well as a likeable protagonist who faces sociocultural realities across time (“Boston hasn’t always been great for Black people”). If Andre’s internal development is sometimes lean, the book offers an interesting twist on the way that organ donation, like time travel, can represent a mix of opportunity and loss. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Feb.)