Whitmore (The Bread Winner, 1990) writes about a modern child who is uninterested in the suffering of his ancestors until he is forced to live it. Jordan, told to bring money to the gang he has just joined, steals his grandfather's pocket watch, which transports him back in time to the days of slavery. He is put to work as a slave on the plantation where his ancestor, Uriah, is a boy. Determined to find the watch--the key to his return--Jordan works in the cotton fields, is whipped, gets sold, and joins the Underground Railroad before finding his way back to his own time, where the gang waits to make an example of him for trying to get out. This is an exciting read; Whitmore packs in as much information about slavery as possible, which only occasionally interferes with the flow of the story. Jordan's awakening to his heritage and to the consequences of his actions in the present are well done and, in the context of the stoW, believable.