In a special school on a small Massachusetts island, a boy struggles to find his place in time.
Bo attends the Berkshire Academy for Children with Exceptional Needs. Narrating in the present tense, he explains the school’s mission: training kids to master their supernatural powers and to hide them from the broader world. But something horrendous has happened: Bo, who time travels, took his girlfriend, Sofía, back to 1692 and accidentally left her there. As a brown-skinned Latina (Bo’s white, which goes unspecified) who turns invisible, Sofía could face execution in the Puritan colony, which is enduring the Salem witch trials. Bo works doggedly to travel back in time and save her, but the timestream fights him, and someone may be controlling his mind. A trickle of textual clues and several first-person chapters from Bo’s sister, Phoebe, reveal that delusions, dissociation, and psychosis are at work. Bo has severe mental illness, as do his classmates. His palpable torment, confusion, and belief in his powers build to a terrifying crescendo in a vivid conflagration scene. Bo sees a choice: the 21st century, where he’s sick, or somewhere outside time with Sofía, where he has powers. At the end, the text steals Bo’s voice and centrality by giving the closing narration to Phoebe—flipping Bo’s story, suddenly and frustratingly, into a disabled-sibling tale.
A page-turning psychological thriller in which mental illness is tragic. (Fiction. 14 & up)