Odessa Green-Light discovers a loophole in time. Now she can fix all kinds of things, especially the de-hyphenation of her family.
In her first book of middle-level fiction, young-adult author Reinhardt (The Summer I Learned to Fly, 2011, etc.) offers the wistful tale of fourth-grader Odessa Green-Light, who, stomping in anger on the floor of her attic bedroom, discovers a loophole that allows her to travel back in time one day. What Odessa most wants is to re-hyphenate her family, getting Dad to remarry Mom. She soon finds that each time she jumps, she loses one hour of the previous day. So she has 24 chances to fix things, like the bangs haircut that was a big mistake, farting in front of the boy she like-likes or beating her brother to a $100 bill he finds first. The power Odessa initially feels at having a second chance soon diminishes; she realizes she cannot change what really matters. Realistically drawn, Odessa is a believable, likable kid on the brink of growing up, struggling with family changes. Regan’s black-and-white spot illustrations are unexceptional.
With humor as well as depth, this is an endearing story of a spunky girl who realizes that life gets more, not less, confusing as she grows up. (Fiction. 8-12)