In the second installment of the Left Behinds series, 12-year-old Mel and friends Brandon and Bev travel back to July 1, 1863, to try to foil a nefarious plot to change the course of history.
The trio have just returned from saving George Washington and the American Revolution when they are whisked back in time to the Battle of Gettysburg. The co-inventor of the iTime app has gone bad and aims to make a fortune out of holding the course of history hostage. The bumbling trio of private school kids is determined to thwart him while avoiding being trapped in the past. It’s a race to be in the right place at the right moment, and in the hubbub, the kids manage to injure the first lady, supply Abraham Lincoln with his famous opening line (“Four score and seven years ago”), survive a train crash, and wrestle a fake Confederate soldier to the ground. The narrative is pure fun, relying on the delicious notion that history is far from immutable and is in fact full of what-ifs. The madcap story may just inspire readers to want to learn more about the Civil War, and a superb recommended-readings section lists many of the best books on the subject for young readers.
History made silly for readers who can’t get into it straight. (websites of interest) (Science fiction. 8-12)