Best friends living in contemporary San Francisco find themselves “unstuck,” landing in 1864 with the future Mark Twain as their flamboyant companion in this original time-travel tale.
Laid-back Lee Jones and uptight Joan Lee are perfectly mismatched mirror images, able to “carry on an entire conversation with one… simple LOOK.” Right before the eighth-grade field trip, they learn their respective parents plan to divorce. During the field trip to Fort Point, the distressed teens fall asleep in an old lighthouse and awaken in a San Francisco that’s “totally familiar and totally alien.” Even though they’re 148 years from home, neither Lee nor Joan wants to return to 2012 until a bit more time travel reassures them they can cope with the unpredictable future. With its subtext of friendship stretching through time, Buzbee’s complex time-travel sequence stresses the importance of having just the right companions. As in Steinbeck’s Ghost (2008), his use of history and period detail imparts a strong sense of place and introduces readers to another famous American writer’s youthful years in frontier San Francisco.
An adventurous, fast-paced field trip to the past with a memorable travel guide. (Fantasy. 10-14)