From School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Michael and Kate are surprised when Michael's dead riding instructor, Rudy, appears at his house. Surprise turns to shock when they find that Rudy has left them computer gear that will allow them to travel back in time to the Revolutionary War to save one of Michael's ancestors and the Marquis de Lafayette from a British ambush. While they have a hard time fitting into life in 1778-Kate balks at pretending that Michael is her slave-they save both men, and, with their own special athletic abilities of equestrianism and swimming, complete their mission. As both a time-travel fantasy and historical fiction, this is an adequate book, although Favole tries to force too many issues into it. Scenes are included in which Kate is almost kicked off the swim team because of panic attacks and Michael is ridiculed for being an African American who enjoys competitive horseback riding. The use of computer equipment to travel through time isn't original, but it gets the teens where they need to be and when, and while the historical details aren't abundant, they appear to be accurate. The appendix detailing the actual events, people, and language is especially interesting. The characters could use a little livening up, but readers will recognize their own concerns and problems in the ones Michael and Kate experience. However, those looking for a more detailed historical-fiction/time-travel story should check out Nancy Bond's Another Shore (McElderry, 1988; o.p.).-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5-8. High-school freshman Kate is chewed out by her swimming coach and her childhood friend Michael suffers cruel teasing as a "wannabe white"; but there's much more trouble coming. Contacted through time travelers, Michael and Kate are transported back to Colonial America. Their mission is to aid Lafayette's attack on the British and to save one of Michael's ancestors, a free black cavalryman. During the course of their adventures, the teens not only face the British but also learn how to overcome their own fears. While a bit contrived, the teens' self-identity issues do blend into the historical backdrop, and the conflicts, past and present, are brought to a fine conclusion. The occasional black-and-white maps are not particularly helpful, but the endnotes about the characters, the times, and the author's research are stellar. Karen SimonettiCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved