06 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott

I really didn’t know what to expect when I first picked up this book. I am a huge fan of time travel dramas, but not so much of period-piece type literature. Overall, I am glad a read the book but in the end I found it wanting.

I grew up in South Carolina, so the exploration of racism and oppression really hit home with me. I have seen people in similar plights. They feel stuck, locked into a repeating series of situations and events that just leads to more oppression and racism.

The writing is well done, and easily read. My main problem with the book is the contrived time travel. A fountain behind a locked fence leads to an adventure in civil war era New York. I guess I am just a bit of a stickler for details but I would at least like to have this part of the story fleshed out a bit more.

The main character is a juvenile, however the themes covered in the book are probably not appropriate for your average teen. I would probably say that this would be a good read for later High School in a class where they are comparing the situation of Blacks in present day versus the late 1800’s. Genna’s (the main characters) situation in both times is very well covered and should lead to a lot of discussion.

I think that this is a good book, and is a must read for people looking into race relations and how they have evolved over time (and how some have stayed the same). However for the general reader you might want to pass unless you really just want to give it a chance.

Genna is a fifteen-year-old girl who wants out of her tough Brooklyn neighborhood. But she gets more than she bargained for when a wish gone awry transports her back in time. Facing the perilous realities of Civil War–era Brooklyn, Genna must use all her wits to survive. In the tradition of Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, A Wish After Midnight is the affecting and inspiring tale of a fearless young woman’s fight to hold on to her individuality and her humanity in two different worlds.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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