Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Lerangis, Peter. Throwback
October 1st 2019 by HarperCollins
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Corey and his friend Leila live in New York City near Central Park West with their families. Corey's grandfather, Papou, hasn't been around for a while because he has gone to Canada, and Corey misses him. His grandmother was killed in one of the Twin Towers during 9/11. When a picture from Leila's aunt causes Corey to hallucinate that he has traveled back in time, he soon finds out that it is not a hallucination-- Papou is a member of the Knickerbocker club and has the genetic ability to "hop" through time if he has a metal artifact from a particular year. Corey has inherited it. Not only that, but after a trip to 1862, Corey realizes that he is a rare "throwback" who can actually alter the linear flow of time. Papou has tried and tried to save his wife, but has always failed, which give Corey the idea to try himself. Unfortunately, he gets stuck back in 1862 after he is robbed of his cell phone and coins from the present day. He falls in with Quinn, a cowboy from the west, and the two work together to try to find out who robbed him so he can get back. In the present day, Leila is worried, but also finds out some interesting information from her aunt that might help. Will Corey be able to survive and make it back to his own time?
Strengths: My major pet peeve with time travel books is that they usually don't fix things in the past. What's the point in that? I loved Voyagers! for that reason. The workaround that only Corey can change the past is brilliant. Papou is a great character who is present just enough to get Corey started and support his time traveling without being overbearing. The description of the neighborhood, the family history with the church that was founded, and the Greek (Paithi mou! When I lived in Athens, there was a shopkeeper who called me that every morning on my way to class while she was sweeping her sidewalk!)were all such nice connections that made the story really resonate. Quinn was fun, and the reaction Corey had to a secret Quinn held was the best #MGLit moment of the year for me! I'm not a fan of being in NYC, but it's a place that is certainly fascinating to read about.
Weaknesses: Some younger readers might be a little confused by some of the sections set in 1862, and I could have used a bit more explanation about what happened to the aunt.
What I really think: Time travel books are something I absolutely love, but are a hard sell in my library. However, including 9/11 is a brilliant thing, because we have teachers who do a unit on that historical event, and the children become enthralled. All the rationalization I need to buy this book, which was very well done and enormously fun!

We have 35 minute class periods today because of the Democratic debate that is being held today at Otterbein College, which is less than a mile from my school. There was a Republican debate here in 2008, but it was on a Sunday. The traffic patterns in Westerville are NOT supportive of a huge influx in people during the work week.

A better venue, Democratic Party, would be the Fraze Pavilion near Kettering. Lots of parking, out in the middle of the country, amphitheatre for 4,000+ people. Much easier to block roads off for security.

But hey, I get to wear tennis shoes during the work day.


  1. Good luck with the traffic! I am adding this one to my list. It sounds fun. I also recommended it for my nephews. Their "Papou" is very important in their lives.

  2. When I heard the debate was in Westerville, OH, I immediately thought of you and wondered how your town would handle all that influx of candidates, media, security, etc. Charlotte held the DNC in 2012 and it disrupted downtown traffic and took bus riders way off their usual path. The RNC will be here in 2020 and I wonder how that will affect things. I'm still waiting for Charlotte to host the Manly Men Who Love Reading convention.