Sixteen year old Tommy Latrella has a difficult time living up to the reputation of his older brother, a firefighter who died during the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Tommy is a talented basketball player but he skips class, rarely does homework and is in danger of losing his scholarship at a private high school in New York City. After a fight with his father, he runs away from home. In the last few moments before his bus leaves for Las Vegas, Tommy witnesses a young girl slipping off the subway platform and without thinking he jumps on the tracks to save her.
He survives, but wakes up in New York City of 1918. Working with immigrants to build subway tracks, Tommy learns to speak Italian, earns a quarter per day, and lives through the influenza epidemic that killed millions. Another subway “accident” throws him into 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression. This time his talents as a card player lead him to work for the Mafia during Prohibition. In order to escape arrest, hej umps off a subway platform and wakes up in 1942, in the midst of World War II. Tommy enlists in the army and appears to be on his way to Europe.
Tommy’s adventures include many thoughts about how he would change his life if he ever returns to his own time. This engaging novel of historical fiction allows the reader to see events of the 20thcentury with a new perspective – through the eyes of someone who lived them. 256 pages
Recommended by Deborah E. Cohen