The conclusion to Annette Laing’s time-travel young adult series (Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When, A Different Day, a Different Destiny, Look Ahead, Look Back) One Way or Another explores racial tensions and class bias in both present day and the early 20th century. Hannah, Alex, and Brandon are each sent on a separate mission that will connect all of their previous adventures and bring closure to their tumultuous wanderings.
Hannah, pining for her WWII era friends, Verity and Eric, and her mother-figure, Mrs. Devenish, discovers her ability to initiate time travel, and happily finds herself back in Balesworth, England, but in a different decade from her last visit. After things go awry, she finally settles in 1905, taking a housemaid position with the young Mrs. Devenish, who is, at the time, an unmarried suffragist with family troubles. It’s up to Hannah to figure out the purpose and resolution of her task.
Meanwhile, Brandon awakens in 1906 Snipesville–a year he refers to as We Don’t Talk About That–and experiences first hand just how badly the African American community was treated under Jim Crow. Alex, who had begun in England with Hannah, joins Brandon in Georgia, yet because of societal rules, cannot physically unite with his friend. On separate assignments, they maneuver the cultural difficulties, and finally face the dreaded event they were trying desperately to change.
At over 440 pages, this is a hefty read for young readers, however, it offers an intricate explanation of the three time travelers’ ultimate purpose and beautifully ties together the set of characters from each book. Readers already hooked on the series will find the extra-long finale gloriously satisfying. Historical figures featured in this volume include Emmeline Pankhurst, W.E.B. Bois, Booker T. Washington, and Alonzo Herndon. The author has included a detailed Note on the various people, places, and themes highlighted.
This series will delight young readers who enjoy humorous and engaging characters, time-travel adventures, and historical settings. Laing’s writing flows smoothly, and, though detailed, is perfectly paced.
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