Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bridge of Time by Lewis Buzbee

In Bridge of Time, two eighth graders each receive the same news - their parents are getting divorced. The two are best friends with opposite names; one is Lee Jones and the other Joan Lee. The next day on a class field trip, they climb into the lighthouse at Fort Point in San Francisco, fall asleep, and wake up in 1864 with a young Sam Clemens. The book follows their adventures as they move through time, visiting San Francisco in many eras, and learn more about each other and themselves.

This book is aimed at middle schoolers. Having both a male and a female main character is a strength. Historical information is presented in a meaningful manner that adds to the story without getting in the way. Aside from being "unstuck" in time, the kids have problems that other middle schoolers will relate to.

I do have an issue with the cover. Joan Lee is Chinese, and one of the themes in the book is the prejudice the Chinese faced in 1864 San Francisco. However, the girl on the cover, seen from the back, has light brown hair and does not look Chinese. It's too bad the cover could not be honest about the fact that one of the main characters is Chinese. [NOTE 3/17: I'm happy to report that I heard from the author, who said "the final cover does not present any confusion over Joan's background." I'm happy to hear it, and a big thank you to the author for the clarification.]

In any event, I enjoyed reading an advance release copy of Bridge of Time. It is scheduled to be published in May 2012.

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