Annie Sesstry's family roots trace back to Laverne Fox MacElmurry, a man born in slavery in 1829, and freed after the Civil War. Annie, his twenty-first descendant, is a smart and sassy thirteen-year-old from an upper-middle-class family, anxious to spread her wings.
Annie's mother, a writer, and her father, a history professor and curator at the Smithsonian Institution spend weekends with their children exploring historical and cultural points of interest. Though Annie hates everything about bygone times, her parents insist understanding history is essential to the children understanding who they are and from where they came. One summer day, Annie, her sister Emma, and her cousin Joshua slip through a portal and travel back in time to post-Civil War Georgia. They meet Fox and discover a secret about family time travelers through the generations, learning that history isn't so dull after all.
"Using time travel as a crafty device, Brenda Welburn gifts the reader with a mélange of family history, creative artistry and historical facts that educates and entertains. The eventful journey from contemporary metropolitan D.C. back to post civil-war Georgia where sassy teenage protagonist Annie encounters her ancestral family is riddled with intrigue. While exposing with accuracy some of the terror and darkest moments of the era, the poignant journey illuminates the values, determination, and courage of a people forging a new life of freedom. The window on conditions experienced by our collective ancestors not only underscores how far we have come but reminds as well that the struggle continues".
The Honorable Alice Dear
Former Ambassador, African Development Bank