Miles and Zoey have just moved to Texas after their parents’ separation. While Zoey is grateful for a fresh start, Miles misses his father and friends back in California. But the family tree book in the attic and the old oak tree outside will bring surprises to both.
Suddenly, they find themselves transported back to Virginia in 1857, helping a runaway slave reach freedom. As black children, they may also be mistaken for slaves, and they’re forced to run with him. Luckily, they know enough history to be a help rather than a hindrance to the man they’re assisting.
History books can’t capture what black fugitives faced in their daring escapes to freedom. In Miles and Zoey, kids get a first-hand look at the fear and the danger of being on the run, and the exhilaration upon reaching the Canadian border, a free man at last.
Kids will relate to the siblings bickering with each other, but pulling together when it really mattered. They’ll even learn some history along the way. My one small nitpick is the use of he/him and she/her interchangeably, not according to the proper rules of grammar. But overall, Miles and Zoey is an exciting, fast-paced book that really draws the reader into the story and historical setting.
Reviewer: Alice Berger