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Backtracked by Pedro de Alcantara


by Pedro de Alcantara

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"By the day I was born, on April 3, 1990, I had already lived several lives. But I didn't learn about them until Tuesday, February 28, 2006." Tommy Latrella can't do anything right. Scratch that -- he can't measure up to his older brother Jimmy. Jimmy was a young firefighter who died trying to rescue trapped people in the Twin Towers on 9/11, and he is the permanent family hero. Tommy, on the other hand, has a lot of potential and absolutely zero motivation to do anything other than ride the subways from Brooklyn into the other boroughs of New York City and occasionally slap some graffiti on walls and beams. After a prank that goes wrong in the Times Square station, Tommy is thrown back in time, to 1918, where he is rescued from jail by Italian immigrants who need laborers to build the subways. He is given a home in a Lower East Side tenement, finds friends, and then loses everything once again in a subway crash... which throws him into 1938. In the depths of the Depression, there is starvation, homelessness, and no jobs in New York City... unless you're willing to work for the bootleggers and the Mafia. A third ill-fated trip on the Third Avenue El (elevated train) throws him into 1942 and the middle of World War II, where he joins the Army and has to think about not only himself and his friends, but now his country as well. Living through historical times gives Tommy a lot to think about... but will he ever be able to get home and try to make different choices in 2006? Lots of good historical details: same places, different times in history, and if you've been there it wil be all the more interesting! Some language, best for 7th grade and up. ( )
  KarenBall | Sep 23, 2011 |
Great YA book, historically accurate, goes back to creation of NY subway in 1918, fast forward to the Depression in 1932, then America at war in 1942. Tommy Latrella does it all; returning to his own time of 2006, a changed person. Great character development.
  SidneyJostes | Dec 8, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385734190, Hardcover)

Tommy Latrella is haunted by the ghost of his “perfect” older brother, who died on 9/11. Unable to live up to Jimmy’s memory, Tommy spends countless hours riding the subway and “tagging” the stations with graffiti. But when Tommy plays a dangerous prank in the Times Square station, the subway turns on him, and Tommy is hurtled back in time.

As Tommy travels, he experiences the hardships faced by the New Yorkers that preceded him, and gains perspective on his own comfortable life. But will he ever be able to get back to 2006? Tommy is desperate to mend his ways and get back home, but the trains may have other plans for him. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

While playing a dangerous subway prank, a fifteen-year-old slacker, who lives a comfortable life in Brooklyn, falls through a time-travel vortex and is transported to different time periods in twentieth-century New York City, where he learns firsthand about hardship.… (more)

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