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Reviewed by Francine Zane for Readers' Favorite
In The Chronocar, science fiction meets history in a dynamic tale of time travel. When Tony finds a science journal about time travel, he combines this new found knowledge with his own near genius talents to design a Chronocar. His first trip is to meet the gentleman who wrote the paper, a Dr. Semmie Johnson who was once a slave but escaped a harrowing ordeal in search of an education. Through trial and error, Tony learns the true dangers of time travel on both history and the future.
I enjoyed both the plot and the history and science that were introduced into the story to provide the validity to the time travel theories. Combined with interesting characters and believable scenes, I found The Chronocar an excellent read that I would recommend especially to teens and young adults.
Steve Bellinger’s story also fills a much-needed niche by featuring black main characters. While Bellinger used racial tensions to add drama to the story, he balanced the dangers of being a minority through history with the fact that not all whites were bigots any more than all blacks were ignorant. He is a master storyteller who takes the time to set the scene with both historical facts and memorable characters. I especially enjoyed how he chose times in history that were unexpected, such as starting Semmie Johnson’s story after the Civil War and choosing a quiet time in history for Tony to make his trip back to Chicago, just prior to the Chicago race riots of 1919. By choosing relatively quiet times in history, the reader gets a better feel for what the everyday man experienced.