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Parents' Guide to

Yesterday Is History

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Black teen time-travels to 1969 in fun, lean gay romance.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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There's lots to celebrate here for the genre of queer young adult romance fiction. Yesterday Is History features a strong positive role model hero in time traveler Andre, and positive supporting characters accompanying him throughout his journey. Andre is also a great everyperson teen boy, eager and happy with his newly granted ability to time travel, but responsibly careful and ethically reflexive regarding its power and danger. Structurally, the different time periods provide a nice platform for Andre to comment on various differences and developments since 1969 in terms of civil rights, gay and queer rights, and women's rights. There are plenty welcome comments throughout that establish where Andre is coming from that include socioeconomic, racial, and sexual identity observations. The romance and love between both Andre and Michael and Andre and Blake feel genuine and different.

Some readers may be slightly disappointed that the only characters of color are Andre, really, in that his parents appear only briefly and his half-Japanese best friend, Isobel, is also barely in the novel. Andre's two love interests, Michael and Blake, are both White teen boys. First-time author Kosoko Jackson, who's African American, may have made Blake's family rich and White to make a point about how White privilege (and time travel) can lead to great wealth. Nevertheless, some readers still may feel a bit let down that both love interests and all the other primary characters in the book are White.

Book Details

  • Author: Kosoko Jackson
  • Genre: Romance
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • Publication date: February 2, 2021
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: February 18, 2021

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