Let’s celebrate Black History Month with
The Door at the Crossroads by Zetta Elliott
I had the pleasure of reading Door in January as part of the Cybils speculative fiction judging. There’s so much to like about this book: time travel, romance, historical fiction, and an African American author!
One summer night, Genna Colon makes a fateful wish that sends her and her boyfriend Judah spiraling through time. They land hours apart in the city of Brooklyn—and in the middle of the Civil War. Genna is taken to the free Black community of Weeksville, but Judah suffers a harsher fate and is sent to the South as a slave. Judah miraculously makes his way back to Genna, but the New York City Draft Riots tear them apart once more. When Genna unexpectedly returns to her life in contemporary Brooklyn, she vows to fulfill the mandate of sankofa: “go back and fetch it.” But how will she summon the power she needs to open the door that leads back to Judah?
The special bit about this story is that it incorporated a person of color’s perspective in the story. Genna’s family is Black and Hispanic and while it’s not a big deal, it is a big deal, because when young Genna travels back in time, she suffers the fate of black women in the South. What isn’t a big deal is that in modern Brooklyn, she’s just another girl with boy troubles.
Anyway, check it out. The Door at the Crossroads is a sequel so be sure to read A Wish After Midnight first. It’ll make more sense that way.