Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani (9781250156365)
When Shaheen can’t find her father anywhere, she and her cousin Tannaz try to figure out where he might have gone. They check out the vintage record store he loves, but it’s closed and the owner is nowhere to be found either. The two girls decide to break into the store and discover an unplugged jukebox. When they play one of her father’s favorite records, the jukebox takes them back in time to when the songs were being performed at a concert. At the end of the record, they are taken back to their regular lives. As the girls work to figure out why Shaheen’s father hasn’t returned, they also learn that there is a cost to time travel and one that they may have to risk to save him from the past where he is trapped.
This graphic novel for middle grades is a wonderful mixture of music and time travel. The various songs that they time travel with feature well-known musicians and then are artfully combined with social justice moments in history. The story centers on the two Indian-American protagonists who are different from one another but willing work together to solve the mystery. With a look at race and civil rights, the two girls traverse time learning a lot along the way.
The art is fresh and colorful. Using a time travel visual as well as record covers, it has a clear distinction between the modern part of the story and the historical events the girls witness.
A groovy graphic novel worth a spin. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
Reviewed from library copy.