Journey back to 1939 Harlem in this time-travel adventure with an empowering message about believing in yourself and persevering. Eleven-year-old Ailey Benjamin Lane, a gifted dancer, is certain that he'll land the role of the Scarecrow in his school's production of The Wiz. But when a classmate overshadows him at auditions, a deflated Ailey confides in his Grampa that he is going to give up dancing. Not ready to give up on Ailey, Grampa shares a story from his past. As a young boy, Grampa gave up his dreams of tap dancing even after the unofficial Mayor of Harlem, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, encouraged him to perform. Robinson also gifted him a special pair of tap shoes. A curious Ailey tries on the shoes and is instantly transported back to 1930s Harlem. There he meets a young street tap dancer and realizes it's his grandfather. Ailey thinks he can help the 12-year-old version of his Grampa face his fears, but he must tread lightly--if Ailey changes the past, can it affect his future, and will he ever make his way home? Featuring an all-Black cast of characters and many moments infused with Black culture and history, this is a time-travel adventure that has been waiting to be told.
About the Author
Leah Henderson's writing is filled with stirring stories featuring Black heroes and heroines. She is the author of the middle-grade novel One Shadow on the Wall and Together We March: 25 Protest Movements That Marched into History. She lives in Washington, DC.