Everything in Sam’s world is dingy: the treeless streets, his drab house, the huge freeway in front of the house. Sam is used to it. His mother works as a hair dresser in the suburbs, and his Grandpa Horace stays at home in a wheelchair. Sam would love to have a dog, but he knows not to ask. One more mouth to feed is not a possibility. Then Sophie comes into his life. She is a frightened dog that seems to have emerged from the other side of the dreaded freeway. Through Sam’s desire to find Sophie’s owners and Grandpa Horace’s need for a little adventure, something special happens. Collard’s story gracefully utilizes an accident that creates time travel, while staying grounded in the real world of the city of Enterprise, past and present. Readers root for Sam and his new friends as they battle the evil Cheesebro brothers who have ruined the city. Victories are not won easily, and setbacks are many. Collard’s bit of magic covers a lot of ground in this mystery adventure. Reviewer: Greta Holt AGERANGE: Ages 8 to 12.