It is bizarre and life-altering when almost thirteen-year-old Kate Kaplan and her mom inherit a Chicago brownstone from a long-deceased relative. The relative, August Kaplan, was the great-great uncle of Kate's father, who left his wife and child for a girlfriend and a loft apartment, but the will makes it clear the inheritance is for Kate and her mother, and no one could need it more.
It is a fabulous house, full of antique furniture and strange instruments. After all, August Kaplan was a great scientist. In a hidden part of the basement, Kate discovers a locked room and a trap door in the floor that leads to a closed off tunnel – except on rare occasions when the far end opens to a time gone by when her triple great uncle lived. Stepping into the past takes courage, but how can she resist the enchantment? It's magic!