Philomel. Aug. 2023. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524738624.
Gr 3-5–In beloved author Graff’s latest effort, McKinley O’Dair has created the perfect 1990s outfit for the annual Time Hop, and she cannot wait to walk in the fashion show with her best friend, Meg. When her rigid father humiliates her at the event, and she has a terrible fight with Meg, McKinley suddenly finds herself transported back in time to 1993. With help from Meg’s mom—then, a middle schooler herself—McKinley searches for a way back, all while learning what supportive friendship can look like. This is well-worn ground for Graff, who favors protagonists on the path to bettering themselves. The story is at its most effective when exploring the nuances of relationship dynamics, particularly between McKinley and the kid version of her dad, an endlessly frustrating prankster who has little interest in her efforts to be kind, forcing her to confront truths about herself and the father she knows now. Graff makes sure to nod to time travel predecessors such as Madeleine L’Engle and H.G. Wells, and immerses readers in everything 1990s, from the cultural references to the chapter titles, each of which is a hit song from the era.
VERDICT Fans of Graff will surely gravitate towards this approachable middle grade story with a splash of sci-fi to spice things up.

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