It’s not everyday that you come across a book featuring an Afro-Latina time traveler who lands in Brooklyn Heights circa 1863. In author Zetta Elliot’s A Wish After Midnight, Crown Heights teen Genna is transported back in time to her neighborhood in the Civil War era, a wish granted after tossing a coin into the fountain at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Believed to be a runaway slave, she is befriended by a white doctor who lives in Brooklyn Heights. The Young Adult novel touches upon many of the issues of the day – the differences between abolitionists, the New York Draft Riots and more.
Elliot, who is Canadian and now a resident of Brooklyn, discussed the book with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer.