As the child of two musicians, twelve-year-old James has no interest in music until he discovers a portal to seventeenth-century London in his uncle's basement, and finds himself in a situation where his beautiful voice and the fact that he is biracial might serve him well.
In 1758 in Scotland, teenaged Jamesina MacKenzie finds her courage and resolution severely tested when she is abducted by "spiriters" and, after a harrowing voyage across the Atlantic, sold as a bond slave to a Virginia planter.
Sixteen-year-old J.J. uses his mentor's invention to go into the past, accompanied by two earlier versions of himself, to exorcise his love for a beautiful girl, and discovers a mystery involving another of the professor's inventions.
Ten-year-old Rosemary thinks the word "Time" cut into a stone in her aunt's old herb garden should be spelled "Thyme" until she picks a sprig of the herb around it and discovers herself back in the eighteenth century.
In 1842, eleven-year-old twins, whose father runs a boat on the Juniata Canal in Pennsylvania, learn of a Harrisburg bookseller's plan to steal Charles Dickens's newly finished novel while Dickens himself is touring the U.S.
When their pregnant mother gets sick on the eve of their move from California to Pennsylvania, the four younger Smith children find themselves in the custody of the city leaving their twelve-year-old sister Boo, with the help of eccentric old Auntie Moss, to somehow trace their whereabouts and get the family back together again.
Just after moving into their grandmother's house in Pittsburgh, the five Smith children must uncover a long-standing scam to steal the houses of old people before Grandma Smith loses her home. Sequel to "The Big Smith Snatch."