Written by Jane Petrlik Smolik
Review by Viviane Crystal

The delightful power of imagination compels three young girls to send a very special message and object in a sealed bottle in the Atlantic Ocean, one which travels from Virginia to England’s Isle of Wight and back to Boston in the 1850s. “Agnes May Brewster, Born: July 1843, Colored Slave,” says the first message sent by “Bones,” who is severely punished for learning to read and write, and who discovers true power and love. Her sense of freedom rises above her state of servitude. Lady Bess on the Isle of Wight receives the message sent by Bones. Bess’s father is an explorer, and her stepmother is a shrewish woman who sells the family treasures for her aristocratic lifestyle, while Bess’s newfound friend, Harry Fletcher, shares Bess’s love of what is truly treasure. A family bracelet is sent with Bones’s message in a bottle and received by Margaret Mary in Boston. The transforming world of story, based on actual magazines and stories of the times, fuels the characters’ dreams of adventure in this wonderfully crafted novel. Delightful YA historical fiction!