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A Year Without Autumn Paperback – September 11, 2012


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A Year Without Autumn + Philippa Fisher and the Fairy's Promise + Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker's Daughter
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780763660604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763660604
  • ASIN: 0763660604
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The author of Philippa Fisher’s Fairy Godsister (2008) again explores the hazards of wishes that come true. Here, when the close families of sensible, routine-loving Jenni and her exuberantly larger-than-life BFF, Autumn, meet for their annual week’s vacation in a time-share colony, Jenni idly thinks it would be cool to know what’s coming—and after a ride in a strange antique elevator suddenly finds herself a year older. More shockingly, so is everyone else, and she witnesses Autumn and her once-tight family coming apart in the wake of a devastating accident the year before. After further rides reveal even more dismal events two and three years later, including the breakup of her own parents, Jenni finds a way to return to her present and by the narrowest of margins avert the catalyzing mishap. A crowd-pleaser for fans of uncomplicated light fantasy, the novel is enriched by simply drawn characters, an intensely suspenseful climax, and an upbeat ending sweetened by both strong affirmations of friendship and a romantic subplot in the supporting cast. Grades 4-7. --John Peters --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Preteen readers will likely be swept up in the suspense of Jenni's journeys back and forth in time.
—Kirkus Reviews

More About the Author

Liz Kessler used to live in Manchester but had taken a year off to travel around Europe in a camper van. She studied English at Loughborough University, has worked as a teacher and a journalist and has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
39
4 star
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3 star
6
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See all 66 customer reviews
Jenni must deal with everything and figure out how she keeps ending up in the future.
S. Power
I found that premise to be very entertaining and interesting, although there really is no mention of how or why this old elevator has this ability.
Jadecat
The story and the writing held my interest ~ there's mystery, suspense, drama, depth, and it's a great ride!
Heather LaRee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Power TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler follows Autumn and Jenny who are headed to the timeshare that their families have vacationed at for years. While on the way to Autumn's house Jenni takes an elevator and finds another woman in Jenni's apartment. She soon learns that the elevator has taken her one year into the future, a future where Jenni and Autumn's life has fallen apart because of a horrible accident. Jenni must deal with everything and figure out how she keeps ending up in the future.

This is a terrific and original book about how one thing can change everything and how loss and tragedy can effect a whole community. A book of family and friendship. I loved both Jenni and Autumn and the interaction between their families. The magic aspect was added perfectly and even slightly believable, making it just a little more than a contemporary novel. I finished the book very quickly and couldn't put it down.

Appropriateness: There is no adult content in this book. There is no romance (except a bit of matchmaking with older characters) and the middle school age characters act like normal middle school aged students. I would recommend this book to readers 10-14
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heather LaRee VINE VOICE on October 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm an adult and I really enjoyed reading this story about two girlfriends with this time travel twist. The story and the writing held my interest ~ there's mystery, suspense, drama, depth, and it's a great ride! Nicely done. I appreciated the journey all the way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Young Mensan BookParade on June 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book 'A Year Without Autumn' is about two 12 year-old best friends, Jenni and Autumn, who meet every year with their families at a vacation spot for one week. While Jenni is there, she stumbles upon a time-traveling elevator that takes her one year into a completely messed-up future, and must try to save the two families' ways of life, and her friendship, from ripping apart.

I think kids would enjoy this book because it is exciting and is entwined with a true friendship.

My favorite part would be in the end of the book when Jenni is on the trail to the solution to setting things right. I think this book is special because of its great story idea.

I think girls ages 9-12 would like this book and find it interesting.

Review by Young Mensan Paige, age 13
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams VINE VOICE on June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
Even with a younger brother and another sibling due within about a month, Jenni Green is accustomed to routine. For their yearly holiday, the family goes to the same condo on the same week (just before school starts in the autumn).

Jenni's best friend is named Autumn, and Autumn and her family go to the same condo units Jenni's family does, and Jenni and Autumn are inseparable. Even though Autumn's family is much more free-and-easy than Jenni's, a few minutes apart seems like too long for these young girls.

Once when Jenni is running late to meet with Autumn, she takes an old elevator in Autumn's condo building. When she leaves the elevator, everything is strange; Autumn is not in that condo anymore, but a less-expensive one. Jenni learns that this is one year later, and a preventable accident had happened to Autumn's brother the year before.

With her newfound knowledge, could Jenni have prevented this accident? If so, how? And can she do so on time? That's the idea behind this novel for ages 9-12: if we had a chance to do over, would we, if we could? How would we do it?

My primary reason for holding at four stars is because this novel is meant to be set in England, and I detect some occasional "translation" from British English to U.S. English, such as "pleading the fifth." With the UK setting, please leave the British English from a British author alone!

Who am I: A college English instructor who also has a library science degree.

How I obtained my copy: Borrowed from a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Hauer VINE VOICE on April 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I waited a while to review A Year Without Autumn because I wanted my 11 year old daughter who is in the target audience for this book to read it as well and share her thoughts. To be honest, she said it was boring and she didn't like it. She enjoys books like Veronica Roth's Divergent and other books with fantasy schemes such as turning into a mermaid. I really thought she would enjoy this as well but in retrospect, she's not much about interpersonal relationships which is the meat of the book, not the aspect of time travel and changing your destiny. I think the majority of 9-12 year olds would enjoy A Year Without Autumn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Amara VINE VOICE on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I read books aimed at a younger audience than my middle-aged self, I try hard to put myself back into my younger reading days. I read extremely avidly as a child and teen, and I almost wish time travel was true, so I could go back and give myself this book to read. I would have considered it a masterpiece! I liked it very well even at my age.

The story in brief---Jenni mistakenly finds a way to jump back and forth in time by a year at a time. She finds that some horrible things have gone wrong, and she needs to figure out how to fix them, and in the process, to better understand herself and her friendship with her best friend, Autumn. Telling any more would give away too much of the plot.

Time travel is always full of paradoxes, and this book mainly deals with them by ignoring them, which I liked---when you are in the mood for some good old time travel, you don't need to worry about how it works or why it works. This is really more of a story of a friendship, a friendship of a kind that often happens with girls in their early teens. One girl is dominant over the other, not in a controlling way but just by force of personality, and for the friendship to progress, this needs to be equalized a little. The time travel allows this to be shown in a unique way.

I would say this book would be most enjoyed by girls about 10-14. Any younger, and the subjects might be a little too scary, any older, and it would probably not be detailed enough or complex enough to be completely satisfying, although I am pretty sure someone with an interest in time travel would still enjoy it, as I did. Nice writing!
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