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