Jenni Green is on her annual holiday to the usual set of apartments when she accidently finds herself moved forward in time one year. Many changes have occurred in her life over the 12 months she has missed – and in the life of her best friend Autumn, her family and the other holiday makers. The story follows Jenni’s discovery of her future life and portrays well her reaction to a very different world. Once Jenni discovers how she can travel back in time again, she attempts to resolve the problems which have occurred and prevent tragedy from happening.
Known for her younger fiction, Liz Kessler’s A Year without Autumn fills that gap between primary and secondary novels perfectly. Its simplicity also means it would appeal to reluctant readers higher up Key Stage 3. The book charts the development of girl into teenager in such a way that girls in particular will find accessible and relevant. The sub plot featuring Mrs Smith and Mr Barraclough adds a heart-warming aside, whilst the tension surrounding Mikeys accident creates a rounded novel which will keep readers engaged. Characters are likable and the relationships between them – especially Jenni and her family – are believable and often amusing!
There were times when I felt the prose jarred slightly – which could possibly be interpreted as patronizing by well-read ‘tweenagers’, but on the whole the novel has a magical warmth which is sure to make it popular. I enjoyed the book and will be recommending it to students in my Library.