A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler

If you could see into the future – would you look? Jenni Green doesn’t have a choice. On her way to visit her best friend, Autumn, Jenni suddenly finds she’s been transported exactly one year forward in time. Now she discovers that in the year that’s gone by, tragedy has struck and her friendship with Autumn will never be the same again. But what caused the tragedy? How did Jenni skip a year? And can she find her way back to the past to try to change what lies ahead?

Aimed at girls aged about 8 – 14, this is a book which manages to cover time travel, relationships, grief and loss, but all with a light tone which makes it a joy to read.

Liz was a new author to me, but one I will be looking out for, and A Year Without Autumn is now waiting for my girls to pick up. The book moves at a good pace, which should keep most people’s attention. The time travel aspect is well handled.. it’s simply explained, it adds an element which will attract some readers, whilst not being off-putting to others.

For me, the best aspect is that Liz covers some very important themes, looking at grief, loss and change – but they’re so well handled, combined with humour, and an understanding of families and friendship. I would imagine it would be quite comforting to children and young people going through any of the issues or emotions.

Despite being just a tiny bit older than the age range (ok, quite a bit older!) I still really enjoyed it, and found it hard to put down. There are some interesting twists, and it’s not too predictable. It also asks some interesting questions – would you want to see the future if you could, and is it possible to change it?

Highly recommended!

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