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|Year without Autumn|
Author: Kessler, Liz
Jenni's vacation with her family and best friend Autumn goes awry when an old elevator takes her to a disturbing future and she must prevent what she has seen from coming true.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.80
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 151872
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 56464
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (09/15/11)
School Library Journal (12/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (12/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2011 The daughter of a therapist and a teacher, Jenni is shy, conservative, and never-ever brave, while Autumn is the outgoing, friendly, and über-cool offspring of two artists. Despite their differences, the two have been besties since birth, and their families are about to spend an entire week together at their vacation homes right before the girls start seventh grade. Several days into their trip, however, when Jenni goes to Autumn’s condo for a visit, she finds an old lady claiming not to know an Autumn, and later when she does find her friend, Autumn is a completely different person-sad, lost, and utterly un-Autumn-like. Somehow, Jenni has gotten herself transported a year in the future, where she discovers that Autumn’s little brother lingers in a coma after a horrific accident and both families are falling apart. Once she discovers that the condo’s elevator jumps the space-time continuum, Jenni plans to use this to save Autumn’s brother and get both her friend and her family back. The time-travel ploy is an interesting device to explore the curious paths of “what-if,” but because it seems fairly inevitable that Jenni will indeed find a way to prevent the accident, the ongoing events lack necessary urgency. Most of the scenes are driven primarily by dialogue, placing the focus squarely on the relationship between the two girls, but their interactions become increasingly unbelievable, as the girls begin to sound like each other’s therapists instead of middle-school friends. Frances O’Roark Dowell offers a more nuanced portrayal of girl friendships at a precipice, but this offering of vicarious tragedy may still find an audience among the readers whose imagination take them to the more dramatic what-if scenarios. KQG - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2011 Gr 5–7—Twelve-year-olds Jenni and Autumn are best friends looking forward to their families' yearly stay at a time-share condominium complex. When Jenni gets into an elevator that she expects will take her up to Autumn's condo, she discovers that it has lifted her into the future instead, a year ahead of the present. As she moves back and forth between both time periods, she learns that a tragic accident has had a terrible impact on both families, and she must figure out a way to change the present to avoid the tragedy. Kessler deals sensitively with divorce and death, offering readers a plot that is grounded in reality despite the time-travel element. Everything comes together in a tidy ending that readers will find satisfactory. Dialogue is a weaker aspect of this novel-it's a bit syrupy and unnatural at times, which reduces the emotional impact of the story.—Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.