I loved this idea!
Jenni and Autumn are best friends. They don't even spend vacations apart. They are the kind of friends that can't imagine what it would be like to be without each other.
Like many middle-grade relationships, it is an unbalanced friendship. Autumn is far and away the leader. But Jenni is still at the stage of life where she does not really mind because it's such an adventure to see what Autumn will come up with next.
Then Jenni accidentally discovers a time warp. She travels forward a year to a time when Autumn's little brother is in a coma; Autumn's family is breaking apart; and Jenni's own family is cracking. The cause of the coma is a horseback injury that happens because Jenni was swallowed by the time machine and missed the outing that she and Autumn had planned.
After several trips in the machine, to an increasingly dark future, a future in which Autumn and Jenni become entirely estranged, Jenni tries to go back to fix the future. To erase the accident. In the end, salvation comes down to a new-found self-reliance. Jenni learns that not only can she take charge of their friendship, but she must if she wants it to endure.
This is a beautiful coming-of-age tale. It is also a cautionary tale to those who are content to sit back and follow the leader. Yes, these are universal and well-covered topics, but time-travel and the details of dissolution it reveals make this story a unique addition. Jenni is a great kid who, like many of us, has to learn that she's great the hard way!