Of all the places to grow up, Kip Carringer spent his youth in the secluded little town of Arno. Strange things were common there but no one seemed to notice, except for Kip that is. There was a witch living in the woods and all year long it was Autumn. And as if that’s not strange enough, all the birds around the town and through the woods mooed like cows, instead of chirping or squawking like birds are supposed to do.
Kip was determined to uncover the secrets of the town, all while trying to convince his best friend Marleigh that he wasn’t crazy. However, unknown to Kip, adventure was waiting for him just around the corner. Adventure that would be filled with pie stealing creatures and a dark, dark looming shadow.
I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
What is “normal”? Could, perhaps, “normal” be changed with a little bit of magic?
Kip is a normal 12 year old boy. He goes to school, deals with bullies, likes to draw, and even has a crush on a sweet girl. What’s not normal is his town, though no one seems to really care that it’s always autumn and that birds moo. But, Kip may have discovered the ability to create a new “normal”, or at least explain why their town’s “normal” is what it is.
This middle grade story is one I am very glad I read! Kip and Marleigh’s friendship reminds me of Jess and Leslie’s friendship from Bridge to Terabithia; with Kip being a quiet, artistic, and bullied individual, and Marleigh being his loud, adventurous, and cheerful companion. Another young friendship that came to mind as I read about Kip and Marleigh was young Mr. Fredrickson and Ellie’s friendship at the beginning of Disney’s movie Up!.
The story is exciting, adventurous, and heightened with a little bit of action. There is a witch mentioned in the story, along with magic, that some parents may be wary of, and also a dark shadow that turns other people into shadows (I only mention this because it’s common for middle graders to be scared of the dark). Though there are plenty of family values present, along with self-sacrifice, and displays of courage that make it a unique book in today’s middle grade market.
Overall, I was pleased with both the story and the illustrations, but the main thing that sold this book for me was the sweet, innocent, unromantical friendship that is so like the middle grade books I grew up reading and not the ones that are so popular on the market today that thrive only on drama. I give Autumn Eternal 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10-13.
Rayleigh is a Freshman in college with a major in Accounting and long-term goal of being a CPA. She is an avid reader of all genres, and just as much of her time is spent writing as it is reading. She is the Associate Editor and Web Manager for PURSUE Magazine, in addition to posting her monthly articles on their blog. Rayleigh interns for Hartline Literary Agency where she advises authors in the best way to market their books. She is also a Social Media Manager for various businesses.
Her writing pseudonym is Rae Leigh and she is in the process of seeking publication for her Dystopian novella, Program MIRA.