Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5
Genre: realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? Tornados are rare in New England, but they do happen, and this one occurs in western Massachusetts on the night of the sixth grade graduation dance. When Maddie’s and Avery’s homes are both destroyed by a tornado, the middle-schoolers find themselves temporarily living in the same house. This would be challenging under any circumstances, but the awkwardness is increased because, during the dance, Avery danced with Maddie’s best friend instead of with her. In addition, Maddie’s dog was lost during the tornado and she is desperate to find him. Maddie experiences all of the emotions one would expect of someone who just lost her home and is navigating the ups and downs of preteen relationships. The hopeful ending should satisfy readers, and the authentic voices of the characters should keep readers turning the pages. Readers should also check out the acknowledgments, where the author explains how the book came to be written.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I liked everything about this book.
To whom would you recommend this book? Read Alikes? Recommend to readers who enjoy realistic fiction with a sympathetic protagonist. Also recommend Catching a Storyfish by Janice N. Harrington, Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Like Magic by Elaine Vickers.
Who should buy this book? Middle schools and public libraries should find this title popular. I had several tweens ask me about it when they saw it sitting on my desk. They were intrigued by the title and jacket art.
Where would you shelve it ? Middle-grade fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Maybe in the middle of the pile.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA
Date of review: July 10, 2017