Saturday, March 17, 2012

Eye of the Storm, by Kate Messner - exciting futuristic adventure (ages 9 - 12)

There's no doubt about it - so far, the weather in 2012 has been bizarre, from coast to coast. Here on the west coast, we had no rain at all for the entire month of January and February. Now as we are being deluged for 5 straight days, the east coast and midwest are experiencing 70 degree weather in the middle of March!

And yet it's the power of severe storms that really frightens us. Just this week, a tornado ripped through a rural southeast Michigan community, damaging or demolishing homes (USA Today article). Earlier this month,  a large number of tornadoes wrecked havoc "across the South and the Midwest on Friday, leaving behind at least 27 deaths, hundreds of injuries and countless damaged buildings in several states", the New York Times reported.

Kate Messner's newest novel, Eye of the Storm, envisions a not-to-distant future where out-of-control weather threatens everyday life. Tween readers will love the way Messner develops an exciting, suspenseful story in this dystopian novel.
Eye of the Storm
by Kate Messner
NY: Walker Books, 2012
ages 9 - 12
available at your local library, favorite bookstore, or on Amazon
preview available on Google Books
In this future world, monster storms and huge tornadoes rip through communities, forcing people to hide in safe rooms beneath ground. Thirteen-year-old Jaden Meggs is fascinated by the science behind these storms, and is determined to follow in her father’s footsteps figuring out ways to dissipate these life-threatening storms.

Jaden is excited to spend the summer at Eye on Tomorrow, the exclusive summer science camp that her father has founded. But are her father’s intentions purely noble? He has made a fortune creating Placid Meadows, a StormSafe community that no tornado can touch.

Readers will enjoy the action as Jaden and her friends run from their lives from the deadly storms, and work hard to figure out ways they can apply science to solving life-threatening problems. I particularly liked the way that Messner creates a dystopian novel that will draw in children ages 9 - 12; these children are the young side for the brutal violence of The Hunger Games, but they are fascinated by the dark possibilities that our actions today might bring.

Messner spoke this month at the TED conference, sharing her thoughts on why children are drawn to dystopian stories.
Kate Messner begins by asking us, “How many of you have ever played with Legos?” Those of us who have (which is most) already know about world building, and the power of What If? Messner is a writer, and all of her books grow out of What If.
She went on to talk about how through these stories children are able to think about the impact of our current policies and lifestyles, the impact that our decisions today might have on the world tomorrow. I'm hoping that her talk will be shared on the amazing TED video channel.

The review copy was kindly sent by the publishers, Walker Books. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this looks great! Thanks for the review, I will look for this next time I'm at the library. My kids love fantasy adventure books. We just finished The Obsidian Pebble by RA Jones (, and both my son and daughter really liked it, so I'm sure they'll like this one too!