Monday, December 3, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Eye of the Storm

Today’s pick:  Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner

Scholastic, 2012

From the Back Cover:
In the not-too-distant future, huge tornadoes and monster storms are a part of everyday life. No one is safe…except the people who live in Placid Meadows, a one-of-a-kind community that even the worst tornadoes always seem to pass by. Luckily, it’s where Jaden Meggs is about to spend her summer while she attends Eye On Tomorrow, the exclusive science camp that her father’s company created.

At camp, Jaden meets Risha, a new friend with a head for numbers and patterns, and Alex, a boy from a storm-ravaged farm outside Placid Meadows. Together they try to find a way to stop the storms that cause so much fear, but instead they discover a dark secret about Jaden’s father. Soon, a summer of cool science turns into a heart-pounding race to expose the truth and save countless lives when Jaden, Risha, and Alex face down the biggest storm of all.

My Take:

If you’re interested in tornadoes, you’ll definitely enjoy this story! It builds into a fast-paced adventure and mystery that kept me hooked right to the end. This is a sci-fi novel, so there are lots of high-tech gadgets (like the storm simulation devices) but main emphasis in the story is on solving a problem that gets more complicated as the story moves along. The relationships between the characters are realistic and I enjoyed Jaden’s struggle to feel comfortable with her family members and her father. A great story for both boys and girls!

From a writing perspective, it was interesting to see how the author constructed a story where someone important to the main character was acting suspicious. This was a good way to create a lot of tension, but I can imagine it was tricky to balance the main character’s emotions and not let her father become too much of a “bad guy” since, after all, he was her father.  I'd read this story again and again, though, just for the writing. There are lovely phrases here which I didn't always catch the first time through because I wanted to see what happened in the story.   

 Favourite quotes:
"Above the humming of the computer and the beating of my heart and the rain pounding on the window, I hear another sound that makes my heart freeze in my chest."

"It feels like time should have stopped when the storm rose back into the sky, like this problem should be solved forever now that it's gone."

"Because hope has to start somewhere. And a glimmer is better than nothing at all."
Other info:

Kate Messner lives near Lake Champlain.
On her website Q and A, Kate Messner writes about how she records ideas: "I carry a notebook with me, so when I have an idea, I can scribble it down right away before I forget."

She also explains why she writes for kids: "I believe the books we read as kids are books that help shape us, in a way that adult books can't quite do, no matter how beautifully they are written."
Kate Messner's other books are also great reads! To see my thoughts on another one of her books check out: Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. 

Other books written by this author include:
Capture the Flag, 2012
Sugar and Ice, 2010
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., 2009

For more, visit Kate Messner’s website.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was dreamed up by author Shannon Messenger. Visit her blog for an up-to-date list of all the bloggers who are participating and posting about middle grade books today!


  1. This one has been on my to read list for a long, long time. And you've reminded why I want to read it. Sounds fantastic and sounds like one I should buy. Thanks!

  2. I've read Capture the Flag but not her other books. This one sounds exciting!

  3. I really enjoy your reviews. They are thorough and I also like how you look at it both from the reader's pov and the writer's pov because they are totally different perspectives.


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