Monday, April 12, 2021

TORNADO BRAIN by Cat Patrick

I'm very behind on my reviews, but I've been enjoying some wonderful middle grade books as well as picture books. Now that I'm on my spring break, I'm hoping to catch up a little because I do have a great list of books that need to be shared!

Why you want to read this book…

All the characters in this story felt so real! Their dialogue, actions and situations were all realistic and individual -- no exaggerated stereotypes here. Since the main character, Frankie, noticed things that others did not, she was able to put together clues to help solve the mystery of what happened to one of her friends.  But the main reason why I enjoyed this story so much was the heartbreak and the difficult emotional journey of navigating friendships.

The author carefully included unique details to show what Frankie experienced, which helped me to stay very absorbed in the story. As a writer, I was interested to study how she used flashbacks to develop the story. I also liked the tornado facts sprinkled into the story!

I think I'll remember this story long after reading it. It made me think about how an event or situation can seem different depending on your perspective. I definitely learned something from diving a little deeper into a way of thinking that is different from my own.


 Here’s the summary from the publisher:

Things never seem to go as easily for thirteen-year-old Frankie as they do for her sister, Tess. Unlike Tess, Frankie is neurodivergent. In her case, that means she can’t stand to be touched, loud noises bother her, she’s easily distracted, she hates changes in her routine, and she has to go see a therapist while other kids get to hang out at the beach. It also means Frankie has trouble making friends. She did have one–Colette–but they’re not friends anymore. It’s complicated.

Then, just weeks before the end of seventh grade, Colette unexpectedly shows up at Frankie’s door. The next morning, Colette vanishes. Now, after losing Colette yet again, Frankie’s convinced that her former best friend left clues behind that only she can decipher, so she persuades her reluctant sister to help her unravel the mystery of Colette’s disappearance before it’s too late.

Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick was published by G. P. Putnam's Sons in 2020. I read an e-book from my local public library.


If you’re looking for another thought-provoking, or maybe funny, middle grade book to read, check out Marvelous Middle Grade Monday on Greg Pattridge's blog.


  1. There's a sequel/companion novel as well, Paper Heart.

  2. This sounds really interesting with the mystery of what happened to her friend. Such an intriguing title too.

  3. I haven't heard of this one. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the review. :)

  4. The title sounds so descriptive. Looks like one I'll have to read.

  5. Love the title, makes you stop and think about it's meaning. This mystery is new to me and I enjoyed your thorough review. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Very compelling story line. I remember seeing a review a while back but had forgotten to add it to my future read list. Thanks for featuring on today's MMGM.

  7. I had seen this book, but I didn't see what it was about—it sounds fantastic! I appreciate you sharing it today!

  8. This sounds intriguing. I really like that it shows that kids who are neurodivergent do want friends. That seems to be a stereotype that doesn't die. I'm totally intrigued. And facts about tornadoes! Thanks for featuring this! And I hope you are enjoying your spring break!!!

  9. I loved TORNADO BRAIN. I also recommend THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY and Temple Grandin's CALLING ALL MINDS (NF). They both explain neurodiversity in different points of view. Thanks for your review.

  10. Wow. This one sounds terrific! I just put it very near the top of my TBR list. Thanks for telling me about it.


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