Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Book Review: Storm Blown by Nick Courage


Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: Storm Blown
Author: Nick Courage
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: Hardcover; 352
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Source: Publisher
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Content Screening: Mild Injuries / Tense Situations

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who are looking for an extremely well written look at hurricanes, and the ways that they affect people and animals.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
A major hurricane is raging across the southern United States, and two unsuspecting kids are about to have the adventure of a lifetime! Perfect for kids who love high-stakes plots and natural disaster movies, and anyone interested in extreme weather!

A little rain and wind don't worry Alejo--they're just part of life at the beach. As his padrino says, as long as there are birds in the waves, it's safe. When people start evacuating, though, Alejo realizes things might be worse than he thought. And they are. A hurricane is headed straight for Puerto Rico.

Emily's brother, Elliot, has been really sick. He can't go outside their New Orleans home, so Emily decides to have an adventure for him. She's on a secret mission to the tiny island Elliot loves. She's not expecting to meet up with an injured goose or a shy turtle. And nothing has prepared her for Megastorm Valerie. Soon Alejo and Emily will be in Valerie's deadly path. Who will survive?
Where was a book like this when I was a middle grade reader because, wow, this was an adventure and a half! Natural disasters have always fascinated me. I think it was that if I knew more about them, they were less scary. Or, well, maybe the same amount of scary but I at least felt informed. Either way, I would have loved reading Storm Blown as a young reader. As it stands, I loved it a whole lot as an adult reader as well.

Nick Courage pits a whole cast of characters against the might of Megastorm Valerie. I could only watch in mixed parts horror and awe as the storm raged, and lives were put in the way of it. I loved how Courage doesn't just show how storms of this magnitude affect people and their cities, but also how they affect animals in their wake as well. It was also so refreshing to see people making realistic decisions because, as we all well know, people don't always evacuate when they're told to. Those decisions, and the consequences that came along with them, were half of the draw of this book. It's not hard to love characters when they feel like real people that you'd honestly be worried about.

As for the plot, well it flies by so quickly that there isn't time to blink. Courage manages to ratchet up the tension, without making things too scary for the younger set of readers that might pick up this book. That's not to say that there aren't times were things feel a bit dire. The end of this book had me so tense that I thought I might fall of the bus seat I was sitting on. However there's always a little inkling of hope. Just enough to keep you rooting for the character, person or animal, and hope that they come through everything okay. I teared up at the ending of this book y'all, and I make no apologies for it.

The science of storms is well mapped out in this book, for sure. If you've ever been interested at all in how megastorms develop, or the type of damage that they can cause, this is absolutely a story that you'll love. It's nice to be reminded that the majesty of nature contains things that are infinitely beautiful, and also absolutely terrifying. It's that balance between the two that makes living on our planet such an amazing experience.

Read this! Read it with your young reader and discuss it, read it by yourself, or read it with a book group. Trust me, you won't be sorry. This story is exciting, and also timely I think. As our climate changes, and storms like this become more normal, I think they need this kind of discussion. I honestly hope to see more from Nick Courage very soon.




FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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