Snyder, Maria V. Storm Watcher. Leap Books, 2013. 184p. $10.99. 978-1-61603-033-9.
Cover Appeal: Action lovers, kids who like storms
Immediately After: The cover doesn't do the book justice and is slightly deceptive. Really should have put at least one of those dogs on the cover.
Luke is having a hard time coping with his distant father and annoying older brothers. His twin brothers, Jacob and Scott, spend a lot of time teasing Luke and his father never stopped them. Ever since their mom died, Luke doesn't feel like he is a part of the family any more. In addition, his birthday is coming up and he doesn't know how to tell his dad that he doesn't want a bloodhound like everyone else in the family. He wants a papillon.
Not being able to talk to his dad is only one of Luke's problems. He is also afraid of storms, or any bad weather. Luke spends a lot of time glued to The Weather Channel so he can be prepared when a storm arrives. He stays home when things get bad outside and he wishes everyone else would also stay safe.
Luke gets a summer job helping out at Storm Watcher Kennel for the summer. He hopes that he can earn enough to get the dog he wants instead of the one his dad wants. He meets Megan, the owner's dad, and they become fast friends while helping Megan's mom, Willajean, train dogs for Search and Rescue. Luke believes he can change his dad's mind about papillon if he can show how good they are at Search and Rescue, his dad's job!
When Megan's father moves back home, things get complicated. Luke also decides he can't tell his father the truth about the dogs which leads to more complication.
How will Luke and Megan get back on track with their families?
This was a deceptively simple read. On the surface it's the story of a boy trying to find his place in his family, now that his mother has died. In reality, it's so much more as each person in Luke's family tries to create a new dynamic without the person that held them all together. Luke being the youngest, and most sensitive, takes a huge burden on himself. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I still enjoyed the read. I look forward to sharing this book with our 6th graders.
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About the AuthorWebsite | Facebook
Maria V. Snyder writes adult and young adult fantasy novels and short stories. Formerly an environmental meteorologist, she earned a Masters degree in writing from Seton Hill University; she is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Storm Watcher is her first middle grade novel. You can contact her at maria [at] mariavsnyder.com.
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