|Book of Storms (Book of Storms)|
Author: Hatfield, Ruth
Volume 1: When his parents disappear after a fierce storm, eleven-year-old Danny, unaccustomed to acts of bravery, comes to their rescue after finding a valuable shard of wood that enables him to talk to plants and animals and battle terrifyingly powerful enemies, including the demonic Sammael.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 173519
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 71386
Kirkus Reviews (+) (10/15/14)
School Library Journal (07/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (02/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2014 Danny’s parents often leave him home by himself when they chase storms, but this time, when he wakes to find them still missing and the old sycamore tree in their backyard destroyed by lightning, he is worried that something is terribly wrong. And if that weren’t enough, the tiny stick he finds amid the ashy remains of the tree seems to give him the power to talk to plants and animals. Sammael, a spooky demonic figure, is after that powerful stick, and he starts to pursue the 11-year-old, leaving ruin in his wake. Meanwhile, Danny follows mysterious clues in his parents’ journal to locate the Book of Storms, which holds not only the secret of his parents’ whereabouts but also instructions on how to control the weather. Hatfield infuses her debut with a macabre, Neil Gaiman–esque sense of folk magic and chilling scenes of light horror. Though the pace occasionally flags thanks to Danny’s sometimes belabored decision-making and a few confusing plot points, middle-schoolers making their first forays into dark fantasy will be pleased by this series opener. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2014 Gr 5 Up—This debut novel is an entertaining fantasy adventure set across a modern European landscape. The book follows 11-year-old Danny O'Neill as he struggles to piece together the seemingly incomprehensible details left behind by a devastating storm. The quest takes him deep within himself where he must find courage that he never knew he possessed. The conflicts that arise range from loneliness and feeling like an outcast to demonic forces and strange powers of communication. The book is paced well throughout, aside from a climax that leaves a little to be desired. Readers will truly root for the protagonist and find very relatable characteristics within the villainous Sammael. Hatfield also manages to include some deeper topics that will hit home hard with some students, an applaudable feat considering the overall fun nature of the story. The true beauty of this tale lies in the personification that runs throughout the entirety of the novel. Not only does Hatfield take readers inside the thoughts and minds of all sorts of flora and fauna, but she uses their observable traits to guide their humanistic presence in very believable ways.—Chad Lane, Easton Elementary, Wye Mills, MD - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2015 Eleven-year-old Danny is used to his parents chasing storms, but when they don’t return home after a giant one, he shakes himself out of his fear and decides to find them. Aiding him is his brand new magical object, a stick that allows him to communicate with elements of the natural world, though Danny is still very much on his own as a kid with scarce clues and a desperate longing to find his beloved parents. Danny is being sought even as he’s searching, though: Sammael, an evil, haunting otherworldly creature wants the stick for himself. The gripping pace and complex moral musings (even Sammael experiences his own sort of flawed love for an animal companion, and the personification of Death is flawlessly nuanced in her uneasy neutrality) pair with a setting that is so vividly described that it becomes a character in itself. Readers will eagerly anticipate the next volume in this anticipated trilogy, particularly after a breathtaking final chapter that leaves more open than it resolves. AS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.