Cover image for The Book of Storms
Title:
The Book of Storms
Author:
Hatfield, Ruth, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2015.
Physical Description:
357 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
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.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.2 11.0 173519.
ISBN:
9780805099980
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Eleven-year-old Danny O'Neill has never been what you'd call adventurous. But when he wakes the morning after a storm to find his house empty, his parents gone, and himself able to hear the thoughts of a dying tree, he has no choice but to set out to find answers. He soon learns that the enigmatic Book of Storms holds the key to what he seeks . . . but unraveling its mysteries won't be easy. If he wants to find his family, he'll have to face his worst fears and battle terrifyingly powerful enemies, including the demonic Sammael himself.
In the beautifully imagined landscape of Ruth Hatfield's The Book of Storms , magic seamlessly intertwines with the everyday, nothing is black and white, and Danny is in a race against time to rescue everything he holds dear.


Author Notes

Ruth Hatfield is a sometime archaeologist, sometime technician who lives in Cambridge, England. When she's not writing or digging or making circuit boards, she spends her time belting around on a bike and roaming the countryside on her cantankerous horse. The Book of Storms is her first book.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

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.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Eleven-year-old Danny O'Neill awakens after a thunderstorm to find he's been abandoned by his parents and suddenly is able to speak to plants and animals. Setting out to find his family, Danny is plagued by the terrifying creature Sammael, a sandman who inhabits dreams, bargains for souls, and wants Danny dead. With a distinctly British wit, debut author Hatfield weaves a dark and twisted tale in the vein of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, as Danny searches for the titular book-"just a flat black shape in the darkness, full of some kind of promise"-along with his cousin and protector Tom. In this trilogy opener, Hatfield creates an imaginative, whimsical world filled with distinctively voiced flora and fauna and other strange characters, including her personification of Death as an old woman who cradles the newly deceased like a grandmotherly angel. Hatfield doesn't shy from depicting violent deaths or the occasional bit of gore, but the story is never gratuitous-the frights are just enough to keep readers' hearts racing as they read late into the night. Ages 10-14. Agency: Lindsay Literary Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.