Writer Kate Messner dazzles the reader with her futuristic storm thriller, Eye of the Storm. Set in the years to come when Global Warming has created dangerous storms that wreak havoc across the world, the main character — Jaden Meggs — and her friends must try to thwart her own father and a mysterious relative (I won’t give it away) from using technology to create and nurture dangerous tornadoes as military weapons.
(Note: Kate gave a talk at TED about this book idea. I can’t find the video yet but here is a blog writeup).
What I liked about Eye of the Storm was the fast-paced action, the full immersion into a possible future where weather patterns disrupt all of society, and the development of Jaden as a smart, insightful, resourceful girl whose strengths in math patterns and meteorological awareness (is that a real phrase? It should be, right?) become the key to solving the problem. It occurred to me, too, how this kind of science-based fictional text might start finding more of a home in classrooms under the Common Core shifts, as a science teacher and an ELA teacher could easily join together to use this as a central text for reading, with many extensions out to informational text around weather patterns, Global Warming, and science/math ideas. (or maybe I am too immersed in Common Core these days?)
But, on a more important note, I am sure I can find some students who will eat this story up, and while it does fall into the outer bounds of the recent shifts into dystopian fiction, Eye of the Storm is something different. There’s less the dark end-of-the-world feel to it all, and more of a hopeful we-can-solve this element that I enjoyed (I am getting a little weary of the woe factor in recent fiction).
This was my first Messner book, but now I feel like I should get her most recent novel — Capture the Flag.
Peace (out of the storms),