Monday, February 9, 2015
The Storm in the Barn
Candlewick Press, 2009
In Kansas in the year 1937, eleven-year-old Jack Clark faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his father’s failed expectations, a little sister with an eye for trouble. But he also has to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness. Certainly a case of "dust dementia" would explain who (or what) Jack has glimpsed in the Talbot’s abandoned barn — a sinister figure with a face like rain. In a land where it never rains, it’s hard to trust what you see with your own eyes — and harder still to take heart and be a hero when the time comes. With phenomenal pacing, sensitivity, and a sure command of suspense, Matt Phelan ushers us into a world where desperation is transformed by unexpected courage.
I have seen this book go by so many times at work and it never caught my interest. The only reason I picked it up was because I saw it on the list for best children’s graphic novels. I’m so glad I did! This book needs a better cover.
It was kind of historical fiction fantasy. Or maybe historical fiction magical realism. I don’t know which. Goodreads described it as a tall tale - I like that. I definitely loved the story. The art and use of color was amazing, too. It did a great job of showing time and location.
Even if readers don’t like historical fiction, they should give this book a chance!