Tuesday, April 3, 2012

If you've been following the blog for any length of time, you might know that I have the bestest book soul-mate (BBS) ever, one Michele from A Belle's Tales.  You might also be aware that I went to ALA Midwinter in January and came away with quite a few awesome books.  Problem is, I now have TOO many awesome books to read and review before their release dates. 

Since I picked up a quite a few middle-grade titles, I decided to enlist the help of said BBS's little protégé, the one and only Mckenzie. Mckenzie just recently celebrated her 13th birthday and is at the perfect age to read some of the hottest MG titles releasing this year. She's also a reader, just like her mother, and was ecstatic to not only read these ARCs for me, but also review them here on the blog.

And, so, without further ado, here is Mckenzie's review of The Storm Makers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Title: The Storm Makers
Author:  Jennifer E. Smith
Series:  n/a
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  April 3, 2012
Source:  ARC

Enter the world of The Storm Makers, where there's magic behind every forecast.

What starts as an ordinary summer turns exciting and perilous for twins Ruby and Simon when strange occurrences begin happening on their farm -- sudden gusts of wind, rainstorms, and even tornado warnings -- that seem eerily timed to Simon's emotions.

Then a stranger arrives and tells the twins that Simon is a Storm Maker -- part of a clandestine group of people entrusted with controlling and taming the weather -- and that he is in great danger. Soon Simon and Ruby must race against the clock as they try to master Simon's powers in time to stop a rogue Storm Maker's treacherous -- and potentially deadly -- plans.

In this thrilling new adventure, loyalties can shift as quickly as the wind . . . and the ordinary can turn extraordinary in the blink of an eye.

Ruby and Simon McDuff are two very ordinary twins… or so they think. Once they receive a visit from a strange man named Otis, they aren’t so sure any more. Otis explains the reason for the turn of events in the weather lately. Like freak snowstorms all over the US, and even hot, scorching droughts in Wisconsin. Much to Simon's shock, Otis informs him he is a Storm Maker. Storm Makers don’t necessarily make weather, in spite of their name, but control it to protect the people of the earth. It’s hard to understand at first why Simon can’t seem to make as much as a snowflake or a gust of wind. Things aren’t working out quite right, and they’re all starting to doubt whether he’s really a Storm Maker after all.

Then, a new character comes into the picture… a very mysterious and somewhat shady Rupert London, who Ruby distrusts immediately. And for good reason. A Storm Maker gone bad, London has decided to get even with the people of the world for all they’ve done to ruin the environment, such as oil spills, car fumes, etc. He has decided to destroy parts of the earth (killing people while doing so) by working to create tornadoes, hailstorms, and even avalanches. Ruby, Simon, Otis, and Daisy (another Storm Maker) have to work together to stop London from completely ruining everything Storm Makers stand for: controlling the elements to help people in danger - such as slowing down a hurricane, or holding off a forest fire. But London has other plans in mind…

An interesting, absorbing story with a wonderful twist at the end (gotta love those), The Storm Makers is a perfect story for anyone who loves reading about weather and exciting events that are very realistic. Jennifer E. Smith has sucked me in like a tornado with her excellent writing skills. Even though this is a kids’ book, the story is full of beautiful writing for all ages. Just out of the blue, like a flash of lightning (see what I did there?), a superb quote such as this would catch my eye:

There are days when time splits down the middle, and before and after no longer bear any resemblance to each other.”

I must name a few of my favorite characters:

~ Ruby: I adored Ruby, because she was a very bookish girl (who wouldn’t love a girl like that?) and a very smart person. She was always giving scientific facts and explaining things to people. Ruby was definitely a lead character that I had no trouble liking.

~ Otis: Otis was by far my favorite character in the book. He was so sweet, and I just loved him! He’s the kind of guy who you just like instantly. He was always looking out for Ruby and Simon, and he always had the right thing to say.

~ Daisy: As a mechanic on the side, and a Storm Maker full time, Daisy was a quirky and interesting character to read about. She was a lot like Otis in the way that she was a wise and good person, but her back-story was heart-breaking. I love Daisy because she reminds me of my mom. No, no, my mom is definitely not a mechanic… (hahaha) but both my mom and Daisy have useful insight whenever there’s a problem. They also are both good people and fun to be around (and no, she did not pay me to say that).

I want to mention the occasional illustrations throughout the book - I loved them! Ms. Smith has written a wonderfully exciting book. It’s hard for me to believe this was her first kid’s book, and I hope she writes many more!

A huge thank-you to Jeannette at the Starry-Eyed Revue for sending me this ARC! You rock, Ms. Jen! Thank you bunches!

Rating:  Photobucket

No, I bet Michele didn't have to pay you to say that, Mckenzie!  In fact, I know I've gone to her more than once for her wonderful words of wisdom, and well, she's obviously good people...she raised one fine daughter, and I think that says a lot about her.  :D
I've got The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight sitting on my shelves as we speak, and after this wonderful review of Jennifer E. Smith's The Storm Makers, I think I'll have to make time to read both very soon.
Thank you soooo much for your lovely review, Mckenzie!  I can't wait to see what you're reading next!


  1. Thank you so much for sending her this ARC and for your sweet words. She adored the book, and we both adore YOU. She also says to tell you that having her review on your blog makes her feel like a rockstar. LOL! <3

    1. I'm sooo glad she loved it. I hate giving people books I haven't read myself because you just never know, so I'm very glad she enjoyed it. And ever so grateful to her for reviewing it for me! :)

  2. Omg KK, love this series because it sounds like ME!! Also love the character and witticisms you've put into this beautiful and fun review!

    1. She did an awesome job, didn't she?!? I hope she'll come back and do it again!

  3. Great job, McKenzie! I'm glad you loved this book. I think Jennifer E. Smith is a fabulous author. Its a great thing when you connect w/so many characters.

    Jen- great idea I think it's cool to know Whst the kids think about the books we adults are talking about. My 9yo niece is reviewing an MG for me in May. I can't wait!

    1. Awesome! It's great reviewing these books ourselves, but it is definitely something else to get a kid's take on them. I can't wait to read your niece's review!

  4. Wow, awesome review! Could McKenzie please write reviews for my blog too, please? :D I love finding great middle grade books, and this one sounds really, really fun. Great job!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Um, can she write ALL of my reviews for me from here on out? :P She did such an amazing job!

  5. http://inthenownovels.blogspot.com/

    Please check out and follow my blog that would be amazing(:

  6. Awesome job McKenzie!!!! You are going to give me and your mom a run for our money with those awesome reviews :) Keep it up! I can't wait to see more of them :) The book sounds interesting. I used to like to do reports on tornadoes and stuff for school :) so it sounds like something I might like :)

  7. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.


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