Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm

Kate Messner
For ages 10 and up
Walker , 2012   ISBN: 978-0802723130

Four years ago Jade’s father, who had been loving and close to his only child, left his country and his family so that he could do experiments on tornadoes in Russia, experiments that the United States government would not allow him to conduct in his homeland. Jade’s parent’s marriage fell apart soon after this move and Jade’s father, Dr. Meggs, ceased to be an important part of her life.

   Now Dr. Meggs, who is back in the United States, has asked that Jade be allowed to spend the summer living with him in a planned community that his company, StormSafe, created called Placid Meadows. Jade has been accepted into Eye on Tomorrow, a very prestigious science camp that her father set up in Placid Meadows. Jade’s mother agrees to allow the visit only because Placid Meadows is the safest place in the America at the moment.

   The year is 2050 and global warming has had a big impact on the planet. Thanks to rising temperatures, tornadoes, many of which are horribly strong and destructive, are an everyday occurrence all over the globe. People cannot venture far from a StormSafe shelter and therefore they no longer ride bikes, play in parks outdoors, and go to concerts and other performances in theatres. Dr. Meggs has dedicated his life to finding a way to stop the tornadoes, but so far his research has not been successful. However, he has found a way to surround Placid Meadows with a force field so that its residents never have to worry about a tornado.

   Jade is happy to attend Eye on Tomorrow and quickly makes friend with Risha, who lives in Placid Meadows, and Alex and Tomas, who live on nearby farms. Jade’s father is trying to buy the land around Placid Meadows so that he can expand it, but Tom and Alex’s parents don’t want to sell, even though farmers are having a hard time making a living. It is not easy to compete against the bio-engineered fruits and vegetables that DNA-ture, another of Dr. Meggs’ companies, sells.

   Jade and Alex both have an interest in weather; Jade because her father is in the field, and Alex because he wants to find some way to protect his family farm from the storms. They both know about Dr. Meggs’ failed research, and when they use his numbers in the simulation dome, the tornadoes do not slow down or disperse. The same happens with the numbers Jade and Alex come up with. Then Jade decides to see what her father has in his home office, which is how she finds out that the numbers her father published were not the real ones. Dr. Meggs did find a way to make tornadoes dissipate after all. Why did he lie about his research and what other secrets is he hiding? Jade cannot figure out what her father is up to, and she is reluctant to dig deeper. Until Alex’s farm is hit by a tornado.

   In this powerful futuristic novel we find ourselves in a world where people spend their lives living in fear of storms that might destroy their homes, injured or even kill them. Through Jade we see how hard it can be to decide between protecting those you love and doing the right thing.