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Storm Watcher Paperback – May 5, 2013
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"STORM WATCHER is a brilliant and beautiful tale of how the simple, honest love of a dog can help a lonely boy find his way out of the darkness. Subtle, powerful and highly recommended." Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Flesh and Bone.
"I just finished reading STORM WATCHER and I loved it! Of course, I am a dog lover, so that aspect had great appeal. But I also liked the deeper themes about grief and recovery, and the complicated family dynamics. As I got closer to the end, I couldn't put it down! I'm so glad to read an emotional book from a boy's POV." Lee McClain, author of Sizzle.
"Snyder's lightning strikes again with STORM WATCHER's tale of ordinary people fighting to become heroes in the face of things they fear most. Luke's story is by turns funny, touching, and achingly real, as Snyder harnesses a lifetime of expertise about meteorology, dogs, and life in small towns." Morgan Keyes/Mindy Klasky, author of Darkbeast.
"This deftly plotted story will engage readers of both genders with its fresh storyline. When 12-year-old Luke Riley's mother is killed in a lightning-related accident, Luke's fear of severe weather is heightened and his grief is exacerbated by guilt, as he believes it was his panicked phone call to his mother that caused her to be out in the storm...Intertwining family relationships, weather science and search-and-rescue dog training, this coming-of-age story relays themes of friendship, grief, challenge, fear and responsibility without didacticism or melodrama." Kirkus Reviews
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Having just lost his mother, Luke and his brothers live with their father who is a famous Search and Rescue leader. There’s a lot of family dynamics that are brewing just under the surface. Whether that’s Luke struggling with his own guilt and demons, or his interactions with his bullying brothers, or even his thin relationship with his father, the is a lot of emotion going on in this book. Luke blames himself for his mother’s death and is sure that his family blames him too. That’s certainly a lot to place on a young kid, who has no friends and a large anxiety towards thunderstorms.
But Snyder handles gentle Luke’s character gracefully, allowing his insecurities and flaws to shine through. The family’s grief is dark cloud, floating in and out of the atmosphere of the tale, making the family and their challenges very real to me. I wanted to slap awake Dad and tell his brothers to shut up. And that’s the beauty of the story. It resonated with me because the characters are so real, their motivations so clearly sprung from their loss.
The secondary characters are fun and full of life. The story brought me in and held me there, my heart cracking slowly for Luke and warming for the dogs. I am a dog person. Yes, I have rabbits. But I am a dog person. Snyder brings all of the sweet dogs to the forefront, loyal heroes who add yet another layer of warmth to this world.
I really enjoyed Storm Watcher, reading it in two nights as soon as I got home from work. It’s a satisfying book about family, love and grief.
So there's Luke dealing with loss and guilt and when his birthday rolls around he should be happy because hey his dad has said he can have his very own puppy but Luke remembers happier times and conversations about something that his dad will think is a barking mad idea! Yet Luke gets a chance to work towards his goal and along the way friendships form as two families face their own personal troubles. These are just ordinary people facing their own personal demons but written so well it's heartbreaking and just pulled this reader in. Poignant, emotional and yet joyful too as distance is obliterated and families come together. No matter how dark the day a little light can still be found.
I was gifted a copy if this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Four and a half from me