cover image Chasing Helicity

Chasing Helicity

Ginger Zee. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4847-8038-1

Thirteen-year-old Helicity Dunlap, named after a physics term relating to a particle’s spin, loves storms, science, and math. After she isn’t placed in honors classes for the coming school year, she goes for a horseback ride and is far from home when a tornado hits. Helicity’s western Michigan town is destroyed, and her football-star older brother is injured while searching for her. In the aftermath, Helicity meets a meteorologist/storm chaser named Lana who gets her a handsome tutor named Sam, so that Helicity can prove to her parents that she belongs in the honors classes. It takes her father some time to come around, but Helicity is eventually allowed to go on a storm-chasing trip with Lana and Sam. But tragedy strikes there, too, and a cliffhanger sets up a sequel. Meteorologist Zee deftly balances the science of storms, their fascination to storm chasers, and Helicity’s angst and family problems. Readers should easily relate to Helicity’s longing to follow her passion: “Wind, moisture, pressure, temperature—there was so much about the weather that she didn’t know, and so much she wanted to understand.” Ages 8–12. (Apr.)