cover image The Storm Makers

The Storm Makers

Jennifer E. Smith, illus. by Brett Helquist. Little, Brown, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-316-17958-4

Twelve-year-old Ruby is having a long, hard summer. First, her popular twin, Simon, is revealed to be a Storm Maker (“one of a very small group of people in the world who have the ability to influence the weather”), and she finds out that Rupert London, chairman of the secret Makers of Storms Society, is harnessing Storm Makers to create extreme weather-related disasters—and has Simon in his sights as a successor. Joined by a wise Storm Maker, who has a long history with the chairman, and a scrappy mechanic, who specializes in earthquakes, the twins work together to thwart London’s plan. Smith’s (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight) first middle-grade novel is a bit slow to unfold, but it’s easy to root for the twins, especially smart, science-savvy Ruby, who stands by her brother while struggling with her jealousy about his special status. This is fairly straightforward good versus evil plotting, but readers who stick with it should be impressed by a late-in-the-game twist regarding Ruby. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM. (Apr.)