The Storm Makers
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The Storm Makers

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  289 ratings  ·  51 reviews
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 twin
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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63rd out of 344 books — 578 voters
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Community Reviews

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Sonia
Aww, yay! :) I loved that ending.

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Ruby and Simon are having a typical summer. They're adjusting to a somewhat new city, the weather is just a little too hot and they're not as extraordinarily close as they were before, but for the most part, nothing too out of the ordinary has happened.

Until it does.

A real page-turner, The Storm Makers guides you through Ruby's life as she tries to adjust to the fact that her brother has the ability of control the weather. As I was reading this novel, I kept th...more
Marsha
This novel borrows themes from L. Frank Baum’s most popular children’s tale to tell the story of one special boy and the incredible destiny that awaits him. The twins are real children—fun loving, disobedient, curious and fiercely loyal to each other and their parents. They are fraternal twins but have begun drifting apart, developing their own distinct natures and diverging interests. Their parents are typical of this sort: loving and kind and yet spectacularly oblivious to their children’s act...more
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Weather has definitely been on our minds. We just had the anniversary of the April 27, 2011 tornadoes, and we're in the middle of a week of unseasonably hot weather. So it's not surprising that I picked up yet another fiction book about weather. What's surprising is that it is completely different from the last one (Eye of the Storm) yet just as amazing! Great for kids interested in the weather and secret societies. But it's also a must-read for kids who have ever felt out of the loop.
Ms. Yingling
Twins Ruby and Simon are living on a farm because their parents are trying to make it as an artist and an inventor, when a mysterious man, Otis, appears in their barn. Strange things start happening with Simon-- he seems to have an electrical effect on appliances, and the weather starts behaving strangely. Otis tells them this is because Simon has a rare talent-- he is a storm maker, and can control the weather. They find an ally in another storm maker, Daisy, who runs the local body shop. She i...more
Angie
Ruby and Simon are twins living on a farm in Wisconsin. It is a hot dry summer with a drought scorching the land. one day Ruby sees a stranger coming out of the barn. Simon is having an electrifying effect on appliances as he shorts out the toaster and the car battery. It turns out that the stranger, Otis, is in town to tell Simon that he is a Storm Maker. he is part of a group that helps control the weather. Otis is not the only storm maker in town; Rupert London also wants to get a hold of Sim...more
Charlotte
Those on the lookout for good American rural fantasy should immediately get their hands on The Storm Makers. It's the story of two twelve year-old twins, Ruby and Simon, relocated from the suburbs to ten acres of midwest farm land by their idealistic (and quite possibly over-optimistic) parents. Ruby and Simon had always been very close, but in their new home, they began to go their separate ways, much to Ruby's regret, and she wonders if "maybe they'd never really been inseparable so much as th...more
Danielle Larca
Twins Ruby and Simon are having an unusually hot and dry, but otherwise ordinary summer on their family's farm - until Ruby spots a strange man leaving their barn early one morning. His appearance sets off a chain of events that neither child could have ever imagined. The man, Otis, has come to find Simon in order to let him know that he is part of a secret society of people called Storm Makers. Storm Makers have the ability to control and tame the weather. Soon, Simon and Ruby must race against...more
Angela
More like a 3.5, I guess. I loved the concept and the actual writing. The cover and page art is also beautiful. The plot structure, not so much. First and foremost, I figured out the big twist about 100 pages in, and for the next 200 pages had to be frustrated with every single other character for not figuring it out, too. ESPECIALLY Ruby, since she's supposed to be smart and wants to be a storm maker so badly anyway. It seems like she'd have reached for anything that could have re-forged her co...more
Hafsah Laziaf
This review was written by my 10 year old sister

Ruby and Simon are twins who’ve lived an ordinary life. So far. As their so called ordinary life continues, strange things start happening, eerily timed with Simons emotions.

When Ruby meets a man named Otis, he tells her the impossible. Otis says her brother Simon is a Strom Maker- part of a group that can control and tame weather. But things are getting scarier and scarier. When Simon suddenly gets sick, a harsh storm attacks the area. Soon aft...more
Brittany
Ruby and Simon are twins, and before they moved to the middle of nowhere, they were close. Now though they have slowly grown apart. That is until some startling news is brought to them. Apparently Simon is a Storm Maker, able to control the weather. Ruby can't even believe that such a thing is possible, but after all the weird things that had been happening it makes a strange sort of sense. There are others like them; other who use their powers to help save lives and others who only want to do h...more
Estelle
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog:

It’s been a long time since I dived into a Middle Grade book. The last time was probably seven years ago when I was in my backyard starting the Harry Potter series. Years and years after it had first been released because I didn’t think I could get into it. Was I ever wrong. As most of us know, Harry Potter is the quintessential good vs. evil, love vs. hate type series. With friendships and magical powers even I could appreciate. Everything abou...more
Adam Silvera
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON SHELF AWARENESS.

In her middle grade debut, Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight) skillfully pairs magic and science to create a whirlwind adventure, both entertaining and educational.

The drought at the new McDuff family farm in Wisconsin has been brutal this summer, and when 12-year-old Ruby finds a stranger, Otis Gray, in her barn, he lists the symptoms that match her twin brother Simon's fever, which seem to be connected to the shifting...more
Elisabeth Jewell
Ruby and Simon, twelve-year-old twins, are passing their first summer at their family's new farm in Wisconsin, when a mysterious man shows up to explain that the strange weather they've been having is attached to Simon's mood and that Simon is the youngest (and potentially the most powerful) Storm Maker the world has ever seen.
A delightful middle-grade reader with a girl narrator telling the story, but centered around her twin brother (thus making it palatable for readers of either sex).
It is a...more
Jeff Raymond
Jennifer E. Smith is an author I know because of her awesome YA book The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Her doing a weather-based fantasy for middle readers? Count me in, I thought! Unfortunately, the book didn't meet my expectations.

The concept is great - we learn that there are people capable of controlling the weather, and one of our two child protagonists is one of them, and may be one of the strongest yet. What results is a power struggle between the Storm Makers of who wil...more
Laura
At first I thought this was going to be like Savvy, but it wasn't: not everyone has the ability to affect the weather (although I'm not sure that an earthquake is a type of weather, but whatever). Usually it's a skill/talent that emerges when the person is in their 20s, but in this case, Simon is only 12 - the youngest StormMaker ever.

The McDuff family has moved to a farm in Wisconsin, where they will make a living off Dad's invention, Mom's painting and a few crops. At least, that's the plan. B...more
Angel
Posted on Seashell Reviews at Mermaid Vision Books!

I have many dear memories of favourite middle-grade novels, like The Giverand Bridge to Terabithia. They served to ignite my imagination and tell me truths adults may have been reluctant to share with an 8- or-9-year-old.The Storm Makersis a novel worthy of joining those much-loved books. The POV and narration were stellar, lively enough to keep young readers' attention but insightful enough to please older readers as well. In fact, there was an...more
Dru
A story of twins, the boy who has weather powers and girl who does not. Told from the perspective of the girl and it really works. Characters have real motivations and feelings, and the conflicts are authentic and entertaining.
Snorkle
This had an intriguing premise. It also looked like it might be reminiscent of Savvy. That’s why I picked it up at ALA. Plus it had Brett Helquist artwork on the cover and I’m a pretty big fan of him. The story was engaging and I was interesting in seeing how the twins would handle themselves under pressure. Though I wasn’t sure I entirely felt the plot was as serious as it was portrayed. I liked the story and the struggle between the twins to find peace. It was a fun read and I liked the dramat...more
Clayton Yuen
This young adult adventure was warm and captivating, a story of a brother's and sister's love for family, and how they react to their new found talent as Storm Makers. The storyline generously builds the bond between Ruby and Simon, and their newly found friends, and they are thrust upon an mysterious path of weather reckoning.

I give The Storm Makers 4 stars for the story and the concepts, and definitely for the development of the characters. It would have been 5 stars if it didn't drag in place...more
Julie F
I read this out loud to my kids.

Overall, excellent plot. The idea of people who have super powers that allow them to create weather (Storm Makers) is a refreshing breath of air in a wasteland of dystopian novels. Excellent attention to detail and the character development is great. Readers will be cheering Ruby and Simon and Daisy and Otis on.

But, I have to agree with other reviewers that this book is too long to hold the attention of middle graders and the pace is rather slow.

I read the ARC so...more
Laura Phelps
A slightly different take on Kate Messner’s Eye of the Storm (this one is less dystopia, more fantasy). Ruby and Simon are twins who have been relocated from their comfortable suburban home to the prairie. What starts out as a dull summer turns exciting quickly, as it becomes apparent that Simon has some very unusual powers - the ability to change the weather. As forces both good and evil compete for Simon’s powers, the twins try to make sense of their new reality. Slow to get rolling, this one...more
Judy
Nov 05, 2012 Judy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Childreb un grades 3 to 5
The first half of the book wasn't exciting enough to keep my attention; I put it down and ended up finishing it a month later. The latter half of the book, though, is mush more entertaining, with two factions of storm makers fighting over whether to ameliorate the severe weather brought about by climate change or to increase the ferocity of extreme weather events in order to punish the people who mistreated the earth and caused the climate change. Humankind's role in causing climate change is ac...more
Helen
This fantasy possible WAW nominee is a borderline yes for me. It was ok and I really enjoyed the illustrations, but the story was a bit hard to swallow! It's about twins Ruby and Sam who find out they are storm makers and part of a national society that has been taken over by a hothead who wants to make weather worse to teach people to take better care of the earth. Otis and Daisy are storm makers helping Sam and Ruby figure out how to create weather and trying to defeat London and his plans.
Carly
Jun 15, 2012 Carly added it
Shelves: 2012, tbf-author
Stated simply, "The Storm Makers" is great children's (middle grade) literature. Beautifully written - not at all a surprise, considering Jennifer Smith's skill with prose - "The Storm Makers" has a plot that goes beyond fun and fluff to tackle bigger questions like the complexity of good versus evil. Children will relate to Ruby and Simon, who are expertly developed characters, and discerning readers will appreciate the novel for both its form and content.
Stacy Goodworth
Read it with my niece who loves mysteries. The story is not a mystery, but the mysterious characters were interesting to my niece. She really got involved with the story. We had a great time reading it together. It's not a complicated plot, but was perfect for my young niece. Honestly, I enjoyed it, too, but I like a good story that can reel you in. And this one was pretty good, as far as tween lit goes.
Ellie
Meh. I put this down before bed one night and never felt like picking it up again. What I read of it was fine, but I didn't feel super compelled to finish it. I think the story was dragging a bit and I didn't really care about the characters. Also, I think there may have been too many other characters behaving too cryptically mysteriously for me to get into this one.
Annabeth Paige
This was a very upbeat book that kept you thinking about what could happen now. This book is good for people who like science or magic(or both). Storm makers gave me a surprize at the end by have to storm makers to make a storm. This was an easy book to read but a good one. I really liked Ruby because she always thought before she did and was thinking logically.
Lisa
Jun 08, 2012 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 4th, 5th, 6th
I enjoyed the aspects of sibling rivalry and fantasy in this book. The "big twist" was one I could see coming from the second chapter, but it was still a nice read. Would work well for boys or girls and doesn't necessarily need to be for kids who like fantasy. Nothing inappropriate... a little bit of drama in the big finale, but no bad language or yucky kissy face.
Mandy
Ruby becomes concerned when strange things begin happening and how her twin brother Simon suddenly feels “under the weather.” They both then learn that Simon is a Storm Maker and is highly sought by other Storm Makers to work with them. One Storm Maker, Rupert London, is particularly interested in Simon; but not for the best of intentions.
Great Books
Twelve-year-old twins Ruby and Simon are spending their first summer at the family's new farm in Wisconsin. Strange things begin to happen that coincide with Simon's moods and emotions. A mysterious man shows up to announce that Simon is the youngest and potentially the most powerful Storm Maker to ever exist. (reviewer #5)
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805184
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned her master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. Her writing has been translated into 28 languages.
More about Jennifer E. Smith...
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