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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A sixteen-year-old stowaway discovers her destiny on Noah’s ark in this riveting reimagining from award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli, available in time for the March 2014 major motion picture Noah.

The rain starts suddenly, hard and fast. After days of downpour, her family lost, Sebah takes shelter in a tree, eating pine cones and the raw meat of animals that float by. Wi
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  280 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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May 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
The writing in this book was terrible! It was choppy and thoughts felt unfinished all the time. I didn't feel a pull to the characters at all and I didn't care what happened to the people. I did find myself caring about the animals but she made the bonobos way too intimate and it was a bit much at times.
Noah and his family were portrayed as very normal people with very normal problems, including hating the ark. How miserable it must've been for them at times! I wish Napoli would have developed
Mandy anderson
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am very torn between a 3 and 4 star rating. I enjoyed this book. A LOT. However there were some things I found a bit off putting, mostly in its brief portrayal of Noah. It did give me a better perspective for the terrible choices that would have been placed upon Noah and his family. Even though they are saved, it would have been extremely difficult, God doesn't take away our troubles He helps us through them. It left me thinking, and will probably do so for awhile.
Interesting premise, but this book fell a bit short for me. Noah seems a few animals shy of a full ark (if you know what I mean) as well as demanding and almost cruel. I think I was expecting more interaction between Sheba and Noah's family - a real change to the well known story rather than Sheba basically observing it.
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
The first third of this book was great and really impressed me. I was actually enjoying it, but then it got weird. Portraying Noah's family as a very dis-functional and slightly crazy. A 16 year old pregnant girl sneaks onto the ark and hides for quite some time in the apes cage before giving birth to her child aboard the ark. Then she finds another stowaway on board as well. A very interesting premise went down hill quick.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF this was a giant pile of trash!
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an average, good books. To be honest I had no expectations going into this book. For the most part I stay away from these kinds of books, but this one was great. It was unlike anything I have ever read, and kept me intrigued until the end.
Angela C
Even if you didn’t grow up going to church or studying the Bible, chances are you’ve probably heard the story of Noah’s Ark. Whether you believe it really happened or consider it just another flood myth, you’re likely familiar with the story of how God spoke to Noah and warned him that a great flood would destroy the earth. God directed Noah to build a gigantic boat and gather two of each kind of animal, one male and one female, onto that boat. Once Noah had done so, rain began to fall and didn’ ...more
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I'll admit, I went into this book being a little wishy-washy over it. Retelling Biblical stories can go horribly bad, especially when introducing fictional characters. And Noah's tale is very particular—all the earth was flooded, and only Noah and his family were saved. There are no stowaways on the ark.

But this is fiction, and I'm forced to read it believing that this tale is fiction.

Sebah is an interesting character. She's a farmer, and by some divine miracle is saved in the great flood and ma
Lisa Bernstein
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
In some ways, this book reminded me of the Tom Hanks movie, Castaway. At first, I was unsure how a single character, alone, could make an interesting story. Yet, the story is captivating, and, in time, she does interact with others. The author takes the familiar Biblical text and adds the main character as a stowaway on Noah's ark. The story is a fun read...especially if you know a bit about bonobo animal behavior going in!
Mary Farrell
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This novel has a beautiful voice, and setting is fabulous. Great to read a familiar story turned on it's head. The main character, a girl who sneaks onto Noah's ark, is brave, resourceful and tender. I loved her. Like the characters in the book, I got dreadfully tired of being on the ark, which I guess was the point.
Erin Reilly-Sanders
See School Library Journal for review
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 14-16, religion, retelling
Noah's Ark stories are weird, they make me feel sorry for the animals, and this one is no different.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Noah. It's a classic and powerful story of a man and his family's sacrifice to save mankind through the arm of God. I expected something moving, for my eyes to flood with a thousand salty tears as a young girl finds a faith and cause to believe in. Instead I was splashed. The type of splash you get when you get a full-face of salty sea water in your eyes.

That type of splash

Napoli offered a good premise. A young girl (as my grandpa bluntly put it when seeing the cover) "hitch-hiking on the ark."
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought this was an excellent book, but I think it might be misunderstood by readers.

This is a retelling of the story of Noah with modern language. Other modifications are imagined conversations and scenarios set in the appropriate time (the third millennium BC) and place (the land of Canaan).

Sebah (later called Shebah), 16, is a Canaanite farmer, and in spite of her lack of religious devotion, is a good and spiritual being, who loves and appreciates all of nature. When the torrential rains st
Feb 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Terrible. Couldn't even get 1/5th of the way in.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
a different spin on Noah's ark seen thru the eyes of a sixteen-year-old stowaway named Sebah who
with her companion, a boy named Aban float on a raft till she is gets on the ark there she hides out with chimpanzees she calls Queen and the male
Noah and his family do play a small part in the tale but not as much as i would like
i found this book strange there was a few good parts dealing with Noah's family but i found the main character annoying and she talked about herself in the third person whi
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
A retelling of the biblical Noah story with a compelling stowaway character named Sebah. A difficult survival story with a happy ending.
This isn't my favorite biblical narrative and I'm not much interested in seeing the Hollywood remake despite the promising cast, but I picked this up by chance and Napoli usually delivers a good story.
The parts of the book I liked were Sebah's character development and the friendships she forms. I was very gripped by the survival thread even though much of what
Ayla H. 6
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-done
The book, "Storm" by Donna Jo Napoli, is about a teenage girl, Sebah, who is in the flood that covered the earth back in Noah's time. This book historical fiction, of course, but it is such an intriguing story with all of the different events that occur. When Sebah is going out into the rain to fetch her brothers, she see's them at the mouth of a cave. She knows that if she doesn't get them soon, they will wash away in the flood. She calls their names, but they slip on the rocks and get swept aw ...more
Kay Carman
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: survival
I'm waffling back and forth as to whether to give this book four or five stars. It's a page turner, for sure, but so intense there were times I was about to jump out of my skin! The beautiful ending deserves five stars alone!

Sebah, a 16-year-old Canaanite girl, is working in her garden when the rain begins. It quickly turns torrential and everything about her begins to flood. She searches for her three younger brothers and witnesses them swept away.

As she climbs to higher ground, she meets a yo
Sebah is wrapping seed pods when the heavens open and it starts to rain. She leaves her mother and goes out into the storm to try and find her three younger brothers, but they are lost, she is lost, her home is lost, in a matter of moments. She manages to survive, along with a baby swamp cat, until she is found by a fisherman's son, who takes the upper hand immediately. Sebah agrees to be with him, and they embark on a tenuous attempt at survival in the top of a cedar tree as the waters roar aro ...more
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
(WARNING: This review is NOT based off of the Goodreads summary of the book but of the inside flap/blurb-thing in the actual book!!!!)

I started reading this book thinking it was about survival, and it was, sort of. A catastrophic flood wrecks Sebah's island and forces her to do whatever it takes to survive. The summary/intro to the book is pretty misleading because it makes you think Sebah meets a boy and survives with him for the rest of the book, however, that only lasted maybe 2 or 3 chapters
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because the plot of the story was a retelling of the Noah's ark bible story which I thought was interesting. I was intrigued by how the author would interpret and fabricate a story to connect with such a famous story and I was impressed. The protagonist was a strong and likable character who always seemed to be in control, although she showed signs of weakness as well. I thought that the most intriguing thing was that the chapters were sectioned by the number of days that h ...more
Jane Drabkin
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it
It rather slowly dawned on me that the story of a teenager's survival as the rains sweep away civilization, loses the fisherman that helped to keep her alive and finally stows away on a ship filled with animals was actually a different take on Noah's ark and that did keep me reading. I knew this story and yet I wanted to know what the author would do. Life on the ark is complicated for a stowaway who must get food and water, stay safe, and stay out of sight. The author keeps the story moving wit ...more
Krista Stevens
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it
A twist on the story of Noah and the Great Flood. Sixteen-year-old Sebah somehow survives the inital flooding and pairs up with a boy. They barely survive and, realizing that everyone else is now probably dead, mate. Forced to make a raft and escape the rising waters, they run into Noah's boat. Sebah hides out with the animals, making friends with them and watching Noah's dysfunctional family (well, who wouldn't be after that experience). Great interaction with the animals.

I was confused about
Judy Desetti
Interesting read but definitely not one I will put into our collection. There was too much talk about mating of both people and animals. Wow. Not a book for a grade school, more high school and up. It does deal with Noah, the flood, and the Arc. It was interesting to think about how that might have been. I just was turned off by apes being so highly suggestive sexually and with the young girl "mating" with two different men over the course of the book. I had high hopes for the book and was disap ...more
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
"When the rain starts coming down, Sebah's world floods quickly and swiftly, taking her family away from her. She survives at first by taking shelter in a tree, though with all the lightning, she knows that can't last. After a raft takes her to a huge ark, Noah's ark, she hides below deck with the animals hoping to survive the rain. Being alone with dangerous animals is one thing, but as tensions rise with Noah's family, Sebah will have to be careful to wait out the flood." Full review at Fresh ...more
Fred Kohn
A very nice retelling of the Noah story. I especially liked the way she worked in one of my favorite and, in my opinion, much neglected Jewish legends: that of Og the Giant. (I was overjoyed that my library, Worthington Libraries, ordered two copies of the picture book Og's Ark for the kiddos.) I couldn't rate this higher than three stars, though, because I just didn't think the writing was very good. (Sorry, Donna Jo.)
Syd Dickson
So, I like Donna Jo Napoli's writing. A lot actually. But I just couldn't really get into this one. If my mom had popped up behind me while I was reading this book, I would have flung it across the room in embarrassment while struggling to explain anything she might have read. There's nothing really directly obscene or offensive in it at all, but there's just this weird atmosphere that made me queasy. Which is a personal problem I guess.

Dana Beveridge
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book captivated me from the first rain drop. I felt the words and shared the the moments of fear, awe, hope.

Well written take of a wonderful biblical tale. Like many others born in the Christian faith, I grew up with Bible Stories. Noah's Ark was a story we just knew. This book is such an enriched retelling in a 'What If' setting. Every character believable.
Storm is a good read for young and old
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Donna Jo Napoli is both a linguist and a writer of children's and YA fiction. She loves to garden and bake bread, and even dreams of moving to the woods and becoming a naturalist.

At various times her house and yard have been filled with dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits. For thirteen years she had a cat named Taxi, and liked to go outside and call, "Taxi!" to make the neighbors wonder. But dear dear
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