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The Shape of Thunder



by
Jasmine Warga

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
HarperCollins
Imprint
Balzer + Bray
ISBN
9780062956675
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use , Discrimination: Reference/Discussion
$20.22   $16.85
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An extraordinary new novel from the Newbery Honor–winning author of Other Words for Home about grief, loss—and how friendship can be magical.

Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year.

Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did.

On the day of Cora’s twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note. She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever—and stop him.

In spite of herself, Cora wants to believe. And so the two former friends begin working together to open a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves.

The Shape of Thunder is a deeply moving story, told with exceptional grace, about friendship and loss—and how believing in impossible things can help us heal.Author’s note, with resources. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use , Discrimination: Reference/Discussion

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

288

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Sep 2021

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Grief. School shootings. Death. Best friends. Brothers and sisters. Siblings. Friendship. Time travel.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–Twelve-year-old Cora’s older sister, Mabel, was killed in a school shooting; Cora’s best friend Quinn’s older brother was the shooter. Told in alternating perspectives, this novel chronicles Cora and Quinn’s desperate attempt to unlock the secret of time travel and undo the event that shattered their friendship. The novel confronts readers with devastating questions about school shootings, access to firearms, Islamophobia, and the radicalization of white teenage boys via web forums. Quinn, who is white, is plagued with persistent guilt at the signs she noticed, like Parker calling her a “stupid female” and Cora’s father a “nasty foreigner.” Cora, whose father is a Lebanese immigrant, wants to learn more about her heritage but fears the way that being Muslim made Mabel a target. Warga’s characters are full, complex figures who deal with Quiz Bowl practice and first crushes alongside therapy sessions and panic attacks during lockdown drills. This sensitive title holds space for the grief and pain of all of the characters, whether they are related to the shooter or his victims. ­VERDICT With taut pacing, nuanced characters, and compassionate depictions of grief and trauma, Warga’s novel is both timely and transcendent; a must-purchase for all collections.–Molly Saunders, Manatee County P.L., Bradenton, FL

Horn Book

A dual-perspective novel follows two girls in the aftermath of a school shooting. Almost a year after her older sister was killed in that shooting by a classmate, twelve-year-old Cora still struggles to make sense of life without her. Cora also misses her now estranged best friend Quinn, whose brother, also dead, was the shooter. In alternating chapters, both girls deal with processing their grief and defining their roles at school and at home. Academically focuses Cora tries to connect with her Quiz Bowl teammates and her Lebanese heritage, while Quinn latches on to the idea of traveling back in time to prevent the shooting from happening. Quinn persuades Cora to join her in trying to create a wormhole that will allow them to time-travel, but Cora continues keeping her distance until a minor crisis allows them to reconnect and gives both girls the chance to explain to their families what they need in order to make peace with their losses. Warga (Other Worlds for Home, rev. 7/19) skillfully develops unique voices for her narrators, and the novel’s alternating-perspective structure works well. Emotions run high throughout the book without dragging down the plot, and the portrayal of middle-school life is utterly authentic. Warga tells a quiet story despite the dramatic events that led up to it, presenting a sad but not overwhelming narrative. SARAH RETTGER

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–Twelve-year-old Cora’s older sister, Mabel, was killed in a school shooting; Cora’s best friend Quinn’s older brother was the shooter. Told in alternating perspectives, this novel chronicles Cora and Quinn’s desperate attempt to unlock the secret of time travel and undo the event that shattered their friendship. The novel confronts readers with devastating questions about school shootings, access to firearms, Islamophobia, and the radicalization of white teenage boys via web forums. Quinn, who is white, is plagued with persistent guilt at the signs she noticed, like Parker calling her a “stupid female” and Cora’s father a “nasty foreigner.” Cora, whose father is a Lebanese immigrant, wants to learn more about her heritage but fears the way that being Muslim made Mabel a target. Warga’s characters are full, complex figures who deal with Quiz Bowl practice and first crushes alongside therapy sessions and panic attacks during lockdown drills. This sensitive title holds space for the grief and pain of all of the characters, whether they are related to the shooter or his victims. ­VERDICT With taut pacing, nuanced characters, and compassionate depictions of grief and trauma, Warga’s novel is both timely and transcendent; a must-purchase for all collections.–Molly Saunders, Manatee County P.L., Bradenton, FL

Horn Book

A dual-perspective novel follows two girls in the aftermath of a school shooting. Almost a year after her older sister was killed in that shooting by a classmate, twelve-year-old Cora still struggles to make sense of life without her. Cora also misses her now estranged best friend Quinn, whose brother, also dead, was the shooter. In alternating chapters, both girls deal with processing their grief and defining their roles at school and at home. Academically focuses Cora tries to connect with her Quiz Bowl teammates and her Lebanese heritage, while Quinn latches on to the idea of traveling back in time to prevent the shooting from happening. Quinn persuades Cora to join her in trying to create a wormhole that will allow them to time-travel, but Cora continues keeping her distance until a minor crisis allows them to reconnect and gives both girls the chance to explain to their families what they need in order to make peace with their losses. Warga (Other Worlds for Home, rev. 7/19) skillfully develops unique voices for her narrators, and the novel’s alternating-perspective structure works well. Emotions run high throughout the book without dragging down the plot, and the portrayal of middle-school life is utterly authentic. Warga tells a quiet story despite the dramatic events that led up to it, presenting a sad but not overwhelming narrative. SARAH RETTGER

Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

This 14-book category features stories with relatable characters that portray believable contemporary or historical real-life experiences.

14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year

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