We Speak in Storms

By: Natalie Lund

It’s been more than 50 years since a tornado tore through a drive-in movie theater in tiny Mercer, Illinois, leaving dozens of teens—a whole generation of Mercerites—dead in its wake. So when another tornado touches down in the exact same spot on the anniversary of this small-town tragedy, the town is shaken. For Brenna Ortiz, Joshua Calloway, and Callie Keller, the apprehension is more than just a feeling. Though they seem to share nothing more than a struggle to belong, the teens’ paths continue to intersect, bringing them together when they least expect it, and perhaps, when they need it most. Both the living and the dead have secrets and unresolved problems, but they may be able to find peace and move forward—if only they work together.
 
A beautifully told, haunting yet hopeful novel about pushing past the pain, facing the world, and finding yourself.

ISBN: 9780525518006

JLG Release: Nov 2019


Sensitive Areas: Homophobic slur, Marijuana, Racial insensitivity, Strong language, Strong sexual themes, Underage smoking, Violence, Racial slur, Discussion of sexual abuse and attempted suicide, Disordered eating
Topics: Death , Interpersonal relations , Tornadoes , Grief , Family , Ghost stories , Loners and outcasts , Illinois , Mexican Americans , LGBTQ , Trauma

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

Everyone who grows up in Mercer knows the Midwestern town is haunted. People hear whispers from the teenagers who died in the tornado back in 1961, see strange lights at the cemetery, hear creaking and scratching in old houses, and swear that the crow that visits is the spirit of someone long dead. Here, three teenagers feel disconnected from their Everyone who grows up in Mercer knows the Midwestern town is haunted. People hear whispers from the teenagers who died in the tornado back in 1961, see strange lights at the cemetery, hear creaking and scratching in old houses, and swear that the crow that visits is the spirit of someone long dead. Here, three teenagers feel disconnected from their own lives. Joshua, who once was bullied for being overweight, dreamed of coming out and being a voice for the LGBTQ youth in town. Instead, he becomes an invisible pariah. Brenna has grown up hearing that she is not enough. Not Mexican enough for her abuela, white enough for Mercer, or clever or interesting enough for her boyfriend. Callie’s mother is dying of cancer, and this once-bright track star has retreated deep within, trying to empty herself so she doesn’t have to feel her overwhelming grief. When a tornado touches down on the anniversary of the big storm of ‘61, Callie, Brenna, and Joshua are drawn together by their longing for connection—a longing powerful enough to call to the dead. Despite their differences, these three characters are able to find their true selves with one another in this hauntingly atmospheric coming-of-age story. While the pacing starts out slow, dedicated readers will be rewarded with fully realized characters, an empowering message, and a highly satisfying conclusion. Readers should note, the book contains references to anorexia and bulimia. This sophisticated ghost story is recommended, especially where novels about grief are needed.

Book Details

ISBN

9780525518006

First Release

November 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8" x 6"

Page Count

464

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Philomel

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Homophobic slur, Marijuana, Racial insensitivity, Strong language, Strong sexual themes, Underage smoking, Violence, Racial slur, Discussion of sexual abuse and attempted suicide, Disordered eating

Topics

Death, Interpersonal relations, Tornadoes, Grief, Family, Ghost stories, Loners and outcasts, Illinois, Mexican Americans, LGBTQ, Trauma,

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