Storm by Nicola Skinner

Written by Nicola Skinner, Illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino
Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books, April 2020

Born during a storm, Frankie carries rage with her where ever she goes. A firm temper and quick reactions make Frankie hard to get along with and her parents constantly urge her to calm down and think before she makes things worse.

On the last day of Christmas holidays, Frankie convinces her family to travel from their hilltop home to a restaurant on the pier. There are plenty of people there and walking around the town. When the world goes eerily quiet, trouble is on the way, and sure enough when they look out the window, the sea doesn’t look quite right.

Unsure of what has happened, Frankie checks herself over- finding herself wet, full of sand and shells and missing her fingernails. She also appears to be alone, she can’t find her sister or her parents and so heads for home where she waits and waits. When a rescue crew arrives at her home, she is unable to communicate with them and they cannot see her- it is then the shocking truth hits Frankie.

Coming to terms with the truth and controlling her rage are all she can do now. Some helpful advice from a character named Jill, a carer for the Under 12’s, allows Frankie moments of calm. Special drops allow her to sleep until someone comes home, then she can awaken and see her family, who she still awaits.

Waking up, Frankie believes her family have come home but a significant period of time has passed and her family home is now deemed a historic property and tourist attraction. Rage burns inside her as she watches endless people trample through the rooms she knows and loves. Being unseen and unheard have taken their toll on Frankie and she is desperate for someone to see her. Time to meet Scanlon.
Able to see and hear Frankie, Scanlon visits more and more, befriending her and listening to her story.
However, Scanlon is hiding a secret and it threatens to take Frankie away from all she has ever known.

Over time, Frankie’s rage becomes famous and she is finally able to let it loose, and it feels good!
However, Frankie remembers Jill and a piece of advice she initially chose to ignore, making Frankie rethink her rage. It has always been the cause of her family problems, the strain on their love for her, and so now she has to face up to this.

This book is surprising, full of twists, turns and heart wrenching moments. Both Frankie and Scanlon have to face their fears, harness their emotions and do the right thing in order to be free!
An incredible journey of friendship, truth and family- you may not have a dry eye at the end of this one.

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