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Reviews
All My Friends Are Still Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John
Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
Doctor Who: The Spear of Destiny by Marcus Sedgwick
Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger
A Female Focus: Great Women Photographers by Margot F. Horwitz
A Finder's Fee by Joyce and Jim Lavene
Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle
Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
The Girl in the Well Is Me by Karen Rivers
The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure by Lissa Evans
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Ian Edginton
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel by Jess Keating
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts by Esta Spalding
Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper
Mission Mumbai by Mahtab Narsimhan
The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King
Mutt's Promise by Julie Salamon
The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale
The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco by Laura DiSilverio
Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley
A Study in Sherlock edited by Laurie R. King
Tailing a Tabby by Laurie Cass
A Taste for Red by Lewis Harris
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

Miscellaneous
The invisible Pokémon Go player
Mind the gap (between reading and reviewing)
On reading diversely
Stop Americanizing imported English language books

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Another Kind of Hurricane: 08/10/16

Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith

Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith is set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the north is a boy who has lost his best friend to an unexpected death. In the south is a boy who has been displaced by the hurricane. A pair of jeans and a marble bring the two boys together.

Here the hurricane is basically window dressing. Essentially it's another MacGuffin story (something I'd mentioned not seeing much of in children's literature but is apparently becoming more of a thing). Here the MacGuffin is the marble tucked away in the donated pair of jeans.

The MacGuffin is something that must be followed. Usually the plot leaves the living protagonist behind and follows the thing instead as it goes from place to place. Here, though, the MacGuffin is something that compels the northern protagonist south to find the marble.

Anyone in contact with the MacGuffin will invariably cross paths, though again, they don't always realize that they have or even make the connection to the thing they have all been affected by. Again, that's subverted here in that both boys want the marble and become friends over the wanting of the marble.

So why a MacGuffin story? Well, the title gives the answer. Another kind of hurricane doesn't refer to the destructive forces of nature but to the emotional rollercoaster of grief. As we often remember our beloved ones through their possessions, that marble becomes a tangible reminder of the friendship that's been torn asunder by death. It's also the means for forging a new friendship.

Three stars

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