As usual, Lauren Tarshis has done an excellent job of researching and putting together a fictional account of a famous disaster. This time she has tackled the Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011. Her main character is Dex, who lives in Joplin with his parents (who both teach at the high school), and his dog Zeke. Dex happens to meet a storm chaser who is in town and they realize that the chaser, Dr. Gage, and Dex's father went to college together. Dex is very excited that his parents agree to let him go storm chasing with Dr. Gage. The storm chaser tells them that he is working on collecting data about the sounds that storms make as they form tornadoes and that Dex will be helping him launch the pods that collect the information. Although they keep an eye on the weather and the radar, Dex and Dr. Gage still manage to get pelted by hailstones. And then thing start to get really intense. I don't want to give away too many exciting details, so let me just say that what Dex experiences is probably as difficult as some of the training his brother Jeremy has gone through as a Navy SEAL.
Like all the other books in the series, this one has extra material after the story to help readers understand the actual historical event that inspired the author. There is a timeline, a list of questions and answers about topics in the story, and a list of sources for additional information. The author also explains why she chose to write about this particular bit of history and why she writes about disasters in general. She states, "...my books are about resilience - the ability most of us have to recover after experiencing something difficult or painful." So the stories are really about people, not disasters.
Fans of the series will be thrilled with this new title. If you haven't tried any of the I Survived books yet, why not give this one a chance? Once you do, you will probably be hooked like the rest of us.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss.