The Storm in the Barn
author/illustrator: Matt Phelan
In Kansas in the year 1937, eleven-year-old Jack Clark faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his fatherís failed expectations, a little sister with an eye for trouble. But he also has to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness. Certainly a case of "dust dementia" would explain who (or what) Jack has glimpsed in the Talbotís abandoned barn -- a sinister figure with a face like rain. In a land where it never rains, itís hard to trust what you see with your own eyes -- and harder still to take heart and be a hero when the time comes. With phenomenal pacing, sensitivity, and a sure command of suspense, Matt Phelan ushers us into a world where desperation is transformed by unexpected courage.
Tall tale. Thriller. Gripping historical fiction. This artful, sparely told graphic novel -- a tale of a boy in Dust Bowl America -- will resonate with young readers today. (Age 10 and up)