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Storm

Review

Storm

The rains come without warning, and before 16-year-old Sebah can do anything to stop it, everything in her life is swept away by the flood --- her family, their farm, their home and the Canaan that she knows. The storm rages on as she climbs to higher ground with a scrawny kitten named Screamer and a fisher boy named Aban, all three sustaining injuries and near-starvation as they try to build a life together in a doomed world. Sebah, Screamer and Aban slowly weaken as the rain pours ceaselessly on and the water levels rise. But even the highest cedar trees cannot keep them above the rising waters forever, and even the raft they built cannot sustain them for long.

When an enormous ship floats by, Sebah realizes it is her only chance for survival.  With her kitten, she abandons the raft. Hiding onboard, Sebah befriends a clever pair of bonobos and begins piecing together the struggles of the family living on the ark, a family led by a prophet named Noah.

...as the destructive waters roll ceaselessly around her, Sebah's journey is one of profound hope and personal growth. 

Through 40 days and 40 nights of rain and the months of a flooded world afterward, Sebah's struggles and triumphs are intriguing and real.  Donna Jo Napoli's proclivity for well-researched settings shines here, as we see the cultural influences of ancient Canaan alongside the life-or-death expediencies of stowing away on a boat when the other inhabitants would throw interlopers overboard.  The plot is slow and subtle, as can be expected in a novel with such a small space for action.  Yet as the destructive waters roll ceaselessly around her, Sebah's journey is one of profound hope and personal growth.

STORM, an intimate reimagination of the biblical flood, shows the triumph of one determined human spirit in the face of a divine catastrophe.

Reviewed by Quinn Colter on February 4, 2014

Storm
by Donna Jo Napoli

  • Publication Date: February 11, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • ISBN-10: 1481403028
  • ISBN-13: 9781481403023