The Great Weather Diviner
By Rob Long & Andrew Dolberg
While the story has its origins in the Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, it goes far beyond the power to predict weather based on Phil’s shadow. Instead, through Phillip and his daring animal friends, the reader is encouraged to think about the power we all possess, and the need to stand up for what we believe is right. It emphasizes our deep connection to nature and its rhythms, and helps kids understand the impact of climate change and the importance of protecting nature. The family history of Punxsutawney Phil deftly shows the dire consequences of our actions and the sadness of loss.
While these are important themes for children today, and I love when books highlight them, the authors are very skilled at world building and creating a thrilling pace and original characters. The themes are woven into the story in an eye-opening way that keeps the reader turning the page. The main heroes -- Groundhog Phil, Hedgehog Jill, Racoon Lyra -- are intriguing as they deal with their own struggles and vulnerabilities. There are many unique animal helpers in the world of Erda, but there are also keen and daring enemies fighting against them. The suspense and conflict to save their world is captivating.
This book, written by two first time authors, sweeps us into a wonderful, relevant and exciting adventure. And, it also makes us think.
I loved the list at the back of the book about animals facing extinction, it makes it all so real. (And the artwork on the cover is wonderful!)
Middle Grade and Young Adult readers who love animals, nature, fantasy or adventure will love this first book in the series. And, it might be a great conversation starter about the most important issue facing their future!
NOTE: I was given an advanced copy of the book to review, but these opinions are my own and not influenced by anyone.
Author: Rob Long & Andrew Dolberg
Publisher: Morgan James Kids (November 7, 2023)
Reading Age: 9-11
Grade Level: 4-6
Paperback: 270 pages
ISBN-10 : 1636981623
ISBN-13 : 978-1636981628
Available at: Amazon