The “I Survived” series by Lauren Tarshis presents historical fiction geared toward nine to twelve-year-olds. The latest book tells the story of the 2011 tornado that swept through Joplin, Missouri.
In The Joplin Tornado, 2011, eleven-year-old Dexter James is fascinated by tornados and regularly watches Dr. Gage’s TV show, Tornado Mysteries with his older brother, Jeremy until Jeremy joined the US Navy SEALS. His brother writes Dex about his experience with on various missions. Wanting his own adventure, Dex leaps at the chance to chase a nearby storm with Dr. Gage, unaware that the storm has deadly plans of its own.
When the tornado shifts direction and heads toward Dex’s hometown, his bravery in the face of danger is put to the test. Will he be able to survive? What will happen to his family and friends as this destructive tornado hits Joplin?
As with the other “I Survived” books, The Joplin Tornado, 2011 is well-researched. It is filled with details about tornados, the timeline of the Joplin tornado, titles for further reading, as well as an author’s note. Readers will enjoy reading about Dex’s experience which was inspired by stories told to the author by survivors of the Joplin tornado.
Highly recommended for public and school libraries for boys and girls. These books fly off the shelves and are read eagerly by boys and girls alike.
Carol R. Gehringer
—reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2015.