When you’re in the storm chasing business, you never stay in one town for very long. That’s why Chase Masters and his father John are prepared to move quickly at the whim of any major storm.
When we first meet Chase, he and his father are on their way to Florida hoping to beat Hurricane Emily to the town where they think she’ll hit the hardest. It’s been a tough year; Chase has been in three schools and is starting his fourth in Florida, providing Emily doesn’t wipe it off the face of the earth.
After arriving in town before the storm hits, they all settle quickly into the property where they’ve arranged to stay during their time in Florida. The next morning Chase heads into his new school with Nicole, a girl who lives on the rental property with her family, a family that consists of parents and, several circus animals; we’re talking lions, a leopard, a giraffe, and even a pregnant elephant named Pet, who’s due to give birth any day now.
As the school day draws to a close, a news bulletin confirms that Hurricane Emily is closer than expected and will be touching down soon. The school bus is Chase and Nicole’s only way back to the property. Chase hops on the bus, along with a few other unlucky students, and hope they make it home alive.
The news bulletin proves accurate as the storm arrives quickly. Chase, Nicole and a new girl named Rashawn are the last three on the bus as the storm rages outside. As they use Chase’s GPS to figure out how close they are to home, a sudden gust of wind hits the bus, causing it to roll several times. As the damaged bus slides into the water, Chase and his friends scramble through the emergency exit, hoping they will be able to make it to land. Even though their GPS tells them they’re a little less than five miles from Nicole’s farm, it might as well be fifty as the storm conditions are the worst any of them have seen.
With Chase’s, Nicole’s and Rashawn’s combined survival skills, will they be able to cover the ground between them and the farm while the storm rages? Will they be able to conquer gators, fierce wind and rain from the hurricane as well as impassable roads and personal injuries from the bus crash? What will they find if they do make it home?
Author Roland Smith is able to write a story teaming with danger and survival that draws you in and keeps you to the very last page. Will they make it home in time to save the circus animals? Are their families okay? Where are they and will they be reunited once again?
I was not disappointed with Storm Runners and I don’t think you will be either. Have any of you read it? What did you think?
DianeDiane has worked at the BYU Bookstore for over ten years, bringing her love of reading and children's literature to the shelves of our Children's department.