The Storm in the Barn
The Storm in the Barn (Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction)
The Storm in the Barn
Matt Phelan, Matt Phelan
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)In Kansas in the year 1937, eleven-year-old Jack Clark faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his father’s 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 Talbot’s abandoned barn — a sinister figure with a face like rain. In a land where it never rains, it’s 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.

Book Details


  • Fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Manga/Graphic Novel

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
Profile Picture

Jack is a farm boy, but the dust bowl has taken all the crops away. The rain has disappeared. His sister, Dorothy, is very sick. Jack's father thinks he is a good for nothing little boy and never accepts help from him. Then, one night in the old Talbot barn, blinding light shines from inside of it. Jack goes to explore. There he finds a creature with a face that looks like rain, or rather, The Storm King. Also, in the barn, he finds a bag full of thunder. Eventually, he saves the day and it rains again after years and years of drought.

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