Storm Dog

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
156 0
Storm Dog
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
August 18, 2020
ISBN
978-0062430007
Buy This Book
      
Whip-smart Ariel doesn’t fit in. Only in the winds of the Blue Ridge Mountains and spring storms that mirror the unhappiness she feels at home.

Her brother understands her, but he’s in Afghanistan. Her father hasn't been the same since George deployed. Her mother focuses on Ariel’s gorgeous sister. When Gloria is selected to be an Apple Blossom Parade princess, Ariel feels even more the outsider and takes to the hills.

There, during a raging storm, Ariel finds a lost dog who leads her to the safety of a cabin and Sergeant Josie, a former Army K-9 handler. Together—with music, dog-dancing, and a storm-child-crazy plan—the three outcasts find themselves.

In this whimsical tale of self-discovery, L. M. Elliott captures the flavor of Virginia’s hunt country and Appalachia, while exploring definitions of beauty and belonging. Storm Dog will make readers proud to dance to their own rhythms.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Teaching dogs to dance
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Ariel has a difficult home life in her Blue Ridge Mountain home in Virginia. It's not because of economics; her father is older, educated, and well-to-do. However, her mother, a former Apple Blossom Parade princess, does not appreciate Ariel's keen mind and love of music. Instead, she focuses on the fact that Ariel is not conventionally pretty like her sister, Gloria. As preparations for the parade ramp up, Ariel also has to deal with the fact that her older half brother George is deployed in Afghanistan. She misses him and his support, and worries about his fate. When she is wandering in the woods one day, Ariel gets caught in a storm and saved by a dog, who takes her to a cabin. There, the two meet a vet who also served in Afghanistan, Sergeant Josie. Ariel knows her mother won't allow her to have a dog, so asks for Josie's help, since she was a canine handler. The dog, named Duke, is a big help to Ariel, and she decides to train the dog to dance. This escalates into a caper with Gloria's former boyfriend, Marcus, that involves breaking dogs out of a local shelter, hiding them, and dressing them up in Gloria's clothing to be on an unregistered parade float. Will Ariel be able to make peace with her family?
Good Points
This was such a vivid description of spring in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains that I could smell those apple blossoms. Very atmospheric! Ariel's family dynamics are interesting, and her friendship with Sergeant Josie is touching. I especially appreciated the unfortunate but illuminative scene where Josie is targeted by people who want her to "go back to her country"; she's from Puerto Rico. Teaching Duke to dance was fun, which nicely balances out her well warranted anxiety about George. I was also glad to see that the father was described as older when his involvement in Vietnam protests was mentioned.

The characters are all interesting and well developed. Ariel is outspoken and acerbic, and clearly knows that her mother is playing favorites. While it was fun to watch her get into highjinks with Marcus, I was worried about the dogs. The mother's behavior was inexcusable, which will delight young readers, and it was good to see that the sister does come around a bit and treat Ariel better.

I loved this author's Annie Between the States, Hamilton and Peggy, Suspect Red, and especially Under a War-Torn Sky (2001). It's great to see an author embrace so many different kinds of stories, but tie them all to a specific location. This is similar to Sorosiak's I, Cosmo, when it comes to working with dogs and teaching them to dance. The songs seemed to be a little outdated for today's students, but this might be a good book for an intergenerational read because of that!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's Avery's senior year in high school, and she has...
Peppermint Post
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when the North Pole's Peppermint...
Stolen from the Studio (Case Closed, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lauren Magaziner’s hilarious and high-stakes middle grade series gets a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What's outside Pleasant Grove? Welcome to Pleasant...
The Wizenard Series: Season One
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Reggie has never felt destined for greatness. He dreams about...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s a rebel with a cause… to make my...
TURBO Racers: Escape Velocity
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Fast and the Furious meets Transformers in the second...
Bread Lab!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s a sleepy Saturday morning for most people, but not...
A Thousand No's
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
This empowering picture book teaches readers that even great ideas...
Ronan Boyle and the Swamp of Certain Death (Ronan Boyle, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The hilarious sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller,...
Sharko and Hippo
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With tongue-twisty wordplay and escalating absurdity, this is a fall-down-funny...
The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A LOVE POEM FROM A FATHER TO HIS TWO SONS,...
The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in The Faithless...
Zora's Zucchini
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first zucchini of a summer garden is always exciting,...
Libby Loves Science
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Libby loves science! In this STEM-themed picture book, a companion...
The Hidden Rainbow
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
All the colors of the rainbow are hidden in the...

Latest Member Reviews

The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)
 
5.0
"THE FAITHLESS HAWK is one of my favorite reads of 2020. I laughed, I sighed, I cried, and this book..."
Dating Makes Perfect
 
5.0
"DATING MAKES PERFECT is a beautifully written YA contemporary romance that had me grinning from ear-to-ear. Winnie has two older..."
Chasing Starlight
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: We think of the glitz, glamorous mega-stars, and classic movies when we think of the Golden Age..."
The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2)
 
4.0
"Alice Proserpine thought she was mostly back to “normal” life after breaking from her story in the Hinterland, but when..."
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
"What worked: Intriguing plot of Chloe, a seventeen-year-old super-achiever, who ends up collapsing during her senior year in high school..."
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
"THE ADVENTURERS GUILD: NIGHT OF DANGERS by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos is the culmination of a Middle Grade..."
The Pros of Cons
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: I genuinely can't imagine four different events happening simultaneously in the same complex, but it happens..."
BRB I'm Going to Disneyland
 
4.0
"'BRB: I'm Going to Disneyland' by Courtney Carbone is a cute, quick read. As a novel written in texts, emails,..."
He Must Like You
 
5.0
"'He Must Like You' by Danielle Younge-Ullman is an intensely provocative look at the various ways in which consent, upset,..."
How the Stars Came to Be
 
5.0
"Reviewed for YA Books Central Beautiful in every aspect. The book: This is a story about how the..."
Unscripted
 
5.0
"A book so real it can be u comfortable at times. The story: Zelda doesn’t have a..."
The Dark Tide
 
5.0
"THE DARK TIDE is an enthralling and atmospheric YA fantasy read. We follow Lina, a townsperson, and Eva, the witch..."
Where Dreams Descend
 
4.0
"What worked: Beautifully written tale where a girl performer breaks away from her cage and enters a competition of magicians..."
The Black Kids
 
5.0
"THE BLACK KIDS is a really poignant read that ties history to the present. Ashley is a senior in high..."
What Goes Up
 
3.3
"'What Goes Up' by Christine Heppermann is a quick read, as it is a novel-in-verse, a format that can be..."
They Wish They Were Us
 
4.3
"THEY WISH THEY WERE US is an engaging YA thriller reminiscent of GOSSIP GIRLS. The book follows Jill, who had..."
Roaring
 
3.0
"ROARING takes place in the 1920s- with a twist. Monsters, sirens, minotaurs, basilisks, and more, exist, and they are woven..."
More Than Just a Pretty Face
 
5.0
"MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE is a fantastic YA contemporary romance that follows Danyal during his senior year of..."
You Say It First
 
3.3
"'You Say It First' is easily one of those books you will either love or hate. My feelings fell somewhere..."
Court of Lions (Mirage, #2)
 
5.0
"COURT OF LIONS finishes the MIRAGE duology with aplomb. This YA fantasy series takes us to another planet and the..."