Tornado Brain (Hardcover)
Call it premature, but Tornado Brain is guaranteed to be my favorite pick of 2020. This middle grade book about neurodiverse Frankie in the aftermath of her ex-best friend's disappearance is one of the most well-written fiction stories I have ever read about a differently-minded character. The mystery is smart, the relationships and interactions are believable, and the research for this book is palpable. I have not read a more emotionally impactful book for young-readers in years. On a personal note: As someone whose spouse has suffered from a severe brain injury to his frontal lobe, I thank you, Cat, for getting it right— From Jenna
In this heartfelt and powerfully affecting coming of age story, a neurodivergent 7th grader is determined to find her missing best friend before it's too late.
Things never seem to go as easily for thirteen-year-old Frankie as they do for her sister, Tess. Unlike Tess, Frankie is neurodivergent. In her case, that means she can't stand to be touched, loud noises bother her, she's easily distracted, she hates changes in her routine, and she has to go see a therapist while other kids get to hang out at the beach. It also means Frankie has trouble making friends. She did have one--Colette--but they're not friends anymore. It's complicated.
Then, just weeks before the end of seventh grade, Colette unexpectedly shows up at Frankie's door. The next morning, Colette vanishes. Now, after losing Colette yet again, Frankie's convinced that her former best friend left clues behind that only she can decipher, so she persuades her reluctant sister to help her unravel the mystery of Colette's disappearance before it's too late.
A powerful story of friendship, sisters, and forgiveness, Tornado Brain is an achingly honest portrait of a young girl trying to find space to be herself.
About the Author
Cat Patrick and her family live near Seattle but spend as much time as possible four hours west setting marshmallows on fire and tangling kites in the curious town of Long Beach. There, Tornado Brain was born.
Cat is the author of several books for young adults including Summer 2011 Kids Indie Next List pick Forgotten, which sold in 23 countries; ALA 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers selection Revived; and others. Tornado Brain is her middle grade debut.
Find her online at www.catpatrick.com.
Praise for Tornado Brain:
★ “Frankie’s first-person narration is spot-on as she describes her feelings about her attention-deficit and sensory-processing disorders and her Asperger’s syndrome as well as her distaste for the medications that impair her thinking. . . This moving account of Frankie’s emerging maturity—with extra challenges—is perfect. . . An intriguing mystery embedded within a richly insightful coming-of-age story.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “Patrick...has done a remarkable job of creating an unforgettable character in Frankie, who tells the story in her own idiosyncratic first person voice, which takes readers inside her head as she struggles with her many challenges. The result is a tour de force that readers will remember long after they have finished the book.” —Booklist, starred review
“The characters are a strength in this story . . . The different ways in which people can experience anger, hope, fear, and loss are beautifully explored. This is an important book.” —School Library Journal