The Storm in the Barn

Phelan, Matt

Book - 2009
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Storm in the Barn
Tale of a boy in Dust Bowl America, who must deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, rising tensions, and a shadowy illness. His world of desperation turns into unexpected courage.

Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780763636180
Branch Call Number: J GRAPHIC GN FIC P
Characteristics: 201 p. : chiefly col. ill. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 25, 2014
  • CRRL_AdrianaP rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan is a powerful graphic novel exploring the devastation of the 1937 Dust Bowl in Kansas, as experienced by an 11-year-old boy, Jack.. Realistic and fantasy elements are both included in the storyline. Children who read this will also recognize the very realistic and almost universal element of the bullying that Jack experiences from other boys in the town; his differing relationships with his siblings - tender with his older, ill sister and exasperated with his younger, reckless sister; and his strained relationship with his father, who perpetually makes Jack feel useless. The fantasy element is the Storm King, who appears as a ghastly spectre dragging along a case containing thunder. Of course there is an epic battle - but you'll have to read this book to find out who wins.

May 07, 2013
  • DeltaQueen50 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan is a graphic novel that seems to be a blend of a folk tale with a coming of age story. Set in 1930’s Kansas, the artwork depicts the dust, wind and dryness of the countryside.

The tall tale of the story comes when Jack meets a watery presence in the barn next door and realizes he must be the one to defeat this monster in order to bring the rain back.

A simple, heart-felt story that was an interesting, quick read and the plain, unadorned illustrations captures the bleakness of the landscape and the hopelessness of the people living in it.

Apr 20, 2013
  • snicholson76 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, this graphic novel tells the story of a boy surviving in the Dust Bowl with his family. Not only are the historical elements spot-on, but there is an element of American folklore woven into the story that makes this a story of both survival as well as triumph over evil. Excellent!

Apr 15, 2013
  • forbesrachel rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Some beautiful watercolour drawings accompany this simple and slightly magical tale.

Mar 26, 2013

"Set in Kansas around the same time as the events in The Wizard of Oz, this spooky, suspenseful story stars an 11-year-old boy named Jack. Jack feels useless on his family's farm - and what with failing crops, rampant dust storms, and his older sister sick with dust pneumonia, he's frustrated that there's nothing he can do to help. But after Jack spots a shadowy figure hanging around a nearby abandoned barn, he investigates...and winds up being a hero, like the fabled "Jack"s of fairy tales. Part historical fiction, part thrilling supernatural mystery, and completely spellbinding, this award-winning novel will give you the shivers." March 2013 Kids' Books newsletter

Mar 24, 2012

Love it. It was so nice, the drawings were really inspiring and could express everything the writer is trying to tell. Very nice story too.

Oct 19, 2011

for audio?

May 03, 2011
  • LocketLibrarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I love this book. The sparse text allows the reader to interpret Jack as they see fit. It is a standout graphic novel, and should sway opinions of those who don't think GNs are "real books."


Add Age Suitability

Feb 25, 2014
  • CRRL_AdrianaP rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

CRRL_AdrianaP thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

May 03, 2011
  • LocketLibrarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

LocketLibrarian thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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