CARTWHEELING IN THUNDERSTORMS by Katherine Rundell
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CARTWHEELING IN THUNDERSTORMS

Age Range: 8 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

“It wasn’t until Will’s Wildcat life came under threat that she realized how dearly she loved it.”

Wilhelmina Silver—Will, Madman and Wildcat to those who love her—deeply relishes her life in rural Zimbabwe. Daughter of a mother long lost to malaria and a loving English father who is foreman at Two Tree Hill Farm, Will spends her time racing about the vibrant terrain as an uber-tomboy. Her best friend is a farmhand her own age, known since their earlier childhood: “a tall, fluid black boy to her waiflike, angular white girl.” Will’s carefree, African world shatters when her father succumbs to malaria, after which the plantation owner’s new, manipulative wife sends Will to a boarding school in London. Apparently set in the present day, the story accelerates its pace as Will uses her wits and her considerable athleticism to combat the hostility of bullying classmates and to cope with her new, cold, urban surroundings. There is an excellent balance of characters both villainous and helpful as readers follow the fiercely independent Will through hardship and into triumph. They cannot help but dearly love Will and her motto of “Truth, ja, and courage.”

With debut novel Rooftoppers (2013), Rundell showed her capacity to write an entertaining story featuring a courageous female protagonist; this second novel surpasses by virtue of its striking, soaring prose. (Fiction. 8-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4424-9061-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2014




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