The Storm Runner is a fast-paced, dialogue-rich story that will reel you in from the very beginning. The use of dialogue to help the story flow smoothly. The book is recommended for readers as early as third grade; my nine-year-old found it very easy to follow along with.
Aidan and I were immediately drawn to the main character Zane, a disabled Hispanic boy. Having characters of color, especially in books geared towards such a critical age is wonderful. I’ve often written about my troubles getting Aidan to read and how its nearly impossible to find books that will keep him interested.
Aidan’s own words:
“zane reminds me of myself. he asks a lot of questions. i mean a lot! i like to do daring and dangerous stuff all the time–but i need to know what i’m doing first.”
From the mouths of babes…
Some of my favorite scenes involved Zane and his family. His uncle Hondo fearlessly rescuing his nephew from demons; his mother cautiously protecting him from his destiny in a way that only a mother can. Several scenes with bullies were especially important as it helped my son process and learn how to overcome his own. Even down to the anger felt towards the absent parent, The Storm Runner covered a variety of topics that my young son not only loved but understood and appreciated.
Admittedly, I don’t know much about Mayan mythology, so I stopped several times to research certain names so that my son would be able to follow. The Storm Runnerhas made both of us want to learn more. While not 100% necessary in order to follow along, it might be helpful if you have questions that you want to be answered immediately.
There were plenty of twist and turns, many of which I did not expect. By the end, many of the plot points were tied up nicely, leaving just enough for the sequel.
The message of the book is simple: belief in yourself is key. When the odds are stacked against you, its the one seed of hope that keeps us going.