Saturday, August 12, 2017


32333319Cronin, Doreen. Cyclone.
May 16th 2017 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Digital copy borrowed from The Ohio E Book Project

Nora really wants to ride on the Cyclone at the amusement park she and her family have traveled to visit, and blackmails her cousin Riley into going on it with her. Riley is scared of it, but Nora has found out that the "Georgina" on Riley's phone contacts is really an older man, and threatens to tell her aunt. When the girls get off the ride, Riley collapses and has to be rushed to the hospital. It turns out that Riley has had a stroke, most likely precipitated by an undiagnosed heart problem. Nora's parents and Riley's mom stay at the hospital, but eventually Nora and her parents go back to the hotel to be with Riley's dog. Another aunt comes in from California, but seems to make matters worse by adding sister drama to the situation. Nora makes friends with a boy whose brother is in the hospital battling cancer, and gets very tired of being in the hospital instead of being able to go out running. She slowly figures out who "Georgina" really is, and is able to work through her guilt at making Riley go on the roller coaster. Riley's progress is very slow, since her speech and movement are effected, but eventually the families are able to return home to adjust to "the new normal".
Strengths: This was definitely original-- I can't think of another book where a child has a stroke and ends up in intensive care. (Although Falling Over Sideways involves a stroke, and Alexander's Booked involves a lengthy hospital stay.) There are lots of details about families staying around hospitals and what recuperating from a stroke looks like. The writing is intriguing, and the tension between the cousins is very realistic. Kept me turning the pages.
Weaknesses: The drama between the aunts didn't really add much to the story for me.
What I really think: I am not quite sure what to think. On the one hand, I read through this quickly, but on the other, it might be a hard sell to students, especially with the nondescript cover. Debating.

Ms. Yingling

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