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  • Published: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Description: 248 p. ; 22 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780399256868
  • 0399256865

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The waiting sky

by Zielin, Lara, 1975-

There are currently 4 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction

Available Copies: Downtown Teen, 3rd Floor, Pittsfield Teen, Traverwood Teen

Additional Details

Minnesota seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister has devoted years to helping her out-of-control, alcoholic mother but joining her brother in chasing tornadoes for a summer gives her a fresh perspective, new options, and her first real romance.

Community Reviews

Jane's life is a tornado

17 year old Jane McAllister's life is a tornado. Her mom is an alcoholic and (as in so many alcoholic families) there's been a role reversal and Jane is more of a parent to her mom than a child. Dad is out of the picture and older brother Ethan has chosen a different way to deal with mom--by leaving. Jane is barely keeping her out-of-control life together when her mother almost kills her by causing a car crash while driving drunk. It's the last straw and Jane decides to go live with her brother for the summer while sorting out her wildly mixed feelings about her mom.

But she has wildly mixed feelings about her brother, too. Yes, he's taken her in for the summer, letting her ride along on his tornado-chasing adventures. However, he left her alone with her mother for years--years when he could have been helping. Jane has a lot of issues to work through in one short summer, but this isn't just an "issue" book. It's also a wild romp through the great plains as rival tornado chasers try to get the most footage, do the best research, and be the most noticed by the television cameras. There are secrets, rivalries, back-stabbing, and one cute boy in the mix, making this a super read that I could not put down!

Jane makes some hard choices along the way, torn between her desire to help her mom and her desire to see mom help herself. Torn between living full-time with Ethan and going back home. Torn between doing what's easy and doing what's right. My heart ached for her and I kept turning the pages, watching her stumble, watching her get up again, and, finally, watching her triumph. It was a great read for teens and for anyone who remembers what it was like to be one.

Fantastically well-written

While tornado-chasing isn't my thing, I am blown away by the huge topics this author takes on in her three teen novels. (Donut Days is about the free-thinking daughter of pastors in a fundamentalist church and The Implosion of Aggie Winchester is about the Goth daughter of the high school principal and her pregnant friend elected prom queen.) The Waiting Sky takes on a severely alcoholic mother and her inadvertently enabling daughter, plus the older brother who got away to save himself. Guilt, desperation, anger, love... they all run through the story as Jane tries to figure out how to live her own life.

I would love to see high school English classes read some of these and hear the discussions!

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