Tornado Brain
In this heartfelt and powerfully affecting coming of age story, a neurodiverse 7th grader is determined to find her missing best friend before it's too late.Things never seem to go as easily for thirteen-year-old Frankie as they do for her twin sister, Tess. Unlike Tess, Frankie is neurodiverse. In her case, that means she can't stand to be touched, loud noises bother her, she's easily distracted, she hates changes in her routine, and she has to go see a therapist while other kids get to hang out at the beach. It also means Frankie has trouble making friends. She did have one--Colette--but they're not friends anymore. It's complicated.Then, just weeks before the end of seventh grade, Colette unexpectedly shows up at Frankie's door. The next morning, Colette vanishes. Now, after losing Colette yet again, Frankie's convinced that her former best friend left clues behind that only she can decipher, so she persuades her reluctant sister to help her unravel the mystery of Colette's disappearance before it's too late.A powerful story of friendship, sisters, and forgiveness, Tornado Brain is an achingly honest portrait of a young girl trying to find space to be herself.

Tornado Brain Details

TitleTornado Brain
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 5th, 2020
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781984815323
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Health, Mental Health, Fiction, Contemporary

Tornado Brain Review

  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusFrankie is very different from her twin, Tess. She is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD. She tries to moderate her behavior, because her mother has made a deal with her that she won't have to take medication if she can, but it's hard. She's bothered by scratchy clothing, distracted by noises, and has a hard time reading her friends. Tess, on the other hand, is popular at school. They had a friend in common, Colette, but Frankie overhead her saying mean things ab E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusFrankie is very different from her twin, Tess. She is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD. She tries to moderate her behavior, because her mother has made a deal with her that she won't have to take medication if she can, but it's hard. She's bothered by scratchy clothing, distracted by noises, and has a hard time reading her friends. Tess, on the other hand, is popular at school. They had a friend in common, Colette, but Frankie overhead her saying mean things about her to another friend, so has distanced herself. At the end of 7th grade, Colette goes missing. The girls are stunned and upset, but Frankie is determined to find out what happened. She realizes that a page was missing from a joint journal the three kept that the police found in Colette's locker, and thinks that Colette was trying to complete a list of "dares or scares" that the girls had created earlier. When videos show up on their joint account, Frankie is sure that they were taken the night before she disappeared, even though no one believes her. She starts to locate all of the places where the videos were taken, and has an idea of where Colette might be. In the meantime, she has to deal with her sister, the friend drama in the seventh grade, and her own neurodiverse issues. Strengths: It's always good to see characters that might diverge from the norm a bit, especially when they are in a story that is not about their abilities! The fact that Frankie is a twin is great as well-- just about all middle school students secretly wish they had a twin! The mystery of Colette's disappearance, while very sad, was also compelling and realistic. This reminded me of Lee Weatherly's 2004 Missing Abby, which I still have because it was so good. Weaknesses: This was both a strength AND a weakness-- This was written in a way that got me right inside Frankie's brain. It was an uncomfortable place to be, but reading books like this helps me to be empathetic with students who might approach the world from a different perspective than mine.What I really think: I'm not wild about the cover, so this might need to be hand sold, but the combination of mystery and friend drama will make this a popular title once students discover it. The fact that the main character is neuroatypical is just a bonus!
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    Growing up in the midwest = tornado awareness. As a little girl I remember my father showing me a tornado that was lurking up in the sky just miles from our farm. So, I found this pairing of tornado facts/myths with Frankie's neurodivergent condition to be a fascinating premise. On top of that Frankie is a fraternal twin as I am. Many factors connected me to this book, but Cat Patrick's writing made the book amazing. The story is told from Frankie's perspective. We spend about a week plus the ep Growing up in the midwest = tornado awareness. As a little girl I remember my father showing me a tornado that was lurking up in the sky just miles from our farm. So, I found this pairing of tornado facts/myths with Frankie's neurodivergent condition to be a fascinating premise. On top of that Frankie is a fraternal twin as I am. Many factors connected me to this book, but Cat Patrick's writing made the book amazing. The story is told from Frankie's perspective. We spend about a week plus the epilogue seeing the world through her eyes. Her friend Collette is missing, so there is a mystery to solve. It is difficult to be insider her head at times. You want to tell her not say what she is thinking, to keep her voice down, to be nicer to her mother, not to throw that rock. . .Reading this new middle grade novel will help build empathy for the kids who struggle and validation for the strugglers. It could potentially be a read aloud in the classroom paired with a weather unit. I am calling it now -- this could be a contender for the Newbery in 2021.Thank you to G.P. Putnam and Edelweiss for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Adriana
    January 1, 1970
    Life is more difficult when you don't like to be touched, get easily distracted, and have difficulty containing your emotions. It's especially difficult to make friends. Frankie used to be friends with her perfect twin sister Tess and her best friend since forever Colette. But things are different now. After Colette goes missing, Frankie and Tess band together to find her and in the process they'll maybe just understand each other a little bit better.It took a little while to get into Frankie's Life is more difficult when you don't like to be touched, get easily distracted, and have difficulty containing your emotions. It's especially difficult to make friends. Frankie used to be friends with her perfect twin sister Tess and her best friend since forever Colette. But things are different now. After Colette goes missing, Frankie and Tess band together to find her and in the process they'll maybe just understand each other a little bit better.It took a little while to get into Frankie's perspective but once I did and Colette was deemed missing, the story took off. I couldn't get enough of the fast paced nature of this mystery. I flew through the pages. Meanwhile, I got to know a completely different outlook on life with the struggles Frankie faced daily. She tried so hard to control her emotions like she was taught to but it's difficult for her to not want to scream when she doesn't feel heard. As a main character, Frankie was fascinating. Her POV vs. her parents, sister's, and other around her made me empathetic towards her. How frustrating it must be to try to do better and no one seems to notice. There was a lot of good moments and discussions around being neurodiverse. I especially liked seeing her interactions with her mother and seeing her parenting style with a neurodiverse daughter. The drama and friendship aspect were really well done. I thought it captured the complexities of having friends as a teenager and let's be honest, in life. I enjoyed the facts and myths about tornadoes in the beginning of each chapter. It truly makes me want to read books on tornadoes now.Tornado Brain had many great things going for it but it missed so many opportunities. I know the main purpose of this book was to get an understanding of Frankie rather than see her grow but it was something that could have been examined to a wider degree. I felt like Colette and her sister were trying so hard to be kind and considerate of Frankie's feelings but she didn't reciprocate. I know by the end of the story, she was sorry for the way she acted but I don't know if she showed it enough for me as a reader. There was also a heartbreaking moment where her mother tells her "Please remember to be kind." and Frankie asks in her head, "Do you think I'm a mean person?" Why was that not explored later on in the story? Frankie obviously needed to have a heart to heart with her mother, but where was it? Lastly, my main criticism of this story is - are you kidding me with that ending? I was getting emotional towards of the end of the story, but then that completely stopped because of how everything was resolved. I don't feel like Frankie even seemed to care because when asked how her summer she responded that it was mostly good. Excuse me? How could it be? I love emotional stories so for me to not like that ridiculous conclusion is saying something. I'm disappointed because I was genuinely enjoying this book.Tornado Brain creates great discussion around the perspective of a neurodiverse character in a fast paced mystery but ultimately misses opportunities and has a disappointing conclusion.Thanks to Penguin Group (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers) and NetGalley for letting me read Tornado Brain in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Ron
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book. Once I started reading it, I had trouble putting it down. It is the story of a couple of twin middle school sisters who have a missing friend. The book is written from the perspective of the sister who is neurodiverse. She thinks she knows what the friend was doing and where she might be but she has trouble vocalizing her thoughts. The author does a great job of putting you inside her head. The story does deal with some heavy situations and I'd encourage parents t I received an ARC of this book. Once I started reading it, I had trouble putting it down. It is the story of a couple of twin middle school sisters who have a missing friend. The book is written from the perspective of the sister who is neurodiverse. She thinks she knows what the friend was doing and where she might be but she has trouble vocalizing her thoughts. The author does a great job of putting you inside her head. The story does deal with some heavy situations and I'd encourage parents to read this book if their kid picks it up.
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  • Lex Musler
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! Great story and very well written. The characters and plot were both fantastic, the ending was the perfect way to resolve everything, and I was hooked all the way through. I read the book in 1 night!
  • Cassie Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    “My grieving wasn’t the same every day. And it wasn’t the same s anyone else’s way of handling it. It wasn’t wrong or right. It wasn’t abnormal or normal. It just was.”A story that so much connects tornadoes to grief, I found myself making all the connections at the end. A story of friendship, differences, acceptance, and most of all, understanding. Frankie and Tess are twin sisters who are both very much different. Frankie struggles with expressing herself to others on a daily basis, as someone “My grieving wasn’t the same every day. And it wasn’t the same s anyone else’s way of handling it. It wasn’t wrong or right. It wasn’t abnormal or normal. It just was.”A story that so much connects tornadoes to grief, I found myself making all the connections at the end. A story of friendship, differences, acceptance, and most of all, understanding. Frankie and Tess are twin sisters who are both very much different. Frankie struggles with expressing herself to others on a daily basis, as someone living with what her therapist calls “neurodivergent,” her processing of emotions and feelings are completely different than that of her sister Tess. To the outside Tess is the “normal” sister, if there was such a thing as normal, but Frankie doesn’t quite accept that, not at first at least. Colette was Frankie’s best friend who she met in Kindergarten during a tornado, and then Colette wasn’t Frankie’s best friend anymore after Frankie hearing something that severely hurt her feelings. The only problem is, Collette goes missing and in the search for her Frankie has to face her emotions head on and it’s hard. Tornado Brain is definitely a story that is brutally honest, it’ll make your heart hurt whilst understanding all that each character is going through.
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  • Jenna D.
    January 1, 1970
    Call it premature, but Tornado Brain is guaranteed to be my favorite pick of 2020. This middle grade book about neuro-diverse Frankie in the aftermath of her ex-best friend’s disappearance is one of the most well-written fiction stories I have ever read about a differently minded character. The mystery is smart, the relationships and interactions are believable, and the research for this book is palpable. I have not read a more emotionally impactful book in years. On a personal note: As someone Call it premature, but Tornado Brain is guaranteed to be my favorite pick of 2020. This middle grade book about neuro-diverse Frankie in the aftermath of her ex-best friend’s disappearance is one of the most well-written fiction stories I have ever read about a differently minded character. The mystery is smart, the relationships and interactions are believable, and the research for this book is palpable. I have not read a more emotionally impactful book in years. On a personal note: As someone whose spouse has suffered from a severe brain injury to his frontal lobe, I thank you, Cat, for getting it right.
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    YES YES YESSSS! A book featuring a neurodiverse female character that NAILED it without an inappropriate or otherwise offensive underlying message not-so-subtilely making her out to be a nuisance to all the NT folks OR requiring her to have a super power or be a savant in order for readers to be encouraged to actually value her like SO MANY other books that try and fail! THATS A BIG WIN AND THIS IS A GEM OF A BOOK. It’s a story about friendship and loss and navigating the dramas of middle school YES YES YESSSS! A book featuring a neurodiverse female character that NAILED it without an inappropriate or otherwise offensive underlying message not-so-subtilely making her out to be a nuisance to all the NT folks OR requiring her to have a super power or be a savant in order for readers to be encouraged to actually value her like SO MANY other books that try and fail! THATS A BIG WIN AND THIS IS A GEM OF A BOOK. It’s a story about friendship and loss and navigating the dramas of middle school as a ND human and I’m HERE for it.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    In a time where embracing differences is ever so relevant, Cat Patrick’s novel, Tornado Braincaptures those differences in particularly revealing ways. The main character, Frankie, aneurodiverse teen, gets involved in the mysterious disappearance of her former best friend. Withthe help of her twin sister, Tess, a story of unique perspectives, grief, and hope comes about. Asa recent former middle school teacher, I found Patrick’s book to be very relevant for this agegroup and written in a way tha In a time where embracing differences is ever so relevant, Cat Patrick’s novel, Tornado Braincaptures those differences in particularly revealing ways. The main character, Frankie, aneurodiverse teen, gets involved in the mysterious disappearance of her former best friend. Withthe help of her twin sister, Tess, a story of unique perspectives, grief, and hope comes about. Asa recent former middle school teacher, I found Patrick’s book to be very relevant for this agegroup and written in a way that can be read by just about anyone.
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  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    The story is told by Frankie, who is neurodiverse and is the first to tell you that things are complicated. She has typical friendship issues that are made more complicated by how she views life. In fact, her friendships are so complicated, she's not speaking to her best friend. Who seems to have been taken over by another two girls... one of them being Frankie's twin sister. But then her best friend disappears. And the reason she disappears may have something to do with Frankie.This is absolute The story is told by Frankie, who is neurodiverse and is the first to tell you that things are complicated. She has typical friendship issues that are made more complicated by how she views life. In fact, her friendships are so complicated, she's not speaking to her best friend. Who seems to have been taken over by another two girls... one of them being Frankie's twin sister. But then her best friend disappears. And the reason she disappears may have something to do with Frankie.This is absolutely a complex story with some deeper issues. Kids who enjoy heartprint books and mysteries will love Frankie's story.
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  • Bint Arab
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program.Highly recommended for readers of any age. I wanted this book because I wanted to see how neurodiverse main characters could be portrayed (with the understanding that this book is intended for young readers), and I was surprised to find that Frankie (the MC and narrator of the book) is a complex and engaging character. There are no other neurodiverse characters or characters with disabilities in the story (at least none who ar I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program.Highly recommended for readers of any age. I wanted this book because I wanted to see how neurodiverse main characters could be portrayed (with the understanding that this book is intended for young readers), and I was surprised to find that Frankie (the MC and narrator of the book) is a complex and engaging character. There are no other neurodiverse characters or characters with disabilities in the story (at least none who are explicitly identified as such), so this book would not pass the The Fries Test on disability representation in our culture, a critique based on the stereotypes and ways that authors have used disabled characters in the past. Despite that, I was impressed with how well the author (Cat Patrick) created a story from Frankie's character, weaving together her unique personality and voice with the manifestations of her neurodiversity unique to her. If Frankie had not been neurodiverse, there wouldn't be any story, but the story is not about her neurodiversity. That is the greatest strength of the book.Although the main characters are seventh graders (and the adults in their lives), I agree with the book flap suggestion that the book is good for readers as young as fifth grade. The only caveat is that (view spoiler)[a major character in the book -- one of Frankie's close friends, also a seventh grader -- dies in the course of the book. It is a moving event treated with grace and realism, including a graphic description of the girl lying in an ICU, hooked up to a monitor, an IV, and a respiratory tube. The candor of the descriptions and events would make these scenes easy for even young readers to understand and deal with, but that also depends on the young reader's own life and sensibility. Patrick has included many teaching moments in this dramatic turn of events, including messages about how everyone deals with grief and mourning in their own way. (hide spoiler)]This story has enough dimension that I believe it will appeal to both male and female readers. At one point in the story Frankie experiences cramps only to discover that she is menstruating for the first time, along with an embarrassing stain on her backside in public. I wonder how boys will take this development in the book. It's a plot device to put Frankie in a situation that makes her desperate enough for help to overcome her anger at her sister to talk with her. As a plot device it works very well, but I wonder how boys would react: Would they hate the book and not want to read on? Would they start wondering if more "girl stuff" will come in the book? Would they be curious and appreciate the casual mention of this plot point? Or maybe a fifth-, sixth-, or seventh- grade boy has not yet been conditioned to think of menstruation as "girl stuff." This book can demystify for readers some contradictory aspects of life, such as* not wanting to see a psychologist/therapist, until circumstances change and then being okay with seeing a therapist, * not wanting to be touched, but at the same time wanting the kind of affirmation that touch signifies, * feeling deeply hurt by and angry at someone while feeling love for them at the same time, * wanting to do a thing on your own without help from anyone, but facing the awful realization that you need help, or* getting furious at people for not cooperating and giving you what you need, while being completely unable to explain to them why you need it or why it's so important to you.These are just a few of the examples of "teaching moments" incorporated in the book, and a kid can learn a lot about him/herself by seeing him/herself in the pages of this story in one way or another.The language of the writing is clear and well-constructed to be accessible without being simplistic. At the beginning of the book, I was a little frustrated that the author spent a lot of time explaining (through Frankie's narration) some of the characteristics of Frankie's neurodiverse patterns; there was a lot of time spent "telling" rather than "showing." For example, Frankie would explain to the reader "I don't like to be touched" rather than just showing Frankie's reaction and leaving it to the reader to experience the moment and come to the understanding that Frankie does not like to be touched. However, about a third of the way through the book, the author dropped the habit of telling vs. showing to do more showing and letting the reader experience Frankie's reactions directly. I think the habit early in the book of explaining/telling may have been a concession to young readers who might otherwise not understand what is going on.I enjoyed reading this book immensely. I hope there are sequels planned! ~bint
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  • Laurie Hnatiuk
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Cat Patrick, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for making it possible to read a digital ARC of this book.Frankie’s and her only friend Colette have not spoken in weeks, but when she goes missing, Frankie is determined that Colette has left her the clues to find her. This will be a challenge for Frankie being neurodiverse and struggling to keep from having outbursts so she can stay off her medications. Frankie recruits her twin sister Tess as Frankie believes t Thank you to Cat Patrick, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for making it possible to read a digital ARC of this book.Frankie’s and her only friend Colette have not spoken in weeks, but when she goes missing, Frankie is determined that Colette has left her the clues to find her. This will be a challenge for Frankie being neurodiverse and struggling to keep from having outbursts so she can stay off her medications. Frankie recruits her twin sister Tess as Frankie believes the clues relate to the Dare or Scare game the three of them played. The story plays out as the small community is shaken and frantically searching while Frankie tries to solve the clues and convince her sister this is the way to find Colette. It is a page turner as everyone is trying to figure out what happened to Colette. However, this book is about more than solving the mystery of a missing friend, but a story of friendship and family and being accepted.Tornado Brain is one of those rare books that allows the reader to get a glimpse into what it is like to see life through the eyes of an individual who is neurodiverse. The fact that Frankie has a love for tornadoes and compares her brain to a tornado also helps readers to understand her perception of the world. The struggle that Frankie has to “fit in” when she is off her medications and to be in control of her life are real and admirable. Strong character relationships between Frankie and Tess, the friendship turmoils and crushes experienced by the young characters along with the missing friend mystery make this book one that middle grade students will connect to but also get the opportunity to experience the world in a different manner . Highly recommended.
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  • H
    January 1, 1970
    This book feels like more of a 6-7 story than a 4-6 story, particularly as it has a more YA type resolution than a children's book resolution. It tells the story of Frankie, a neurodivergent 7th grader who struggles day to day. She has been diagnosed as ADHD and autistic, has a sesory processing disorder, and struggles to maintain friendships. She resists medications, as they make her feel angry, or nervous, or spacey. When the book starts, she has lost her best friend and her twin sister to ano This book feels like more of a 6-7 story than a 4-6 story, particularly as it has a more YA type resolution than a children's book resolution. It tells the story of Frankie, a neurodivergent 7th grader who struggles day to day. She has been diagnosed as ADHD and autistic, has a sesory processing disorder, and struggles to maintain friendships. She resists medications, as they make her feel angry, or nervous, or spacey. When the book starts, she has lost her best friend and her twin sister to another friend group, and is mad at them. We quickly learn that Colette, Frankie's former best friend, is missing. Frankie becomes obsessed with figuring out what happened to her. I've heard that one struggle some autistic people have is they have a hard time understanding that other people don't know what they know. And Frankie's fight with her friend and sister definitely have that aspect - as she assumes that they all know why Frankie is angry. Also, several times, Frankie comes to a conclusion that she doesn't share with others, then flares up at them insisting that she told them or they know. Some students will really love Frankie, but she can be hard to like, as her inability to control her emotions or understand others can come off as mean or even bullying. But for the patient reader, Frankie may be a breath of fresh air. I listened to this book through the free audiobook for educators program from libro.fm
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    13yo Frankie is neurodiverse - she is very different from her twin Tess. Frankie doesn't like to be touched, is distracted by noises, has special accommodations in school and has only 1 friend. Colette. But Colette is also friends with Tess. When Frankie overhears Colette say something mean about her, Frankie stops hanging around with them. Now Colette is missing. The police found a clue in her locker, a notebook Frankie, Colette and Tess used to write in years ago. But the only thing Frankie ca 13yo Frankie is neurodiverse - she is very different from her twin Tess. Frankie doesn't like to be touched, is distracted by noises, has special accommodations in school and has only 1 friend. Colette. But Colette is also friends with Tess. When Frankie overhears Colette say something mean about her, Frankie stops hanging around with them. Now Colette is missing. The police found a clue in her locker, a notebook Frankie, Colette and Tess used to write in years ago. But the only thing Frankie can see is that a page is missing - an important page. Maybe Frankie holds the key to what happened - but no one seems to listen.I really liked Frankie's voice, I loved being in her head and discovering how she thinks. The mystery was exciting, the friend drama was great. Their family dynamics were realistic, supportive mom, but a bit impatient (or so Frankie feels that way.), and the sister relationship was perfect. Frankie visits a therapist who helps her work through things productively. My middle school girls will love this.Also listened to the audiobook from Libro.fm which was marvelous. The narration was engaging, Jorjeana Marie is always on point. For this and more of my reviews, visit http://kissthebook.blogspot.com
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  • Eliana
    January 1, 1970
    *Content note at the end of this review contains a spoiler.Frankie doesn't experience the world like everyone else, especially emotions. She struggles between the person she is and the person she wants to be. And when her former best friend goes missing, Frankie reacts differently than people expect. But her unique way of viewing things may help solve the mystery of what happened to Colette.This book was so helpful to read, to help me better understand some of the challenges faced by neurodivers *Content note at the end of this review contains a spoiler.Frankie doesn't experience the world like everyone else, especially emotions. She struggles between the person she is and the person she wants to be. And when her former best friend goes missing, Frankie reacts differently than people expect. But her unique way of viewing things may help solve the mystery of what happened to Colette.This book was so helpful to read, to help me better understand some of the challenges faced by neurodiverse individuals. I recognize that it of course cannot represent the thoughts or obstacles of every person with the same kinds of labels as Frankie, but it can help expand the way that readers think about, understand, and empathize with those whose brains work differently than theirs.And of course, among these aspects, Tornado Brain is a story about growing up and figuring out who you are and what's important to you. It's about exploring the world around you and learning how to be okay with your place in it. Plus you can learn some cool facts, myths, and opinions about tornadoes.Content note: Death - may be upsetting for sensitive readers.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    I received an electronic ARC from Penguin Group through NetGalley.Though the book begins slowly, it draws readers in to Frankie's world. She struggles with several conditions and doesn't view the world in a "normal" way. Frankie and her twin sister, Tess, are near the end of their seventh grade year. Frankie is fascinated and fixated on tornadoes and each chapter begins with a fact about them that will connect to the action in the story. Readers see Frankie struggle to understand other people's I received an electronic ARC from Penguin Group through NetGalley.Though the book begins slowly, it draws readers in to Frankie's world. She struggles with several conditions and doesn't view the world in a "normal" way. Frankie and her twin sister, Tess, are near the end of their seventh grade year. Frankie is fascinated and fixated on tornadoes and each chapter begins with a fact about them that will connect to the action in the story. Readers see Frankie struggle to understand other people's emotions and interactions and compare them to how she interacts. The entire book is told from Frankie's perspective and through her observations and interactions. I appreciate Patrick's writing style that puts the reader inside Frankie's world. This can be a struggle at times as she wrestles with what she sees and knows but allows a reader to develop empathy and awareness. No attempt is made to smooth over or sugar coat Frankie's connections and interactions; readers experience her life as is.NOTE: One of the characters dies toward the end of the book. Handled in a sensitive manner.
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  • Shaye Miller
    January 1, 1970
    Don’t let that cutesy cover fool you, there’s more than meets the eye in this hard-hitting story. Tess and Frankie are fraternal twins, but Frankie will openly share that she has certain needs that Tess does not. For example, Frankie doesn’t ever like to be touched, loud noises bother her, and she needs a very reliable routine. Frankie is also well aware of the fact that she has trouble making friends. That’s why she’s so bothered by the fact that Colette is no longer her friend. And why is that Don’t let that cutesy cover fool you, there’s more than meets the eye in this hard-hitting story. Tess and Frankie are fraternal twins, but Frankie will openly share that she has certain needs that Tess does not. For example, Frankie doesn’t ever like to be touched, loud noises bother her, and she needs a very reliable routine. Frankie is also well aware of the fact that she has trouble making friends. That’s why she’s so bothered by the fact that Colette is no longer her friend. And why is that? Ooof. This story has a slowly unfolding mystery that kept me glued to the narration! With such young characters, this story was far deeper than I anticipated. I especially liked that it is told from a neurodiverse character’s perspective. It’s so important to have books like this in the world to serve as both a mirror and window for readers. My thanks to Libro.fm for providing me the audiobook of Tornado Brain.For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!
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  • Samantha Cribbin
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This coming-of-age tale with equal parts mystery and friendship is told through the perspective of Frankie, a neurodiverse seventh grader. Patrick does a great job of getting the reader inside of Frankie’s head and one definitely sees what Frankie and others like her must deal with each and every day. Frankie is obsessed with tornadoes and finds comfort in them and her routines. When Frankie’s former best friend, Colette, I received an ARC of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This coming-of-age tale with equal parts mystery and friendship is told through the perspective of Frankie, a neurodiverse seventh grader. Patrick does a great job of getting the reader inside of Frankie’s head and one definitely sees what Frankie and others like her must deal with each and every day. Frankie is obsessed with tornadoes and finds comfort in them and her routines. When Frankie’s former best friend, Colette, goes missing, Frankie is determined to find her before it’s too late. With the help of her neurotypical twin sister Tess, Frankie’s unique skills allow her to pick up on clues that assist the police in their search for Colette. While Colette’s disappearance is very sad, it is also captivating and realistic. The grief experienced by the characters within is portrayed in both a sensitive and genuine way, depicting the process of grief while still emphasizing resilience and hope.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    13-year-old Frankie and Tess are twins, but Frankie has something different about her. She is neurodivergent and to other kids she can seem a bit different. Frankie had a best friend, Colette, but the two had a falling out and Frankie is mad at her. Just before the end of 7th grade, Colette goes missing. Can Frankie and Tess find Colette in time. Will the police be any help? How are Frankie and Tess involved in Colette’s disappearance? The characters are loveable, realistic, and make the reader 13-year-old Frankie and Tess are twins, but Frankie has something different about her. She is neurodivergent and to other kids she can seem a bit different. Frankie had a best friend, Colette, but the two had a falling out and Frankie is mad at her. Just before the end of 7th grade, Colette goes missing. Can Frankie and Tess find Colette in time. Will the police be any help? How are Frankie and Tess involved in Colette’s disappearance? The characters are loveable, realistic, and make the reader see the world through their eyes. The plot is engaging and shows what one views as a weakness can be a strength. Narrator, Jorgeana Marie does a great job of capturing the main character and her personality. Readers who enjoy realistic fiction, mystery, and suspense will enjoy reading this book. Please note: This was a review copy given to us by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No financial compensation was received.
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  • LS Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quote: “All the voices that mattered in the world burst into laughter while my heart shattered into pieces.”The quote is an example of the vivid imagery used throughout the book. I found myself both frustrated and empathetic toward Frankie and this was due to the fact that the first person POV was from her. It challenged me but also forced me to see how it would be so frustrating for her. The one negative for me was that I felt like there were times when Frankie stepped out of the story Favorite Quote: “All the voices that mattered in the world burst into laughter while my heart shattered into pieces.”The quote is an example of the vivid imagery used throughout the book. I found myself both frustrated and empathetic toward Frankie and this was due to the fact that the first person POV was from her. It challenged me but also forced me to see how it would be so frustrating for her. The one negative for me was that I felt like there were times when Frankie stepped out of the storyline and spoke directly to the audience. That disrupted the flow of the character and story for me. The ending really caught me off guard because I, wrongfully, assume all middle grade books will end with a happy ending. But that added to the unique character of this book. I will be recommending this book to readers who want to read a book about empathy, twins, Asperger’s Syndrome or a mystery.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Took way too long to get there. I just read Maldonado's What Lane? and said it was too short. This is too long. If they met in the middle, I would have two perfectly enjoyable middle grade reads for story and length. I can't help but feel it's a ripoff of The Curious Incident of a Dog in Night-Time, so that already colors the reading of the book. I can't unread that one. While I had a hard time reading her story, Frankie's narrative rings fairly true but the story did too much outright narrating Took way too long to get there. I just read Maldonado's What Lane? and said it was too short. This is too long. If they met in the middle, I would have two perfectly enjoyable middle grade reads for story and length. I can't help but feel it's a ripoff of The Curious Incident of a Dog in Night-Time, so that already colors the reading of the book. I can't unread that one. While I had a hard time reading her story, Frankie's narrative rings fairly true but the story did too much outright narrating. A lot of telling and not showing. Then the mystery gets revved up and I felt like the book came together in the last 1/3 of the book and that's where the emotions ran wild and you deeply understood what the relationship was that meant something to both Frankie and Collette. I'm ambivalent.
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  • Tracy Mitchell
    January 1, 1970
    This MG novel does an outstanding job of giving the reader the story from a neurodivergent main character perspective. Cat Patrick takes you through the protagonist’s thinking process, misunderstandings & fears. As a teacher, I see this novel which could be used to build empathy & start conversations about individuals who are stereotyped & misunderstood.Seventh grader Frankie is not like her twin sister Tess. She doesn’t like to be touched. She has set routines. She is obsessed with tornadoes an This MG novel does an outstanding job of giving the reader the story from a neurodivergent main character perspective. Cat Patrick takes you through the protagonist’s thinking process, misunderstandings & fears. As a teacher, I see this novel which could be used to build empathy & start conversations about individuals who are stereotyped & misunderstood.Seventh grader Frankie is not like her twin sister Tess. She doesn’t like to be touched. She has set routines. She is obsessed with tornadoes and knows a plethora of facts about them. Tess is the average preteen with an interest in art. Sisters can have misunderstandings, so can friends- best friends. This best friend is missing. Can they put differences aside & find their missing friend?
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  • Abbie
    January 1, 1970
    This new novel about a neurodiverse protagonist by Cat Patrick is a must read! It's a great story about friendship and misunderstanding and a great mystery. I do think it's a step in the right direction for books about neurodiverse people. For a long time, these stories have just been about the world trying to accommodate people who struggle to fit in. That's an important part of this story, but Frankie also comes to some realizations about herself and learns that she has to accommodate and try This new novel about a neurodiverse protagonist by Cat Patrick is a must read! It's a great story about friendship and misunderstanding and a great mystery. I do think it's a step in the right direction for books about neurodiverse people. For a long time, these stories have just been about the world trying to accommodate people who struggle to fit in. That's an important part of this story, but Frankie also comes to some realizations about herself and learns that she has to accommodate and try to understand other people, as well. This is an empowering notion for people who are neurodiverse. Highly recommended!Read more at Bookish Adventures.
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  • Karissa
    January 1, 1970
    This is definitely on my list of top favorites from the year. I was able to get an ARC of this novel, but it also came in at a decent time from the library as an audio, so I listened to the audio version. I wish I were seeing more about this book on social media, but I understand why other books are taking precedent during this time in our history. Frankie is a neurodiverse 7th grader that is obsessed with tornadoes. Each chapter presents a tornado fact or myth, some of which have something to d This is definitely on my list of top favorites from the year. I was able to get an ARC of this novel, but it also came in at a decent time from the library as an audio, so I listened to the audio version. I wish I were seeing more about this book on social media, but I understand why other books are taking precedent during this time in our history. Frankie is a neurodiverse 7th grader that is obsessed with tornadoes. Each chapter presents a tornado fact or myth, some of which have something to do with the particular chapter. Frankie doesn't have a lot of friends. One of her best friends, Colette, she met during a tornado drill the first week of kindergarten. Other than that, Frankie has her twin sister Tess, but Tess has been hanging out with the more popular kids lately. Towards the end of their 7th grade year, Frankie and Colette are no longer friends. Then Colette disappears. Frankie and Tess work together to figure out where Colette could have gone. As a non-neurodiverse person, I cannot speak to how accurate this portrayal is. However, I felt like the author captured the thoughts and feelings of Frankie quite well. Frankie's mind was constantly whirling, and there were times when she acted inappropriately but because of the narration, I was able to understand why. There were times when Frankie frustrated me but not in the way other characters frustrate me, if you know what I mean. I'm happy to have a copy of this for my classroom library, ARC or not. I cannot wait to share it with students. It is most certainly appropriate for middle grade classrooms. Patrick didn't leave the ending as cheery as other authors might have, and it's something I appreciated.
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  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to libro.fm, the publisher, and Cat Patrick for providing me with the ALC of this insightful novel. The title refers to a name that Frankie is called because of her behaviors related to her neurodiversity. She is obsessed with tornadoes and provides facts and myths about them throughout the book. Frankie's former best friend is missing and it is through her persistence and help from her twin, Tess, that she is able to trace the events that led to Colette's disappearance. I would recomm Thank you to libro.fm, the publisher, and Cat Patrick for providing me with the ALC of this insightful novel. The title refers to a name that Frankie is called because of her behaviors related to her neurodiversity. She is obsessed with tornadoes and provides facts and myths about them throughout the book. Frankie's former best friend is missing and it is through her persistence and help from her twin, Tess, that she is able to trace the events that led to Colette's disappearance. I would recommend this book to middle school students, especially those who feel like they have trouble fitting in and those who need could use some help empathizing with others.
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  • Manon
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I'd like to begin by saying that my rating is based on my enjoyment. Content-wise, I think this book deserves more praise. It specifically made me think about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. The main character, Frankie, deals with several disorders. The writing style lets us look inside her head so we can experience exactly what goes through her mind every day. Besides this, the book also deals with an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I'd like to begin by saying that my rating is based on my enjoyment. Content-wise, I think this book deserves more praise. It specifically made me think about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. The main character, Frankie, deals with several disorders. The writing style lets us look inside her head so we can experience exactly what goes through her mind every day. Besides this, the book also deals with another important topic, namely grief. I think this book could be a valuable addition to school reading lists and would therefore especially recommend it to middle graders and young adults.
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  • Miriam
    January 1, 1970
    Written from a first person perspective, this one is about a 13 year old girl who is neurodiverse. There's lots of internal dialogue that helps the reader understand how she navigates through the world. The book provides a lot of insight into relationships, friendships, and misunderstanding one another.Oh yes, there's a mystery that the main character, Frankie, solves with help from her sister Tess and her friend Kai. Written for 10+ (5th Graders), older children and adults will enjoy it.Thanks Written from a first person perspective, this one is about a 13 year old girl who is neurodiverse. There's lots of internal dialogue that helps the reader understand how she navigates through the world. The book provides a lot of insight into relationships, friendships, and misunderstanding one another.Oh yes, there's a mystery that the main character, Frankie, solves with help from her sister Tess and her friend Kai. Written for 10+ (5th Graders), older children and adults will enjoy it.Thanks to the BookLoft of German Village (Columbus, OH) http://www.bookloft.com for an ARC to read and review.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Frankie, and her twin sister Tess, live with their mother in an Inn on the beach. When Frankie was in kindergarten, they experienced a tornado while in school. Since then, Frankie has been obsessed with them. While things come easy for Tess, they do not for Frankie. She is neurodivergent - can't stand to be touched, dislikes change, and she is easily distracted. This also makes it hard for Frankie to make friends. About a month before seventh grade lets out for the summer, Frankie's one friend C Frankie, and her twin sister Tess, live with their mother in an Inn on the beach. When Frankie was in kindergarten, they experienced a tornado while in school. Since then, Frankie has been obsessed with them. While things come easy for Tess, they do not for Frankie. She is neurodivergent - can't stand to be touched, dislikes change, and she is easily distracted. This also makes it hard for Frankie to make friends. About a month before seventh grade lets out for the summer, Frankie's one friend Colette, goes missing. Frankie thinks she may know why and needs her sister's help to unravel the mystery.A great story told with humor and some sadness.
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  • Carli
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. Thanks to the Libro.fm Educator ALC program and the publisher for the free audio copy of this book. This is perfect for fans of Out of My Mind, Fish in a Tree, and Counting By 7s. Thirteen-year-old Frankie feels like an outsider, especially compared to her twin sister, Tess. Frankie is neurodiverse, and her mannerisms have led to her only having one friend - Colette - outside of her sister. When Colette goes missing a couple months after she and Frankie stop talking, Frankie has to t ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. Thanks to the Libro.fm Educator ALC program and the publisher for the free audio copy of this book. This is perfect for fans of Out of My Mind, Fish in a Tree, and Counting By 7s. Thirteen-year-old Frankie feels like an outsider, especially compared to her twin sister, Tess. Frankie is neurodiverse, and her mannerisms have led to her only having one friend - Colette - outside of her sister. When Colette goes missing a couple months after she and Frankie stop talking, Frankie has to try and convince her family and the police that her gut instinct may be what saves Colette. Lots of feels in this one! Recommended for grades 5-8.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Although not for every student, I feel like this is a good middle school book for dealing with (view spoiler)[loss of a friend when you had unresolved issues (hide spoiler)]. It also gives an interesting portrayal of a main character who is not neurotypical, especially showing her thought-process and how little of that is expressed verbally. I don't feel that I'm in the position to comment on whether the portrayal is accurate or not and I'll be keen to read reviews by people who have had experie Although not for every student, I feel like this is a good middle school book for dealing with (view spoiler)[loss of a friend when you had unresolved issues (hide spoiler)]. It also gives an interesting portrayal of a main character who is not neurotypical, especially showing her thought-process and how little of that is expressed verbally. I don't feel that I'm in the position to comment on whether the portrayal is accurate or not and I'll be keen to read reviews by people who have had experiences closer to that of Frankie's. The mystery part was interesting and kept me engaged, but I guess I was unprepared for how heavy the ending was. It was very accurate, but heavy.
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