Sad without Dad,
best friend ghosting her,
does she hear meows in the storm?
In this foggy coastal California town, Cassie just trudges through her days at middle school, avoiding the Popular Posse that took away her best friend, ignoring comments about her non-fashion sense.
Volunteering at the public library is the only bright spot in Cassie’s life, as Mom is still not-all-here after Dad’s death, even when cool Ms. Asher partners her with geeky Joe, whose tech skills have finally made the bullies leave the Black boy alone.
When the tweens rescue a tiny black kitten during a wild storm, life gets more interesting. How did Albert survive when lightning struck that dumpster? Cassie takes him home and is amazed at how fast and strong he is!
More unusual weather events in town, Albert’s water bowl steaming when he plays in it, and a strange symbol appearing on Cassie’s closet door – the same symbol that’s on the notebook that Ms. Asher hides when anyone comes near!
Scorch marks on her bedroom carpet, an old college friend ranting to Ms. Asher about storms and dragons, mysterious events in their town’s history – Joe and Cassie (and Albert) need more information so they visit the library… after hours.
When little kitten Albert comes to Cassie’s defense during a slumber party (best friend’s mom said she had to be invited), there are suddenly flames, screaming popular girls, and a viral video…of a dragon!
The police start asking questions, Ms. Asher’s friend is threatening them, and they have to leave town with Albert – now!
When have you and your friends stood up for someone who needs help?
Book info: Secret of the Storm (Secret of the Storm, book 1) / Beth McMullen. Aladdin Books/Simon & Schuster, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.