I recently finished Legend of the Storm Sneezer, book one of The Stormwatch Diaries by Kristiana Sfirlea and there is a reason this is an award winning book! Published by Monster Ivy (I have now determined I must read their entire catalog),this middle grade fantasy was easily a 5-star read from me. I firmly believe this book can ignite a passion for reading in even the most reluctant young reader with its high energy, unique and excellent world building, and creative cast of characters.
Professional legend seeker, part-time ghost hunter, and time traveler – Rose Skylar has big goals for her future. But she’s destined to follow in her father’s footsteps and train to become the next Dame Commander of Chunter Woods. Yet, there’s a small problem. Rose sneezed out a magical storm cloud at birth, Stormy, who has followed her around ever since – the two have been involved in too many disasters, and on Rose’s 13th birthday, she is taken away to an asylum for angels with unstable magic.
The asylum – Heartstone Asylum to be exact – has many secrets that Rose is itching to uncover. What caused the trees in the forest to turn to stone? Why are ghosts that are supposedly bound to the forest drifting outside the windows? Better yet, why aren’t the ghosts allowed into the graveyard (ghosts in graveyards make sense, doesn’t it)? And what was with that giant snake being brought through the window on her first night at Heartstone?
Armed with her best friend and guardian angel, Marek, a goggle-wearing Sonorific Husky pup named Beta, knowledge of Blackout’s Tales (a book about legends), and notes from her future selves, Rose must save Heartstone and everyone there – after all, everyone deserves to be saved, right?
Y’all, this book has my heart! Rose was such a joy to read about – her soul so pure. Sfirlea did an amazing job building Rose’s character and building suspense as the story progressed – I constantly wanted to find out what happened next AND now I CANNOT wait for book two to be released later this year!
Themes of sacrifice, friendship, found families, second chances, the power of prayer, and believing in one’s self fill the pages. Not only will young readers discover a love for reading through Legend of the Storm Sneezer, but they will walk away deep in thought about these important themes. Even older readers can appreciate Sfirlea’s delightfully quirky writing through Rose’s narration and the story that unfolds (And if you are prone to crying, get the tissues ready BUT be ready to laugh out loud as well).
I cannot recommend this book enough to lovers of middle grade fantasy, and fantasy in general. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would!
Order your copy of Legend of the Storm Sneezer here!