by Jennifer Brown
When Jersey hears the tornado alarm go off, she's not too worried. They go off all the time, and 99.99% of the time nothing happens. But she goes down into the cellar anyway, cause she doesn't want her mom to yell at her if she found out she hadn't. This time is not a false alarm. As the tornado recedes and leaves her town devastated, Jersey has lost everything and everyone she loves. Now, sent to live with relatives she's never met, Jersey will have to discover that there are some things you keep even when you thought you'd lost everything.
Author Jennifer Brown is known for her brilliantly written and poignant books, and this title definitely fits the bill. Jersey is a very empathetic character, and her struggles as she tries to move forward are heartbreaking. The relationships between the characters are believable. I thought the storyline with her stepfather to be extremely realistic and as such very difficult to read. The lack of sex or alcohol or drugs make this a safe bet for even younger teens.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 7th Grade