Parents' Guide to

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Memorable heroine, lush writing weave a captivating spell.

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In CARTWHEELING IN THUNDERSTORMS, Katherine Rundell breathes life into another fascinating, independent girl. Stubborn, spirited Will lives a beautiful life, and the portion of the novel set in Zimbabwe thrums with energy and beauty. Young readers will want to linger there with Will forever. When the story moves to gray London, the story also loses some of its shine. The resolution feels rushed, but readers who fall head over heels for Wilhelmina will realize midway through that a satisfying ending is unlikely.

However, the character, rather than what happens to her, sticks with you. Rundell is a talented, poetic writer with a knack for creating vivid, charismatic characters. She published this book as The Girl Savage in the U.K. two years before her lovely Rooftoppers, which also features a resourceful, unconventional heroine.

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