Sunday, May 3, 2020

"Tornado Brain"

Cat Patrick and her family live near Seattle but spend as much time as possible four hours west setting marshmallows on fire and tangling kites in the curious town of Long Beach. There, Tornado Brain was born.

Patrick is the author of several books for young adults including Summer 2011 Kids Indie Next List pick Forgotten, which sold in 23 countries; ALA 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers selection Revived; and others. Tornado Brain is her middle grade debut.

Patrick applied the Page 69 Test to Tornado Brain and reported the following:
Page 69 of Tornado Brain is part of an important scene just after the main character, Frankie, a neurodivergent middle schooler, visits the police station in her town of Long Beach, Washington. Frankie’s former best friend Colette has gone missing. Police are trying to uncover clues about what happened to Colette by speaking to several of her classmates, including Frankie.

I didn’t know what to expect when I agreed to this test! That said, I’m pleased to have discovered that opening Tornado Brain to page 69 does give readers a good sense of the book overall. The page helps readers learn about Frankie’s personality—and lack of filter—as well as about Frankie’s delicate relationships with her mom and sister. In addition, it features a quirky piece of art that’s signature Long Beach. Finally, it could be considered the tip of the iceberg in terms of the book’s mystery.

The mystery is what came first with Tornado Brain. I wrote a different young adult book more than seven years ago that had a similar premise: a former best friend gone missing. I didn’t love that book, but I did love the mystery. I held it tight until later, after I’d encountered Long Beach, and later still, when I met Frankie in my mind. Tornado Brain is the result of years of inspiration coming together, and I sincerely hope readers enjoy meeting Frankie and exploring her hometown.
Visit Cat Patrick's website.

Q&A with Cat Patrick.

--Marshal Zeringue