We are huge fans of author Marti Dumas (one of our favorite podcast guests!) and her series of Jaden Toussaint early reader books. In November, Marti released her latest book, JUPITER STORM, a middle grade novel about a girl and her dragon. We snaggged a review copy and we’re thrilled to (finally) share our review today!
Jupiter Storm Summary
Ten-year-old Jackie is a force to be reckoned with, despite the fact that she lives in a house filled with five brothers and two strict (but loving) parents. She follows rules, she gets things done, and she does it right. That is, until she finds a mysterious chrysalis on one of the snapdragon plants she tends to on the front porch each evening.
There are rules about bringing dirt and critters into the house, so Jackie smuggles the “chrysalegg” into her bedroom and tends to it diligently. After weeks of waiting, the chrysalegg hatches to reveal a surprising creature. Not quite a lizard, not quite a bird—Jackie has discovered a dragon. She names him Jupiter Storm.
It’s hard to hide a dragon, but Jackie and Jupiter soon form a bond that make all the sneaking around worth it. When Jackie’s family eventually discovers Jupiter, Jackie is forced to decide what’s best for Jupiter—fighting for him or setting him free.
Jupiter Storm Review
Marti Dumas is such an engaging storyteller. We fell in love with Jackie and her maternal care for Jupiter (side note: Lu’s permanent pretend name is now Jackie).
This story builds as it goes. Because Jackie constantly hides things from her family, there is not a lot of dialogue. The story keeps moving as the setting changes–we peek into Jackie’s world at school, her neighborhood, and her wild, untamed Louisiana backyard. (Another side note: I want to see this amazing jungle yard.)
Once we neared the climax of the story, we were completely hooked. We needed to know what happened, so we stayed up late reading and the girls set their alarm clocks 20 minutes early the next day so we could finish the final few chapters on a school morning.
The end did not disappoint. The story wrapped up neatly, while leaving room for a cliffhanger that will be followed up in a sequel to be released this year. Bean has already started saving up her money to buy the next installment.
JUPITER STORM is age-appropriate for elementary school readers, it offers some STEM learning, and it features a fiercely independent and capable young girl. This is a fabulous book for 8–10-year-olds, who are often forgotten in the land of middle grade books.