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Swimming Against the Storm

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Swimming Against the Storm Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 13
13 Reviews
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An adventure story set in the swamplands of Louisiana about sisters, rising sea-levels and saving the environment, perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell and Lauren St John. Our land is sinking. It's disappearing into the water. And no one knows how to save it. Twelve-year-old Eliza and her sister Avery have lived their entire lives in a small fishing village on the coast of Louisiana, growing up alongside turtles, pelicans and porpoises. But now, with sea levels rising, their home is at risk of being swept away. Determined to save the land, Eliza and her younger sister Avery secretly go searching in the swamp for the dangerous, wolf-like loup-garou . If they can prove this legendary creature exists, they're sure that the government will have to protect its habitat - and their community. But there's one problem: the loup-garou has never been seen before. And with a tropical storm approaching and the sisters deep, deep in the swampland, soon it's not just their home at risk, but their lives as well...

Swimming Against the Storm Reviews | Toppsta

9781510105485

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18th April '19
I read it to Rory aged 11 aged 11 & to Addie aged 9 aged 9
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
Another fantastic book from Jess Butterworth. We loved the story and the way the story played out. The main thing we loved was the setting, we could easily picture the Bayou and the devistation caused by the rising waters. This book really gave us something to think about and was a great read especially for Addie who has not long finished a topic on natural disasters at school
12th April '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  It is a story about 4 children and the swamp lands in South Louisiana and a race against time to stop them sinking and becoming part of the sea.  The story follows the children as they try to find a way to protect their land.  I really liked the way the story is set out.  The chapters are short - only 2 or 3 pages each but this helps to keep the story moving along at a fast and exciting pace and is perfect for Children.  Amongst the pages are little drawings which make the book attractive.  
There are lots of beautiful descriptions in this book about the land, swamps and all the different animals that live there.  These really helped to get the imagination going.
I would recommend this book for anyone who like adventures.
13th April '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
One of the reasons I wanted to read this book was because I teach topics on habitats and extreme weather, and thought this story would be perfect for my class.  And it is!  But, it’s also so much more than that! 
Two themes really struck a chord with me:  the devastating human and natural loss that happens to an ecosystem under threat, and the determination and courage of young people to take a stance and fight to protect their home.
When they discover that their home is under threat Eliza, her younger sister Avery and two of their friends decide that they are going to save it.  But how?  The children agree to go on a secret mission to find the legendary loup-garou who may be the key to saving their home before it is swallowed by the rising sea levels.
Their mission does not go according to plan as Avery becomes lost, and so begins an adventure full of determination and discoveries, with an underlying frisson of danger which permeates its way throughout the story. The gradual build-up of the hurricane is masterfully written, taking the children unawares and hurling them into a fight for survival. 
The writing opened a window into the breath-taking Louisiana wetlands landscape which gave me a mesmerising view of the marshlands, the bayou, the wildlife and climate:  it really made me appreciate the awesome beauty, and power, of nature.
As well as the powerful ecological message which permeates through this story, I also found the relationships between the children very authentic and touching.  The strong bond between them is grounded in friendship and love, especially between the two sisters, Erica and Avery.  The story is told through the viewpoint of Erica, the older sister, who feels the responsibility and, sometimes burden, of being the elder, but also has a powerful protective instinct towards her younger sibling.  Avery clearly adores her older sister, and has a more impetuous, strong-willed nature, which leads them all into danger, but also is the catalyst for the hope of saving their community.
I would highly recommend this book to children of 9+.
13th April '19
Darth read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
I really enjoyed reading this story. It's set in Coteville, a small fishing villiage in Louisiana. Eliza and her sister Avery, along with Huy and Grace are the main characters. Their village is suffering from subsidence and rising water levels and the four friends are desperately looking for a way to save their homes. They set out to look for a rare creature, unfortunately they get separated while a hurricane strikes. I loved reading all about the different animals that live in the Bayou. My mum and i googled the cypress trees to sre what they looked like. I liked that it was based on fact and feel like i know a lot more about the environment factors affecting these communities. A brilliant read. 
18th March '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
Swimming Against the Storm is absolutely outstanding, the short snappy chapters moving the plot along quickly. I would absolutely recommend this to readers of Middle Grade fiction, but especially those who just starting to move on to these longer chapter books.
The book has a strong message about responsibility to the landscape which is excellent whether matched to other interests or for a young activist, but is absolutely a book that any child should be able to be enthralled by.

Butterworth's narrative is wonderful, fits right as the voice of a young girl raised with one foot on the land and one foot in the swamp, and the chapter page decals throughout add a mystical quality with fronds and flora swaying and swimming across the page.
14th April '19
Bee read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!
3rd June '19
MrH's_class read it themselves aged 8 to 10
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
I loved Swimming Against the Storm! It was full of adventures and that is something I love in real life as well as in the books I read. It's especially exciting when a certain character is lost and the others have to find them... I was on the edge of my seat. I also really enjoyed the lesson of the story and how it is so important for us to work together.
Skye, 4DH
3rd June '19
MidKid read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
My son adored this book, and raced through it in 2 days..... he’d recommend it to anyone in year 5/6
22nd April '19
I read it myself (an adult) & to Crash aged 7 to 11
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
I’m a big fan of Jess Butterworth’s books and Swimming Against the Storm is my favourite of her three novels. Again, the beautifully detailed and vividly described setting of her story is outstanding.
This third book is set in the threatened and sinking swamps of Louisiana where a whole community’s way of life is becoming increasingly precarious. In the town of Coteville, live Eliza and her younger sister Avery, who decide to fight the threats that oil companies pose to their precious home , by seeking out the loup-garou (a wolf like creature said to live within the swamps) in order to get protection for their land.
When young Avery goes missing on a night time quest for the legendary creature, the adventure turns to drama and fear. Surrounded by water, alligators, relentless mosquitoes and with a hurricane on the horizon, it’s a race against time for older sister Eliza and friends to find her.
The Louisianan swamps are brought to life by the most intricate and evocative vocab. The narrative voice is that of 12 year old Eliza and so the reader is placed right in the centre of the action, experiencing the heat, humidity and mud alongside the characters. The pace of the story is driven by the encroaching and growing storm and the tension builds and builds, completely gripping the reader.
The children themselves are bold,determined and resilient, experiencing some heart racing and dangerous scenes. There’s a fierce sense of love ,loyalty and responsibility that they all demonstrate towards to each other (and to their community) that drives the powerful,emotional scenes of the story.
Swimming Against the Storm is an utterly compelling, against –the –odds, thrilling ride of a story.
 
20th May '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
I couldn’t put the book down! It is the perfect size for 8+ year old children that struggle with larger reads as this is just right. A fantastic adventure story! Lots of beautiful illustrations throughout & some very adventurous passionate young children. I highly recommend and can’t wait for children in my class to start reading :-)
18th April '19
Zap! read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
5 stars
This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It is exciting and tense at points and although there are no pictures you can picture the characters instantly.
10th June '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
4 stars
Having a sneak peak at the last pages of a story, for me, spoils the anticipation and excitement as the chapters unfold. However, these days I often look to see if there's an Author's Note or Afterword because this gives me insight into the research and thinking behind the writing.  In Swimming Against the Storm, Jess Butterworth tells us of the time spent listening to stories of the legendary Loup-Garou and seeing first-hand the effects of rising sea levels in Louisiana.  So it's no wonder that the story of Eliza, sister Avery and friends Huy and Grace is both realistic and exciting. When they get lost in the swamp, face the terror of a hurricane and uncover dirty business in the drilling industry, the reader is drawn into the adventure and the jeopardy.  I would recommend this wholeheartedly, especially to children in Key Stage 2 who have a concern for the environment.
23rd April '19
I read it myself (an adult)
Swimming Against the Storm 9781510105485
4 stars
Set in the swamplands of South Louisiana the story follows Eliza's adventures as she battles to save her home from the risk of flooding.  With the addition of the curious mythical creature, the loup-garou, this story is both mysterious and full of action making the reader want to find out what will happen next.  Eliza, along with her sister and friends set out to find the loup-garou in the hope that the discovery will somehow save their homeland but the children find themselves in deeper danger as the bad weather turns into a treacherous hurricane.  The description of the setting and the extreme weather conditions are so good that you can easily imagine being in these unfamiliar surroundings.  Eliza's torment over wanting to change from tradition and not follow in her parents' footsteps yet her battle to save the area she knows as home add a real human element to the story.  Short snappy chapters make this adventurous story move along quickly.  A great read for an older KS2 child wanting to branch out and try something different.
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Featured Book
Book pages The Good Thieves
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Bestselling and award-winning author, Katherine Rundell, returns with a brilliant new story packed with adventure and excitement, recommended for ages 9+

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Book pages Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight
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About Jess Butterworth

Jess spent her childhood between the UK and India, and grew up hearing stories about the Himalayas from her grandmother. She's lived in India and even met with the Dalai Lama. She studied creative writing at Bath Spa and now lives between Seattle and Somerset....

More about Jess Butterworth

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