Tamsin Mori uses the atmospheric setting of Shetland to great effect in her magical Middle Grade novel – The Weather Weaver – a story about family and friendship, and weathering the storms that shake those all-important foundations.
When 11-yr-old Stella arrives on Shetland for the summer holidays, she is filled with expectations and excitement about spending time with Grandpa. But Grandpa is nothing like the man Stella remembers from her early childhood. Changed by his grief over the loss of Stella’s beloved Grandma, Stella’s dreams of exploring the island together evaporate like morning mist. Grandpa even seems determined to keep Stella indoors, and is as moody as the Shetland skies.
By attempting to make things better, Stella somehow manages to make everything worse; and when she accidentally breaks Grandma’s special mug, she and Grandpa have another big fall out and Stella runs away from the cottage.
A woman called Tamar finds Stella on the cliff paths and takes the younger girl under her wing, spotting a vein of her own weather-weaving magic in Stella. The beginnings of a lovely, intergenerational friendship develops, and so Stella’s own magical ability. With a new purpose and a pet cloud called Nimbus, Stella is soon busy whipping up winds and training puppy-like Nimbus to stop brain-fogging Grandpa. Mastering new skills seems to be helping her master her own stormy feelings, too.
All too soon, however, the time for practicing is over and Stella finds herself in the eye of a powerful storm conjured by The Haken; a sea witch who is determined to destroy the beautiful island and the weather weavers who protect it.
The striking cover art by David Dean captures the elemental power of Stella’s magic, which is as intense as her love for her family and her island.