I really didn’t think Jasmine Warga could top Other Words for Home. I’m happy to say I was wrong. The Shape of Thunder is a brave book that tackles gun violence and believing in the impossible.
The story is told in alternating points of view from two best friends, Cora and Quinn. It starts almost a year after a tragedy that ended the life of both their older siblings and their friendship. I won’t give anything more away because one of the strengths of this story is how the backstory slowly unfolds in the present.
Quinn and Cora come together to try and go back to prevent the tragedy from occurring. At first I thought the concept of time travel was a bit…. far fetched. But the device totally works. It helps reveals both the history of what happened and the deep wounds each girl carries as a result. Because Cora and Quinn have lost so much, it’s easy to imagine how they could put their faith in something like time travel.
The Shape of Thunder does not provide all the answers. But Cora and Quinn do get the help they need in the end. This middle grade novel is highly recommended, with beautiful writing and a cast of believable (if not always likable) characters. There’s also enough scientific data to satisfy time travel doubters like myself. And proof that you can find anything on the internet–which as we’ve learned over the past year or so is definitely not always a good thing.