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5.0 10
by Betsy Byars

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A tornado appears in the distance, and Pete, the farmhand, gathers everyone into the storm cellar. While they wait for the storm to pass,he tells the family about the dog dropped down by a tornado when Pete was a boy. Named Tornado, Pete′s pet was no ordinary dog -- he played card tricks, saved a turtle′s life, and


A tornado appears in the distance, and Pete, the farmhand, gathers everyone into the storm cellar. While they wait for the storm to pass,he tells the family about the dog dropped down by a tornado when Pete was a boy. Named Tornado, Pete′s pet was no ordinary dog -- he played card tricks, saved a turtle′s life, and had a rivalry with the family cat. By the time Pete tells all of Tornado′s lively stories, the storm has passed, and another family has been entertained by this very special dog.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Pete, a farmhand-storyteller, comforts and amuses a boy and his family while they anxiously wait out a tornado in their storm cellar. He tells them tales of his dog, Tornado, so named because the dog and his doghouse were blown into Pete's yard during a twister when Pete was a boy. While the storm rages above, Pete describes how Tornado almost swallowed a pet turtle and how he performed his one card trick. The seven, brief chapters, written in simple but humorous language, make this a good beginning chapter book.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Trophy Chapter Bks.
Edition description:
1st Harper Trophy Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Storm

"Twister! " Pete yelled. "Twister!

I ran for the house.


He pointed.

I looked over my shoulder. I could see it--a long, black funnel cloud in the west. It pointed from the dark sky right down to our farm.

Pete opened the doors to the storm cellar and beckoned with his straw hat.

"Twister!" he shouted again.

My two brothers ran from the barn. Pete helped my grandmother down the steps.

"Hurry up, boys," she called. Then she said to my mother, "Come on, Beth."

My mother was standing outside the door. She was worried about my daddy.

"Link! Link!" she called. My daddy had been named for a president. "Lincoln!"

"He's in the cornfield," Pete said. "He can't hear you, ma'am."

Still my mother hesitated. The cornfield seemed to be directly under the funnel.

"He'll be all right. He can get in a ditch. You come on now."

She ducked into the cellar, and Pete pulled the doors shut behind her.

The storm cellar was dim and cool. It smelled of potatoes and pickles. My mother kept sacks of root vegetables here along with boxes of eggs and jars of tomatoes.

My brothers and I sat on the dirt floor. My grandmother sat on a pickle barrel and my mother on an orange crate.

We sat for a moment, silent. We listened to the storm and worried about my father in the cornfield.

Something that sounded like gravel was thrown against the cellar doors.

"Hail," my mother said', and bowed her head.

Pete cleared his throat. "You know what this brings to my mind?" he said.

We knew, and my brothers and Iturned to him gratefully. We saw a flash ofteeth as he smiled at us.

"It brings to mind a dog I had one time."

"Tornado," my brothers and I said together.

"How'd you know his name?" he teased. "Yes, I did call my dog Tornado."

Pete settled his straw hat on his head and began. "I remember it was an August day, a whole lot like this one."

In the Doghouse

At breakfast that morning, I remember my mother looked up from the stove, took a breath, and said, "I smell a storm."

I shivered a little, because my mother's nose was always right.

My daddy said, "Well, you kids better stay close to the house."

The morning went by, slow and scary. We did stay close to the house. Folks didn't call our part of the country Tornado Alley for nothing.

Along about lunch, it hit. Only there was no warning like we had today. No funnel cloud, no nothing. One minute we were eating beans and biscuits at the table. Next there was a roar--worse than a train--worse than a hundred trains. And then there came a terrible tearing sound, like the world was being ripped apart. I can still hear it in my mind.

I looked up, and I saw sky. The ceiling was clean gone. There was the sky! The tornado had torn the roof off the kitchen and left the food on the table and. us in our seats.

My daddy was the first to be able to speak. He said, "Well, I'm surprised to find myself alive."

That was how we all felt. We looked at our arms and legs to make sure they were still hooked on us.

Then my father pushed back his chair and said, "Let's go see the damage."

Outside, the yard was not our yard anymore. The tree with the tire swing was laid flat. The tops of all the pine trees had been snapped off. A doghouse I had never seen before was beside the well. A piece of bicycle was here, the hood of a car there. I stepped over somebody's clothesline that still had some clothes on it.

The roof of the kitchen lay at the edge of the garden. It was folded shut like a book. We walked over there.

"It was about time for a new roof," my daddy said. He always tried to find the good in something.

I was just walking around, looking at other people's things, when I heard a rattling noise.

I kept listening and looking, and finally I realized the sound was coming from that doghouse. I went over to it.

The doghouse was trembling. You could see it. It was trembling. It was shaking. It was doing everything but having a fit.

I looked inside, and there was a big black dog. He was panting so hard, I could feel his breath. He was shaking so hard, the doghouse was in danger of losing its boards.

"Daddy, there's a dog in here!"

My daddy came over.

"Look, Daddy. It's a big black dog."

My daddy leaned down and took a look.

"Well, you can come on out now," he told the dog. "The storm's over, and you're among friends."

The dog just kept shaking.

"Maybe I can pull him out," I said.

"Don't you put your hand in there," my mother said.

"Yes, leave him be, Pete."

All that day, all that night, all the next day that dog shook. I brought him water, but he wouldn't drink. I brought him food, but he wouldn't eat.

Then that night my mother leaned, out the kitchen door and yelled, "Supper!" as she usually did. The dog heard her and stuck his head out of the doghouse. He must have been familiar with the word.

He came out, stood there, looked around for a moment, and then gave one final shake, as if he were shaking off the past. Then he came over and joined us at the back door.

I said, "Daddy, can we keep him? Please?"

"If we don't find the owner."

"Can we call him Tornado?"

"Until we find the owner."

"We'll have to ask around," my mother reminded me.

"I know."

My daddy bent down. "Let's see what kind of manners you got, Tornado. Shake!"

My daddy put out his hand. Tornado put out his paw. They shook like two men striking a bargain.

Then we all went in to supper.

Tornado. Copyright © by Betsy Byars. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Betsy Byars is a widely read and loved author of many award-winning middle-grade books for children, including Summer Of The Swans (Viking), a 1971 Newbery Medal winner. The Pinballs was an ALA Notable Children's Book in 1977 as well as the basis for an ABC Afterschool Special. Other books she has written for HarperCollins are Good-bye, Chicken Little; The Seven Treasure Hunts, illustrated by Jennifer Barrett; and three I Can Read Books, the popular The Golly Sisters Go West, Hooray For The Golly Sisters!, and The Golly Sisters Ride Again, all illustrated by Sue Truesdell. Ms. Byars lives in Clemson, South Carolina, with her husband.

Doron Ben-Ami is an award winning illustrator living in Danbury Connecticut with his wife Hilary Kaufman/Ben-Ami and two children, Juilet and Jake. Mr. Ben-Ami studied art at Brooklyn College where he graduated Cum Laude in 1977 with a Bachelor of Fine Art. He subsequently served an apprenticeship with renowned figurative painter Philip Pearlstein. His work has appeared on numerous young adult and children's book covers, as well as national advertisements.

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Tornado 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this story Tornado there is a family that lives on a farm. One cloudy day the middle age boy seen a funnel and he asked his mom to come here. She told him that there was a tornado coming and that everyone needed to get to the cellar. Everyone made it to the cellar but there dad was out in the corn field and didn't see the tornado coming. When they got into the cellar there mom told them that their dad probably realized that there was tornado coming and made it into a ditch. During the tornado the oldest boy told stories about when he was a younger kid. His stories where about a dog that had landed in there yard on day during a tornado. He asked his parents if he could keep the dog they said only if we don't find the owner. About a month later nobody claimed the dog. On that same day they were getting ready to ride into town and the dog jumped into the back of the truck. He asked his dad if Tornado the dog could come along. So he did but when they got to the hardware store they went in and bought what they needed. After that when they came out there was a family surrounded by the bed of the truck. The youngest girl told the boy that this was her dog .He couldn't believe it and he dropped the bag of nails. They took the dog and one day they were outside and he had come back to them. His dad told him that he could keep the dog because it had come back. In my opinion this is a really good book for children that are in 3rd grade in up. I really enjoyed this book. It's a good book to me because I like dogs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Betsy Byars
Scholastic Inc.
realistic fiction

¿'There's a tornado, go into the cellar!¿ The story, Tornado by Betsy Byers, takes place in the past. Its about a dog named Tornado and a boy named Pete. The book begins with the tornado and everybody has to go in to the cellar so they will be safe . One of the kids asked Pete to tell a story about his dog Tornado so he did but the kids have already heard all of the stories. the way Pete found Tornado was after the storm when the roof fell off the house because of the tornado and Pete found him in his dog house that fell on the yard. Then Pete talked about how he lost Tornado to a little girl.

Tornado is a dog that is not that smart but that's only when he's not paying attention to what he's doing . Tornado is also brave and he can be demanding like the time Five-o-clock (the neighborhood cat) found the whole he was digging the hole morning and decided to lay in it. Tornado got so mad at that cat that Pete's mom made Pete get Five-o-clock out of the hole and tie Tornado to the garage and barry the hole. After that day Tornado never dug another hole. Pete is the owner of Tornado the dog Pete is the one that cleans up Tornado's mistakes like the time Tornado was going to get so mad that he could of killed five-o-clock the cat . It takes a lot to make him cry.

The book Tornado is a very good book . I would recommend it to people that are slow readers and to people that like to cry , and to people that like dog and cats that hate each other. I liked the book Tornado because Tornado reminds me of my dog Daisy because they both like to dig holes and they both hate cats. I also liked the book because it was funny because of the time Tornado was drinking out of a bowl and a turtle was in the bowl and he drank the turtle and it got stuck in his moth . I give this book four thumbs up because it was a good book . If you want to see what happens at the end of the book you should read the book and find out for yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tornado is a wonderful book. It is a great book for children to read. I think it is a good book for children because it is very funny and it would make them laugh. It also might be a little sad at the end but it would quickly become happy. I would give this 5 stars because I never wanted to stop reading it and I always wanted to know more. You should read Tornado, it's a great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read it 5 times.I hope you enjoy reading this book too!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite character is the dog that was named Tornado because I love dogs. This was a good book. A dog and a tornado are alike so the dog is named Tornado. This dog played with his owner. The boy lived on a farm and he raised cows. The dog was a black lab.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tornado by Betsy Byers is my favorite book so far this year because I like Realistic fiction books. There's this boy named Pete and dtheirs this big gigantic tornado heading his way so Pete's dad gathers them all into the celler as the tornado past by their was a dog house with a dog in it in Pete's backyard and just because the dog has been droped on his yard Pete named him tornado. One day they went to the store and Tornado's old owner before Pete was ready to take Tornado.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tornado is a very exciting book. I liked it very much. I liked the part when the tornado comes, and the doghouse lands in their yard. They named the dog Tornado. I also like how Tornado puts the turtle in his mouth while the family is turtle sitting. I think that they could do better on the name for their cat, Five-Thirty. When Tornado gets taken away by his real owner, I thought that was pretty sad. But when he came back to Pete¿s house, that was pretty good. Tornado is an excellent book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
That book is great! I love it!! I am glad to read book like that!!!Thank you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book Tornado is about a boy name Peat that had a tornado hit his house. After the tornado the boy found a dog in a dog house. He kept the dog and named him Tornado. 15 years later the boy grew up. The dog was dead now and the boy was named Uncle Peat. A tornado hit at his nephew house and he was there. During the tornado he tells many storys about him and his dog Tornado. After the tornado hit the man came out of the celler and a suprise happend. If you want to know what the suprise read the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago