Gr 5-8-It is 1999 and the weather has gone crazy. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and meteor showers threaten an increasingly worried population. On the coast of England, a violent windstorm sends a piece of farm equipment flying into 13-year-old Telly's head, nearly killing her. When she awakes she has changed mentally, sensing things that others do not and having a clear vision of what must be done. Through local meetings and a worldwide-computer network, she organizes her fellow Weather Eye observation club members to try to calm the planet's turbulent forces through meditation. This makes them feel better but may or may not be helping the situation. In the absence of her parents, Telly is left with her boisterous little brother and her colorful Australian uncle, from whom she tries to conceal the fact that she is radically transformed and is in fact hearing the voice of a dead neighbor. Eventually she feels the change leave her and she basks in her returned normalcy, as the weather begins to improve. There are minor things here to quibble about: Howarth makes the common mistake of identifying 1999 as the last year of this millennium (it's 2000); most of the young male characters blur together as indistinguishable crude teenage boys; and the lack of a climax or firm resolution, while realistic, may leave some readers feeling cheated. However, there is gentle humor in the little brother's antics, neat computer stuff, and the descriptions are vivid.-Lyle Blake Smythers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
r. 68. Howarth provides a strong ecological message and hope for the future in a thoughtful story with such eerie parallels to conditions today that readers will need to remind themselves that they are actually reading science fiction. In the year 1999, the weather is out of control, and conditions are worsening. As a member of Weather Eye, 13-year-old Telly monitors the weather in her small English town, feeding the information into an international network. A near-death experience changes Telly's life. Suddenly she can do powerful things, and she's not afraid to assume control. She becomes the Weather Eye itself. Logging into the network, she projects an image of calm that she conveys to thousands of other teens, whom she convinces to effect change. A disaster close to home has surprising results, but Telly discovers that she has succeeded in setting off an incredible chain of events that may, indeed, change the future. Howarth's story has many appealing elements: humor, engaging characters, lots of action, a ghost, danger, and an intriguing premise that will prompt lots of discussion.