Cover Image: The Great Weather Diviner

The Great Weather Diviner

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Member Reviews

This story is a cute and cozy chapter book for younger kids. I could see this being a fun classroom read around Groundhog Day.

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I’m so glad there was a fantasy novel about Punxsutawney Phil, I’m surprised that we haven’t had more stories for Phil. I enjoyed what was going on in this story and loved that the author was a native and able to use this. It was a great children's fiction book and I enjoyed what I read.

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First off, I'd like to thank NetGalley and Morgan James Kids publishing for the Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of this children's novel 'The Great Weather Diviner' by Rob Long; Andrew Dolberg.

4 out of 5 stars.

One full star is due to the fact that the book looks at the world's issues in a new and improved manner.
There is talk of global warming, without properly talking about it and in the back of the book it has facts on different animals and how they're suffering in the world today.

'To become a legend, a young groundhog must unravel a shocking secret to stop a weather catastrophe.

When a mysterious flood strikes the small mining town of Punxsutawney, Junior the groundhog embarks on a journey to uncover why nature itself has turned on his people. As Junior and his new friends adventure through the fantastical world of Erda, he realizes that there's more to his family and their weather-controlling powers than he ever imagined.'

When I first started reading this, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but as I kept reading, I was quickly pulled into Junior's world. I found the book hard to put down.

There were a few spelling and grammar errors that should be considered. Including punctuation problems like having the " in the wrong places and using other punctuation incorrectly.

However, those minor details apart, I found the story to be adventurous and gripping. I found myself disappointed at the end because it was over but excited that it hinted at another novel.

A great story to teach young humans to look after their planet rather than destroying it.

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The lore is lovely and it's young Punxsutawney Phil! Sadly, the beginning is ghastly. It's very long and very slow and very info-dumpy. Plus, it's quite a long book for so slow a pace and young an audience. I also fail to understand the link between coal and weather and why the Rodingtons should be linked to both. I so wanted to love this book and can't help but feel disappointed.

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The story follows the young heir to a mining town filled with class and racial (spec-ial?) divide. He grew up hearing stories of his heroic grandfather, the great weather diviner, and his team saving the day. At the age when you start to question things, he learns that his father, the current weather diviner, has been lying to him and the town, and he sets out to find the truth - by finding his grandfathers retired team in the world beyond the woods. This story is fantastical and silly and a bit forceful in its eco message in the way all the fantasy I consumed from the 90s often was. Re: mining heir realizes mining is bad. Also, it's Puxatawny Phil. No, really. The great weather diviner is a groundhog... because the author really loved his hometown of Puxatawny's lore. I think it's sweet. With another pass from an editor and some rewrites, I think this could be a beloved kids book for the next generation.

I don't really know why this book got the hate it did from the other reviewer. It's a kids book, so it's a bit "obvious" at times depending on your expectations, but it's a solid story. It is what it tells you it is. My biggest complaint against the book is that the first 40 or so pages *did* completely bomb my interest, it read a bit like a kid telling you about their OC's. If I wasn't reading an ARC I might have put it down then, but I wanted to give it its fair shot so I kept reading, and ended up quite liking the world building. The characters and plot points stuck with me when I wasn't reading it and I'd find myself just thinking about a scene from the book while I was doing other things. If the opening part had been axed and that world building blended in at other parts, or if it had been reworked but still included, I think this would have been a solid book. If it wasn't for the opening piece and editing needed, I would have given it four stars.

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ARC Copy...Thought it was a decent solid read, and oh I see it was take on the weather predicting abilities of ground hogs. Although to be fair I was abit confused at first cause I wasn't aware who Phil was, so appreciated the after notes!

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As a teacher, when I read children’s books now, especially ones I never read when I was young, I almost always relate more to the adults in the story than the kids. But I feel like the protagonist, Junior, actually represents generations as old as my own millennial, as well as Gen Z and today’s kids, and his parents’ generation is relatively easy to read as Boomers. But without spoiling the story too much, I will share that the parental generation is not portrayed as evil so much as blinded by greed, power, and corruption, and one character actually undergoes a great redemption arc that I know I personally would love to see even a fraction of the US Boomers undergo.
This book is, first and foremost, about uniting the disparate groups in our world to prevent an even greater environmental crisis than the one we find ourselves in. Certainly the book drives home the perils of reliance on coal and fossil fuels, deforestation, capitalism, and misinformation. They even show how having small little villages where people are focused on environmentalism is not enough to reverse the negative impact of all the other stuff, that we have to work together to solve this problem. This is a great message for kids and one that would make a great read-aloud book for parents and could really encourage a lot of thoughtful discussion for upper elementary age children.
I hesitate to recommend it be read aloud in schools because I fear that this is a book that will be banned from US schools for its dedication to highlighting climate change as well as the light it casts misinformation, xenophobia, the othering and us vs them mentality that pervades American culture, and the corruption and greed represented by Junior’s father and Callidus, aka the main villain aka the White Demon. Yeah… see what I mean about being banned? The book is successful in drawing all of these metaphors but thankfully is not specific in trying to represent any current or past human public figures in its animal characters, thank goodness… as funny as it would be to read about a raven Donald Trump, the story is more timeless by not anchoring itself too firmly to our present real life nightmare.
This is a great book, and I hope that there will be a sequel, both a fictional one and one that brings a happy ending to the very real world we live in.

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I really wanted to enjoy this. I lobe animal fantasy books, but from the start the world building was not explained. You were dropped right in and expected to know terms for diffrent clans and tribes. And it seemed the author was not sure if it was victorian like time or modern

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