Paul, Tobin, How to Tame a Human Tornado, Bloomsbury Publishing, October 2018, 272pp., RRP $12.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781408881811
This is the third book in the Genius Factor series. Delphine and Nate are back and busy restoring order and fighting the Red Death Tea Society. It is Friday the 13th, and boy genius Nate’s latest deliberate act of stupidity has caused even bigger problems than he had anticipated. There are far too many zebras and toads for comfort, not to mention Chester the human tornado, who cannot stop moving. In this latest installment, Nate discovers the benefits of having more than a single friend, and he and Delphine start to realise how they feel about each other.
This is a manically fast paced book, roaring from one action packed scene to the next, and amusingly narrated by Delphine. The only break from the high intensity action are Delphine’s flashbacks and sidebars, which provide some character development as well. If this hasn’t been picked up for development as a children’s TV show already, it will be soon. The short scenes, humor, cartoonish baddies and preposterous situations all lend themselves to adaption to this medium.
Although it is the third book in a series, it does stand on its own, though the character development may be more meaningful to those who have read the previous books. The burgeoning attraction between Nate and Delphine is sweet and sensitively handled, and provides a good balance to the plot of the book. It will appeal to boys and girls alike, and reluctant readers will also be drawn in, though at 376 pages it is quite long. It will do well in public, upper primary and lower secondary libraries.
Reviewed by Rebecca Kemble