What the critics say
What readers say
The kidnap shocks the whole family. Poor frightened Ella, snatched away from the house in the middle of a storm. Fin will never forgive himself for leaving her on her own. Still, at least they'll get her back when they've paid the money.
But the kidnapper has more than just money on his mind. And as his plans unfold, all the members of the family are forced to confront their deepest, darkest secrets. A storm is breaking, and it's going to change everything...
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Storm Catchers had a strange beginning. Tim had just finished River Boy and was back at his desk after posting the manuscript to his agent. He switched on his computer, took a deep breath, and started the book he'd been brooding about for several months, which went on to become Shadows . While he was writing Shadows , however, images of another, quite different novel flooding through his mind. Before long he was finishing each day's work on Shadows with some doodling on this strange other story. It started with a girl who hears a tapping sound in the night while she's looking after her little brother and although she's frightened, she goes downstairs to investigate.
Tim wrote Chapter 1 without having the slightest idea where Chapter 2 was going to go but somehow or other the next time he looked up (or so it felt), he was a month older, the book was on Chapter 12. The story was tumbling out of him at a rate of knots. It wasn't to last, however, and he finally lost his way with it after about fifty thousand words. Tim then had a dilemma. Shadows was taking shape pretty well but there was this other novel about a girl who is kidnapped and her older brother's attempts to find her, and the little psychic boy with his eerie visions, and the derelict lighthouse on the cliff, casting its menace over everything.
Tim completed Shadows, but he knew that he would have to come back some time and try to make sense of the other novel. And that's what happened. Just as with River Boy, Tim posted the manuscript of Shadows off to his agent, returned to his computer, took a deep breath, and started to write. Storm Catchers is the result.
Winner of the South Lanarkshire Book Award, 2002
Winner of the Stockport Libraries KS3 Book Award, 2002
'Thrillers don't come much more suspenseful than this. From the first chapter with its promise of menace Storm Catchers
cracks along at a break-neck pace. Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler handles a complex and genuinely surprising plot with masterful skill. Twisting its way down a treacherous path of secrets and lies, Storm Catchers
is an intelligent and compulsive read from the first page to the last.' Damian Kelleher, Waterstones Book Review
is that rare thing - a thriller that makes you think. It's a powerful mix of suspense and subtlety.' Gillian Cross
is a cliff-top cliff-hanger about a kidnap by the sea, with a supernatural element. Fin, the boy hero, dares all to save his sister in an atmospheric tale that is suspenseful and scary, and that also shows how families can look after each other.' Sunday Times
'Bowler's latest classic is a psychological thriller that's every bit as classy as the works of Barbara Vine...a great read.' Guardian
by Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler is so packed with suspense, lurching from the problems of one character to another, that you can't easily put it down.' Newbury Weekly News
'Bowler writes tight, exciting adventures that always look at serious issues and usually include an element of fantasy....As usual Bowler spins a good yarn but leaves us plenty to think about.' Glasgow Herald
'Heady stuff, full of atmosphere, energy and emotional shrapnel.' Guardian Education
'This book is very exciting and compulsive.' www.coolreads.co.uk
'Tim Bowler's novel is a thriller with a supernatural element. As well as a tense plot, there's a strong sense of place; the rocky, isolated Cornish coast providing the background.' Times Educational Supplement
'I didn't have a particular favourite part - I loved it all!! The ending wasn't what I expected but it's good to be surprised. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through,and urges you to want to read on. There's a strange twist at the end, which I enjoyed. I think it's good for boys and girls, especially those who like a thriller.' Teen Titles
'Tim Bowler writes in a special way making sure that you do not put the book down.' Booktrusted News
'It's the fast, realistic action and dialogue and the stormy coastal setting that drive this story.' Booklist
'Complex themes of guilt and betrayal enhance the suspense.' School Library Journal
was absolutely amazing. I couldn't even put the thing down. I was like addicted to it. Thank you so much for writing it and I love the way you build up tension from as soon as the book starts! Thanks.' Savanna
'My class and I are busy reading Storm Catchers
and each time the teacher wants to stop everyone wants to read more. That's because the book is absolutely brilliant and pulls you into the story.' Tayla
'I have just finished reading your absolutely amazing book Storm Catchers
. I was gripped by the first page and could not put it down. I admire how skilfully you write and the way your plot just falls into place.' Anise
'I'm a primary school teacher and in my job I have the pleasure of sharing many stories with my classes. A few years ago I had a 'challenging' class, the sort who would never sit still, always interrupt or have some sarcastic comment at the tip of their tongue. That was, until the day I read them the first few paragraphs of Storm Catchers
. Within moments they were silent, spellbound and begging for more. I gave up an entire morning of planned work simply to feed the Y6's excitement with this novel. Two children even cried at the climax of the story. Been meaning to thank you for a long time. You clearly write with an ear for how the work will sound when read aloud, and the images you create and the characters you bring to life are inspirational.' Andy
'I have read Storm Catchers
and I thought that it was really good. I especially liked the first chapter because it was like watching a really scary film and hiding behind the sofa, but peeping over the top at the same time.' Alicia
'I love your books! My favourite is Storm Catchers
! I love the way it grips you all the way through the book. I never wanted to put it down. I loved every moment of the whole book. It was fantastic!' Jamey
'I, a painter with a passion and strong memories of being 'younger', have read Storm Catchers
and it lit something within. Yourself and David Almond have assumed great responsibility in the re-awakening of children's lost imaginations. I wish you success and the strength to carry on. I amongst others will be watching.' Glen
'I liked how in your book Storm Catchers
the ending wasn't a quick-fix solution. Some books do that, and it is terrible when a good novel suddenly stops. You forget about those books. But I'm still thinking about your book, and I read it a week ago. It made me think what happened to Peter and Ella and the whole family, really. I look forward to reading your next work. Keep on writing.' Roxanne
1. Write one of the newspaper reports (tabloid or broadsheet) about the events in the story. The main focus will be on Dad, given his high profile in the community.
2. Role play some or all of the police interviews, e.g. the interview with Fin, the interview with Ella, the interview with Sam etc.
3. Ricky never told his story to the police. If he had done so, what would he have said? Script the interview that might have taken place.
4. Is storm catching just the name of a children's game? Or does it mean more than that?
5. Imagine you are Ella talking to her friend Angie after the event. Tell her story in the first person.
Storm Catchers can be ordered in different formats by clicking on the link below: