Mia is very unhappy to be spending the summer with Gram and Gramps, especially since her little brother Jack will be there, too. She was supposed to go to camp with her best friend, but now she’s isolated on a Caribbean island with no cell phone and no friends. And she worries about her mom who’s very sick with leukemia back home. But one day she meets Neisha, an island girl, who tells her about Auntie Cecilia and her magic tea that cures everything.
Gram and Gramps would never let Mia get the tea from Auntie Cecilia, so she needs to come up with a plan to get it without them. So while her grandparents sleep one afternoon, the three children make their daring journey by themselves. But plans that aren’t thought out well often go awry, and an unexpected storm catches them by surprise. Now Mia not only has to worry about her mom and the tea – she also wonders if they’ll ever be rescued from their predicament.
While I certainly understood Mia’s frustration at being sent away from home, I found her behavior to be extreme. She seemed almost a brat at times, yet I know that children under stress of possibly losing a parent can act out. But I didn’t really see the connection between her actions and any thoughts she might be having about her mother. I also found her Gram’s meanness to be unusual and unexplained.
Proper safety is extremely important in kids’ books, and it greatly disturbed me to see the children on the boat on the cover of this book with no life jackets. They only put them on in the story after the most dangerous part of their journey was over.
Overall Hurricane Mia is well written and an interesting adventure novel. I just found it hard to connect with Mia and go along with her crazy scheme. Kids will probably relate to her better than an adult could.
Reviewer: Alice Berger