Family, friendship, and a California wildfire combine to make a heartwarming and discussion inducing tale.

Lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it? After a terrible year, Madalyn needs clear skies desperately. Moving in with her great-uncle, Papa Lobo, and switching to a new school is just the first step.

It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, though. Madalyn discovers she’s the only Black girl in her class, and while most of her classmates are friendly, assumptions lead to some serious storms.

Papa Lobo’s long-running feud with neighbor Mrs. Baylor brings wild weather of its own, and Madalyn wonders just how far things will go. But when fire threatens the community, Madalyn discovers that truly being neighborly means more than just staying on your side of the street— it means weathering tough conversations—and finding that together a family can pull through anything.

Award-winning author Tanita S. Davis shows us that life isn’t always clear, and that partly cloudy days still contain a bit of blue worth celebrating.

There are no chapter numbers. Instead, each chapter title is a weather event. You’ll find ones like THE BAROMETER PLUNGES and HERE COMES THE SUN. It’s unique way to foretell the emotions that lie ahead.

The third person narration stays close to Madalyn as she confronts a new school and missing her parents. She’s having to live with her Great Uncle Lobo which is a real change for her. He’s a gruff but sincere “old man” with a lot of superb advice about dealing with those you don’t like. There are many other relatable characters like Jean, a neighbor boy who helps out, and Natalie, a classmate whose choices lead to difficulties for having Madalyn as a friend.

With so many wildfires raging this summer, it was nice to see it covered in a middle grade book as many kids across the western part of our nation have been effected by the smoky skies and out of control fires. The racism story line is also handled well.

PARTLY CLOUDY is a timely and honest story with a lot of appeal.


Tanita S. Davis is an asocial hermit who feels really weird talking about herself in the third person, and honestly would rather be somewhere reading a book, but oh, well.

Most bios are like a really intense game of two truths and a lie, so Tanita invites you to consider which is which: Tanita holds a Master of Fine Arts from Mills College. She fed her love for traveling when she moved to Glasgow, Scotland, in 2007. She now lives in Northern Arizona in a yurt, and makes cheese.

Tanita serves on the board of The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards, better known as The Cybils. Her short fiction can be found in Hunger Mountain and Cicada magazines.

Her occasional truths, frequent lies, and very random observations can be found on twitter @tanita_s_davis

*This bio is perpetually under construction.*

(For more about Tania and her books be sure to visit )


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All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book or author you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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4 Responses to PARTLY CLOUDY

  1. Danielle Hammelef says:

    This book does sound timely and will open readers eyes and minds for compassion. The chapter headings are clever–I’m a weather geek–and I look forward to this reading this.

  2. What a perfect share for you today after all the wildfires you’ve dealt with near home. It is so relevant to what kids are dealing with everywhere!. I love the chapter headings. Will have to check this book out. Need more books like this one!

  3. I love seeing the extended family members (life the uncle) getting some play in MG novels. So many families these days must depend on such older relatives to help. This sounds like a really good book. I will look for it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Andrea Mack says:

    This sound so interesting! Love the idea of seeing weather incorporated into the story. And I’m glad to see a story that incorporates wildfires, especially this year.

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