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A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Written by Sara Barnard

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder Review

Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Recommended Children's eBooks Romance / Relationship Stories

Heartfelt, enthralling story built round one girl’s life-consuming anxiety

Sixteen-year-old Steffi has been selectively mute since she was five. No-one really knows why, least of all her, but teenage readers will recognise the different pressures that she feels so acutely. Her mutism heightens her loneliness, and the loss of her much-loved step-brother in an accident has added terribly to her isolation. We meet her as she’s starting sixth form, set on reaching university, the pressure to speak greater than it’s ever been. Things change when Steffi meets Rhys, who is deaf. Steffi can sign and as their relationship grows we realise that real communication takes many forms. This is very much a story of two individuals but it will resonate with readers, who will understand Steffi’s problems, and be reassured by its message that you don’t have to be noisy to have lots to say, or to be heard. 

Readers will also enjoy Holly Bourne’s excellent Spinster Club books, or the Zelah Green books by Vanessa Curtis. 

Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.


Andrea Reece

A Quiet Kind of Thunder Synopsis

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk and, as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder Reader Reviews

Teens and YA's love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.

  • Humaira, age 18 - 'I fell in love with this book the way Steffi does with Rhys. This book is so beautiful and words can't describe how this book made me feel.'
  • Rebekah Marsh, age 14 - 'I was completely and utterly unable to put the book down for days. A Quiet Kind of Thunder portrays the bizarre relationship between Rhys and Steffi - it's ultimately the perfect love story.'
  • Dani Werner, age 25 - 'It took only five pages for me to realise this book was special, and I knew by the end that I was in love and quite possibly in possession of the best book of 2017.'
  • Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 14 - 'The book was written in a way which allowed you to empathise with the characters. If I had to rate it out of five stars it would definitely get a five out of five.'
  • Grace Spear, age 14 - 'The characters in this book sprung to life turning each page for me, making me never want to put it down.'
  • Jess Kenny - Rodborough School - 'The story is realistic and very original and there was always a twist that you weren’t expecting and an original solution afterwards.'
  • Laura Solomon, age 13 - 'A Quiet Kind Of Thunder explores what happens when someone who has been silent for so long that they have become invisible, finds someone who understands her without having to open her mouth.'
  • Emily Price - 'an excellent book!'
  • Izzy Read, age 16 - 'Never have I read a book as sweet as this! It is a perfect read for cold winter days, when the words can warm your soul.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'This book was brilliant!! Loved it all from start to finish. Hope to see more from this author.'

A Quiet Kind of Thunder Press Reviews

'I felt like I was living this book Zoella on Beautiful Broken Things I don't know where to start. I'd give this book TEN stars if I could. I loved Beautiful Broken Things but I think I love this book even more. A brilliant depiction of social anxiety, a swoony subtle love story that creeps up on you, and meticulously researched, respectful and just beautifully written. This book is not only for the quiet ones, but by JOVE how the quiet ones will adore this book.'  Holly Bourne, author of Am I Normal Yet?

'Beautiful, honest and compelling. Also, one of the best depictions of anxiety I have ever read.'  Catherine Doyle, author of Vendetta

'I swallowed this in one delicious sitting, and I've been thinking about Steffi and Rhys ever since. Honestly, it's been weeks and I'm not over them. They're so well drawn that they feel really real for me in a way that makes me want to check in with them for the rest of their lives.'  Lauren James, author of The Next Together

'I literally cannot wait for everyone to read this and obsess over how good it is!' Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)

Praise for Beautiful Broken Things:

Beautiful Broken Things is the book I’ve been waiting for. It made me want to go and rugby-tackle my best friends and give them a giant hug. It’s a beautiful tale of the power and complexities of female friendship’ Holly Bourne,

‘Beautiful Broken Things is a book that the YA world desperately needs – a book about the beauty, passion and extremities of female friendship’ Alice Oseman, author of Solitaire

‘Starkly realistic and ultimately uplifting, Beautiful Broken Things is a compelling tale of pain and redemption, growing up and growing together, and finding empowerment and strength in friendship’ Catherine Doyle, author of Vendetta

‘Stories about female friendships are hard to come by, especially ones with no romance, but Beautiful Broken Things fills that gap in an intensely compelling and passionate way’ Lauren James,
author of The Next Together

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781529037586
Publication date: 15/04/2021
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781529037586
Publication date: 12/01/2017
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781529037586
Publication date: 12th January 2017
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Personal Social Health Economic , Romance / Relationship Stories
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Sara Barnard

Sara Barnard lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the on switch on the family Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of secondhand book shops at a young age. Sara is trying to visit every country in Europe, and has managed to reach 13 with her best friend. She has also lived in Canada and worked in ...

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