Storm (novella)

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Cover of new edition (Heinemann, 2001)[1]
Author Kevin Crossley-Holland
Illustrator Alan Marks
Cover artist Marks
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Children's supernatural fiction, ghost story
Publisher Heinemann
Publication date
7 August 1985
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 42 pp (first edition)
ISBN 0-435-00101-9
OCLC 12637640
LC Class PZ7.C88284 St 1989[2]

Storm is a novella and picture book written by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Alan Marks, and published by Heinemann in 1985. It was the first children's book for Marks.[3] The story features modern cottagers near a marshland with a renowned ghost. The younger daughter must cross the marsh alone in a family emergency, with telephone service down during a storm,.[4][5]

Crossley-Holland won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's outstanding children's book by a British author.[6] For the 70th anniversary of the Medal in 2007, Storm was named one of the top ten winning works, selected by a panel to compose the ballot for a public election of the nation's favourite.[7]

Barron's published a first U.S. and Canadian edition in 1989, retaining the Marks illustrations.[2]


"On a wild, stormy night, Annie is offered a ride by a tall, silent horseman. She overcomes her fear of the ghost who is said to haunt the lonely road and accepts the ride--but who is this mysterious stranger?" --library catalogue summary[1][2]
"Annie knows the secrets of the great marsh. She's even heard about its ghost. On a terrible night, when Annie must brave the storm alone, not even she knows what to expect." --CILIP summary[6]


In a capsule summary for the 70-year Carnegie celebration (2007), the British librarians recommend Storm for ages six and up. That is an audience two years younger than any others of the anniversary top ten; the recommendations range from ages 6+ to 14+.[5]

Storm is a chapter book, a picture book whose text is considered primary. One recent publisher Egmont (2001)[1] calls its so-called Bananas books "designed for independent reading" by early readers. The more advanced such as Storm are recommended for children making the transition from Key Stage 1 (the first two years of British primary education) to Key Stage 2.[8]

During the 1970s and early 1980s there had been some discussion of the readership served by the Carnegie Medal; some children's librarians had expressed concern that it recognised books for teenage readers almost exclusively. Thus the award to Storm was seen as a move to redress the imbalance.[9][10] Indeed, published in Heinemann's "Banana Book" line, Storm may be considered the first book for early readers to win the Carnegie Medal.


Despite the young audience, Storm is not a simple story. The language is deceptively simple: no difficult words are used but the effect is poetic and moving, and the ideas conveyed are anything but simple. Is it a ghost story? Is it a folk legend? Crossley-Holland is a folklore scholar and brings elements of the folk tale, and of the legends of the East Anglian country where he lived at the time, into this 42-page story of Annie and her adventure on a wild stormy night.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Formats and Editions of Storm". WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  2. ^ a b c "Storm" (first U.S. edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
  3. ^ "Storm — Kevin Crossley-Holland". Google Books. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  4. ^ "Storm by Kevin Crossley-Holland". Reviews, etc. Goodreads. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  5. ^ a b "The Carnegie of Carnegies: The 10 Books in Competition" Press release 20 April 2007. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  6. ^ a b (Carnegie Winner 1985). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  7. ^ "70 Years Celebration: Anniversary Top Tens". The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  8. ^ "About Bananas". Egmont Publishing. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  9. ^ YLG News. Youth Libraries Group. CILIP. Spring 1985.
  10. ^ Allen, Ruth (2005). Winning Books: An Evaluation and History of Major Awards for Children's Books in the English-Speaking World. pp. 40–49. ISBN 978-0954638450. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Changeover
Carnegie Medal recipient
Succeeded by
Granny Was a Buffer Girl