Tess has a secret power—and it just might save the world from disaster
Thirteen-year-old Tess is a Switcher, able to change into any animal at will. No one knows her secret, or so she thinks. But one day a strange, scruffy boy follows her home from her Dublin bus stop. The boy’s name is Kevin, and he’s a Switcher too. Kevin convinces Tess that their powers are needed for something important: stopping the snowstorms that are rapidly advancing from the Arctic. Tess and Kevin will have to stretch their abilities to the very limit in order to save the world from frozen destruction.
Tess has a secret that keeps her apart from others: she can change into an animal at will. Disturbed when scruffy Kevin keeps following her after school, Tess wonders what he wants from her, and why an arctic front is sweeping over the globe, causing a blizzard in Dublin in September. Then she learns that Kevin shares her gift, and they set out across Ireland, disguised as rats, and guided by fellow rats to "little old lady" Lizzie. The eccentric woman sends them on a quest north to stop the krools, ravenous monsters responsible for the Earth's ice ages. The pair races against time (Kevin is about to turn 15, when all Switchers have to choose their final form) and U.N. warplanes seeking alien invaders, to halt the global icing. In occasionally poetic language (which may need some explaining to younger readers), Thompson interweaves elements from mythology and science fiction with insights into animal nature to create a coming-of-age fantasy that, like Peter Pan, ends with an open window and, for many readers, a lump in the throat. Ages 8-up.