The Cloud Chamber

Version: Unabridged
Author: Joyce Maynard
Narrator: Joel Johnstone
Genres: Juvenile & Children's, Fiction & Literature, Juvenile
Publisher: Listening Library
Published In: June 2005
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 5 hours, 39 minutes
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The minute the school bus carrying Nate Chance and his little sister, Junie, pulls up in front of his family’s farmhouse, Nate can tell something’s terribly wrong: Somehow his father has been wounded by a gunshot. Nate sees him stagger across the yard, then watches as the police take him away.
Then, nothing. Nobody in the family will say what happened, or where Nate’s dad has gone. At school, his best friend, Larry, won’t talk to him, and kids whisper that his dad’s a “psycho.” Back home, police keep showing up with questions for his mom; and then there’s Junie, worried that Mom will sell her beloved pony and counting on her big brother to figure out a way to reach their dad.
But the science fair is coming up, and Nate has a plan. If he can just win first prize with his amazing cloud chamber project, he’ll get to go to the state finals, near the hospital where his dad’s been locked away. And since it was his dad who taught him to love science–and the stars–it seems like maybe the magic of the cloud chamber can bring the family together again, too.
Too bad he has to work on it with the weirdest, most unpopular girl in school, Naomi, with her goofy hair and nutty idea that the two of them should be best friends. The craziest part is, she just might be right.

Reviews (2)

Cloud Chamger

Written by walker on April 10th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

My family enjoyed this book. It was a realistic book letting kids know that a happy ending doesn't necessarily mean "smiling, everybody's happy".

Cloud Chamber

Written by Anonymous from Chicago, IL on October 10th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Excellent story. The characters are real and it's good to see how they change and grow as time goes by. There were some unresolved issues and questions, but I suppose in the grand scheme of things, they were unimportant. At first, the voice given to Junie was annoying, but then I grew accustomed to it, and didn't even notice it. I highly recommend this book.

Author Details

Author Details

Maynard, Joyce

Joyce Maynard started her writing career when she was fourteen. Her books include the memoirs "At Home in the World" and "Looking Back" and the novels "To Die For" (which was made into a movie starring Nicole Kidman) and, most recently, "The Usual Rules" (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults). The mother of three grown children, she lives in northern California. Visit her Web site at