The Sometimes Turbulent Life of Meteorologist Joanne Simpson

By: Sandra Nickel

Illustrated by: Helena Perez Garcia

Published: March 8, 2022

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

Joanne Simpson escaped the harshness at home by spending time outside in her boat watching the clouds. As she grew older, she knew she wanted to learn more about the clouds and went to school to learn meteorology. But, she was told there was no chance a woman could get a doctorate in meteorology and there was no reason to be studying clouds. But, Joanne was stubborn and didn’t give up.

Her stubbornness was rewarded and eventually she was able to study the clouds and learned that they do have a purpose and can actually help meteorologists understand weather patterns and guide them in predicting the weather.

Joanne Simpson never gave up on her passion and didn’t let men intimidate her or destroy her dream. She eventually earned that doctorate and the respect of those who ignored her before. This brief biography teaches kids the importance of working hard on something you believe in, standing up for yourself, and never giving up.

An author’s note on Joanne Simpson, a bibliography for further research, and a timeline of Joanne’s life are all included at the end of the book. The next time your local meteorologist predicts rain or stormy weather, you have Joanne Simpson to thank for her perseverance in studying clouds and their connection to changing weather.

Check out the book trailer below:

Sandra Nickel says that story ideas are everywhere; you just have to reach out and grab them.  She holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first book, Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack, was awarded a Christopher Award and was a Golden Kite Award finalist. Sandra lives in Chexbres, Switzerland, where she blogs about children’s book writers and illustrators at To learn more, visit

Helena Perez Garcia is a Spanish illustrator whose work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and books around the world. Her clients include Penguin Random House, The Body Shop, Tate Publishing, and Reader’s Digest, among many others. She currently lives and works in Madrid.

To purchase a copy of BREAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS, click the photo below:

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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