It is a warm spring day. Graduation just ended. Then suddenly,
- The first narrator is a high school junior named Carly. She just watched her boyfriend pick up his diploma at graduation, and she is about to drive home, when she hears the storm sirens.
- Another character is her friend Madison. Madison is sort of the anti-Carly and has a completely different outlook on life. She considers the sirens to be just another overreaction by the weather people.
- A ten-year-old girl named Hailey is at home when the power goes out. Her family hunkers down in the hallway of their house as she worries about her dad getting home safely from Wal-Mart.
- A boy from Carl Junction, William, rides in a pickup truck with his grandfather behind the wheel, when he spots a lump lying in a nearby ditch. Considering the storm that just passed, he wonders if the lump might be a storm victim.
- The fifth character, Mark, is a young paramedic who takes interest in two boys who have suddenly been thrust into a very imperfect world.
In the background is the account of one church's response to the tragedy. The church's building provides a central hub for many of he characters as they interact with members of the community and volunteers from outside of Joplin.
I have loved writing every one of my books for kids in the intermediate grades, but this is an insider story that has not been widely told. It is a fictionalize version of the many accounts I myself witnessed and was a part of. More than that, however, Out of the Wind is the story of Joplin's real spirit following the storm. Surely, goodness and mercy can come out of the wind of a horrific storm.