JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I know I’m into a great book when between reading sessions my mind is swirling with thoughts of “What will happen next?” JOSHUA AND 24761910THE LIGHTNING ROAD is a thrilling, hard to put down fantasy adventure that will have wide appeal. I was lucky to read the story before its scheduled May 19th release.

The world building by author Donna Galanti is excellent and with every conflict you feel as if you are in Joshua’s shoes experiencing each new frightful turn. There’s barely time to breathe. You’ll be pushed forward by end of chapter cliff hangers and frequent action scenes. Told in first person, Joshua’s voice is spot on as he wrestles with who he is in two different worlds and what his future has in store for him. Bring on the sequel because I’ll be the first in line for another adventure.


FULL PLOT (From Amazon):

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever. To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him. In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.


  1. The creatures are magical and frightening. Not only will you find them in the skies above, but be careful when crossing any creek. You may not make it to the other side.
  2. You are in the story with Joshua because the sense of sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste pull you in. A great lesson for those writers needing a boost with flat scenes. You’ll be inspired to add more perception to your own writing from the wonderful examples in this tale.
  3. The old line says “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but you can in this case. The cover here is a peek as to what lies ahead: action, adventure, and mystery. No false advertising there.
  4. The scary elements are handled perfectly for the MG audience including the scariest plot point of all: Children are kidnapped from Earth to be slaves in another world. Yikes.
  5. The inclusion of Greek gods in the storyline was a fun way to give meaning to this distant world.

FAVORITE LINES: The foxes jerked their heads up in unison, and it felt like spiders skittered up my spine. Red eyes glowed bright like lava and burned fiercely into mine, hungry for what I feared was me.

QUOTE FROM AUTHOR: (From Donna Galanti’s website) “But it was my son, Joshua, who inspired me to write and finish my first book about a boy who finds adventure in the mountain forest when he meets magical animals and they band together to fight a power-hungry fox who plots to rule the world. It’s hidden in a box in my closet, but I went on to write Joshua and the Lightning Road and can’t wait to share the first book in the series with you!”


Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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17 Responses to JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. donnagalanti says:

    Greg, thank you for reading and reviewing Joshua and the Lightning Road! I am so glad you enjoyed it and your review was total fun. I am in the middle of revisions for book 2 right now, Joshua and the Arrow Realm, which will be out winter 2016. I hope you do like it! It’s more adventure with lots of friendships, battles, and bad guys! In the book Joshua is called to free his friend, who’s been enslaved as a power pawn in a queen’s quest to rule all. But when Joshua becomes bait in her hunting game, loses his powerful lightning orb, and his friends turn on him, he wonders if he can survive on wits and instincts alone and not only save his friend—but himself.

  2. So glad you liked this. It sounds fantastic. Hoping my library gets it in and I can read it this summer.

  3. Cindy Tran says:

    The plot kind of sounds like Percy Jackson’s story (Right?)–and I’m in LOVE with those books, so definitely going to request a copy at my library. Thanks for the review! 🙂


  4. donnagalanti says:

    Thanks Natalie and Cindy! I hope you do request for your library – that would be wonderful. Then other kids can read it too (we’re all kids, right?) 🙂

  5. donnagalanti says:

    Reblogged this on Donna Galanti, Author and commented:
    What a fun review of my debut middle grade fantasy, Joshua and the Lightning Road! I especially like how he lists the 5 things to like about it.

  6. Love the sound of this one. Added it to Goodreads.

  7. cleemckenzie says:

    I enjoyed reading this one. It has tons of adventure for kids of all ages.

  8. Joanne Fritz says:

    Books that are fast-paced and have cliff-hanger endings make terrific reads, especially for so-called reluctant readers. But I also love it when authors make good use of sensory images. Great review, Greg.

  9. I’m not a big fan of fantasy, but I might have to make an exception in the case of this book. It sounds wonderful. I’m sure my grandson will like this as well. I love the line from the book. Thanks for telling me about this. I’m going to find it.

    • donnagalanti says:

      Thanks for making an exception Rosi! For me, I am all about the characters whether I read it or write it so if I fall in love with the characters I find myself reading all sorts of genres. Hope you do like it!

  10. warrchick says:

    Looks like a fun one, Greg! Thanks for the recommend!

  11. Great cover! I do enjoy reading MG fantasy and this sounds like a great read. I rarely review fantasy because of my blog theme, but am tempted. Enjoyed your enthusiastic review and the reasons you enjoyed the book so much. It sounds like a wonderful adventure for teens,

  12. Paige Turner says:

    Fantasy is my favorite, so this appeals to me. Thanks for the rec!


  13. Pingback: Today is the day! JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD is here! - Donna Galanti - mystery, magic and mayhem for all ages

  14. Pingback: JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday | Always in the Middle…

  15. Pingback: New cover reveals for The Lightning Road series by Donna Galanti! | Always in the Middle…

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