I was a little leery on two fronts after receiving a copy of this British import, sporting a brand new cover for American audiences. First off, it appeared to be a familiar story line where the MC discovers she has a super power and goes on to save the world. Then comes the sneaky ploy by publishers to sell more books by getting a name from the entertainment industry as the author, one that parent/librarian book buyers will recognize (i.e. Neil Patrick Harris, The Property Brothers, Madonna, Will Smith, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, etc.).
Here we have superstar Alesha Dixon who may not be as familiar to American audiences. You can currently see her as a judge on America’s Got Talent Champions. Leading up to this she gained fame as a dancer and a platinum selling artist (both with the group Mis-teeq and as a solo artist). She’s also known for her work on British television.
Despite my misgivings I opened up Lightning Girl and you know what? It’s quite good!
The fast pace along with the first person narration by the endearing Aurora Beam made for a winning combination. What propelled it past the stereotypical story line was the problems she faced with both family and friends. Aurora finds out her Mum and Aunt also have super powers. Then her parents decide to separate and Aurora has so much on her mind she begins to ignore past friendships, becoming a loner at school.
Fun, black and white illustrations are scattered throughout the chapters. The story shines in more ways than one and it would also make for a great read aloud. Here’s the official back of the book blurb:
Aurora Beam has just had some BIG NEWS. Her Mum is a secret superhero and now Aurora’s own powers are starting to show — sparks of lightning are shooting out of her fingertips!
It’s a lot to take in. She can’t even do a cartwheel. HOW CAN SHE BE A SUPERHERO?
Then an evil supervillain pops up with a plot to steal a very precious stone. Can Aurora save the day, helped (or more likely hindered) by her fierce friends and a very snooty ostrich?
PAGE COUNT: 320 Published in America: 2020
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
LIGHTNING GIRL by Alesha Dixon
- Every aunt should have a pet ostrich. Here we have the eccentric Aunt Lucinda and Alfred. They provide quite a few comedic moments and some evil tension.
- Dad has no superpowers. He’s the curator of precious stones at a local museum. He’s embarrassing but also a loving support for Aurora.
- Mum is the one out saving the world while Aurora stays back to deal with all the problems her superpower has brought. A nice twist that made the story rise above the rest.
- We need strong female characters and you’ll find several in Lightning Girl.
- It’s a series with great potential for character growth and story lines.
FIRST LINE: No one ever warned me that when you get angry, bright sparks might explode from your fingertips.
Order your own copy of LIGHTNING GIRL.
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