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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jolted: Newton Starker's Rules for Survival by Arthur Slade

Summary: Jolted: Newton Starker’s Rules for Survival is another great book on the Sunshine State list for this school year. It’s a fun read with an interesting main character who, even though his problem is a bit out of the ordinary, readers will be able to associate and sympathize with.

Newton Starker’s family has been dealing with a curse for generations – most of them die after being struck by lightning. His mother is the most recent victim of this family peculiarity, and Newton is determined to beat the odds and not become another tabloid oddity.

In order to boost his odds for survival, he has enrolled at the Jerry Potts Academy for Survival in Moose Jaw, Canada. The school is not your average boarding school. All the students wear kilts and carry knives, classes include culinary arts and survival skills, and the major tests consist of lengthy outdoor camping/survival trips.

Newton plans not only to survive, but to land a spot in the hallowed Hall of Heroes at Jerry Potts Academy. He wants to be the best, and to be remembered for it forever. His biggest competition comes from Violet Quon, a spitfire of a girl who seems determined to make Newton’s life miserable. But Newton Starker has tricks up his sleeve, including an unexpected friend and a pig with an amazing talent.

Big on laughs and on heart, this book had me hooked from the very beginning. Newton’s desire to be the best and beat the odds keeps the story moving at a quick and enjoyable pace.

Achieving vs. Overachieving

Age Appropriateness:
10 and up

Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: none
Nudity/Adult Content: none
Violence: mild

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