Book Ramblings: Jolted

Jolted: Newton Starker's rules for survivalJolted: Newton Starker’s rules for survival by Arthur G. Slade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imagine living in fear of going outside because if you go out at the wrong time. This death wouldn’t be at the hands of another person or the misfortune of an accident. You have to check the weather before you go out; it’s essential to your survival. This has been proven in your family again, and again, and again. You don’t live in Tornado Alley. You aren’t in the path of a hurricane. A simple cloud can start your hair rising? What so governs your life? Lightning.

Welcome to Newton Starker’s life. Several years earlier his mother was killed by a lightning strike. His uncle and his grandmother also died from the same cause. Going back centuries, all the blood relatives in the Starker line have died because of lightning. The only ones left are Newton and his cantankerous great grandmother.

Now Newton is starting his ninth grade year at a school he think will help him. One of the school’s chief tenets is survival. Even though going to Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan means wearing a kilt for a uniform, Newton will take that chance. It’s a chance to learn how to live no matter what the circumstance and get a very elite education.

Trouble as well as lightning has a way of finding Newton Starker. In this quick read, he struggles to break free of the isolation that has become his life and the stigma of his family’s well known problem. A troubling incident had forced his mother into thinking that friends were something the family couldn’t have, and he struggles to interpret the friendship people offer him. Netwon’s periodic lists of survival rules as well as excerpts from the school guide add humor to this book.

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