Title: Lightning Girl
Author: Alesha Dixon
Publication Date: 5th April 2018
About the book:
The first book in a laugh-out-loud, high-voltage, action-packed adventure series for 8+ readers from hugely popular TV personality, Alesha Dixon, written in collaboration with Katy Birchall. 10-year-old Aurora Beam lives at home with her utterly unremarkable family… until the day she sees her little sister being picked on in the playground and suddenly beams of light shoot out of her fingers! It’s time for her parents to drop a life-changing bombshell. Mum is a secret superhero, fighting crime across the globe while Dad looks after the kids at home. As Aurora’s own powers come into play, will she be able to balance her new super skills training with school? Will she be able to keep it all a secret from her friends? And when her mum’s evil twin pops up, will Aurora think that being a super VILLAIN might be more fun…?
What I Thought:
Lightning Girl tells the story of Aurora Beam, she’s the middle child with one older brother and one younger sister, as well as a dog called Kimmy. Her father is a professor who works at the Natural History Museum, and her mother works in an office. She’s just your average school girl, until she’s not. One day Aurora discovers that she has superpowers and her mother doesn’t work in an office, she actually fights crimes using superpower she also has!
At about halfway through this book I was dreading have to write this review. To give a little context to that statement let me explain having read the premise of this book it sounded like a book eight year old Sarah would have loved to get her hands on… Not only is the lead character mixed race, with big hair, someone who looks like I did, she has superpowers! Who didn’t want to have amazing superpowers as a child! As a result I was excited to pick this one up and read it, but for the first half something just didn’t click with me, it was too easy to put down. It was disappointing to me. For the reasons I’ve mentioned just now, I wanted to absolutely adore this from beginning to end and for the first half I just didn’t.
Now I will be the first to admit that this book is not written for current Sarah, it’s written for primary school Sarah, who I left behind somewhat longer ago that I care to admit, however other middle grade books recently have captured my attention and refused to let up, I’m thinking of books like Rumblestar and Cogheart. Lightning Girl just didn’t capture me in the same way for the first half of the book and I’m not sure why. The action certainly picked in up the final third of the book and once I reached that point I did find it much harder to put down. I understand the need to introduce characters and idea, especially in a book like this, the first in a series where the characters are unknown but it felt a little unbalanced for me, too much time on the introductions and not enough on the action and adventure.
On the other hand I did find the characters delightful. Aurora is a lovely girl struggling to come to terms with her new abilities. Aurora’s parents and siblings were also a joy to read. I have to admit a special fondness for Aurora’s Aunt Lucinda, her mother’s twin who has a tendency to use her powers for less noble reasons, and her pet ostrich Alfred. Alfred is one well accessorised ostrich! A final mention to the Bright Sparks, I certainly felt the book improved once that little gang was involved!
Finally I should give a special mention to James Lancett and Steve Simpson whose wonderful illustrations fill the pages, they truly are delightful!
I wanted to absolutely adore this book, and while I didn’t the ending picked up enough for me to want to pick up the second book in the series and see how that plays out. There’s less in this one for any parents that may be reading aloud to their little ones than some other middle grade books, but I think those towards the lower end of the middle grade age range will enjoy this one.
About The Author
Alesha Dixon first found fame as part of Brit-nominated and Mobo Award-winning group Mis-teeq, which achieved 2 platinum albums and 7 top ten hits, before going on to become a platinum selling solo artist in her own right. Alesha’s appearence on Strictly Come Dancing in 2007 led to her winning the series ans becoming a judge for three seasons.
Since then she has presented and hosted many TV shows including Sport Relief and BBC1’s The Greatest Dancer. She is a hugely popular judge on Britain’s Got Talent.
Connect With Alesha
Want to buy it?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?