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In Black Lightning, by K.S. Jones, readers meet Samuel, whose mother was recently killed in a car accident. Because Samuel’s father disappeared some time ago, the boy is deemed an orphan. Although his mother intends for him to live with his grandfather, Samuel’s uncle’s wife has different plans for the boy. All this leads to Samuel’s running away and eventually ending up in another world where surprises and challenges await him. When Samuel experiences a test of faith in himself, he learns not to give up on his dreams—even when others have told him that something is impossible.
Few things make me happier than to find a great read for a middle-grader. The reason should be obvious: there are so few of them. Yes, at times one stumbles upon a good story. But rarely does one stumble across a great story that is also well told, and therefore, appropriate for recommending to middle-grade readers. I was delighted to find just such a thing with Black Lighting. In it, K.S. Jones provides her readers with a suggested and intriguing connection to the Native-American culture. Best of all, the story, which is told as a fantasy of sorts, includes elements with an almost sci-fi bent. If you’re looking for something for your middle-grade reader, check out this Literary Classics award winner, Black Lightning.