Newton Goddard Starker lives with a mysterious curse: his family attracts lightning. Nearly all of the Starker family have died from lightning strikes, including Newton's beloved mother. Fourteen-year-old Newton, the last in the Starker line, is determined not to be next, and he may have found a way to beat the odds. He has enrolled at Jerry ...
Newton Goddard Starker lives with a mysterious curse: his family attracts lightning. Nearly all of the Starker family have died from lightning strikes, including Newton's beloved mother. Fourteen-year-old Newton, the last in the Starker line, is determined not to be next, and he may have found a way to beat the odds. He has enrolled at Jerry Potts Academy for Survival, a boarding school in Moose Jaw, Canada, whose motto is "Survival Through Fierce Intelligence." Newton's ready to learn, and to be remembered in the school's Hall of Heroes. What Newton hasn't counted on is the other students. For a boy who's spent most of his life in a protective dome, making friends is sometimes as challenging as surviving. Especially when he's vying for top marks with the dynamo Violet Quon. Throw in a supertalented pig, students in kilts, wacky teachers, and some important questions about fate and the universe, and you've got an irresistible story that's as unique as Jerry Potts Academy."
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Publishers Weekly, 2009-03-09 The premise will snag readers immediately: except for his great-grandmother and father, every member of 14-year-old Newton Starker's family has been killed by lightning. The family keeps a set of rules-"Beware of cumulonimbus clouds," "Check the weather. Recheck the weather. Check it again"-but even they couldn't save Newton's mother, killed two years earlier. (The teen's father, not part of the bloodline, is not a lightning magnet.) Now, Newton has enrolled at the Jerry Potts Academy for Survival in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and hopes to avoid a similar fate. Stubborn and obsessed with all things culinary (especially truffles), Newton gains a new friend, an enemy/love interest and a pig with a talent for finding hidden objects in short order. But finding answers about the Starker "curse" isn't as easy. In brisk chapters, Slade (Megiddo's Shadow) offers readers plenty of humor (often at Newton's expense), as well as asides that include e-mails, character background and recipes. Slade's portrayal of Newton's sweep of emotions as he deals with his perceived fate-fear, fury, dogged determination-is especially convincing. Ages 11-14. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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