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Jolted: Newton Starker's Rules for Survival    by Arthur Slade order for
by Arthur Slade
Order:  USA  Can
Wendy Lamb Books, 2009 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Fourteen-year-old Newton Starker and his 102 year old grandmother are the last in the Starker line. For centuries every other Starker has died from a lightning strike. His grandmother lets him in on her secret. She claims spite is keeping her alive.

The last to die was Newton's mother. After her death Newton and his father decide he should attend the Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival in Saskatchewan. The school plans to make his attendance as safe from lightning strikes as possible.

Newton Starker has never had a friend. His mother discouraged friendships because being in close proximity to a Starker is dangerous. Her best friend died of a lightning strike just by being with her. Making friends at the academy is hard for Newton since he is vying for top academic and survival marks. Survival for him is personal.

He makes one friend and an enemy and finds a pet when he tries to order truffles from France and receives a pig instead. When he fails at his first survival training situation, he begins to learn that working with others is necessary in all walks of life.

This story's interesting premise gets it rolling, but Newton and the pig keep readers from putting it down.

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