14 yr old Newton Starker, is the last male Starker alive. The Starker's family is cursed, to be struck by lighting. Newton's father isn't in danger, its from his mother side of the family. When lighting kills Newton's mom, he gives up the safety of the family dome to attend Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival . Newton's determined to find a way to beat the lighting. The academy teaches the students to survive very dangerous situations like a plane crash or being left in the desert. Its a very interesting school, the students are required to wear Kilts because Jerry Potts, was half Scottish. Interspersed thoughout the book are emails from the headmaster to the students and excerpts from the Academy's Survival Handbook.
Take it as your mantra. But what does it mean? The eyes of any large animal contain a certain amount of water. It may be necessary to drink it, especially if you are trapped in the desert and your camel has just died. Pluck out the eyes and suck out the liquid. Squeamishness is weakness. The eye is always half full" (arc)
This book is filled with a lot of interesting characters. There's Newton evil great grand mother, who once killed lighting all seniors in the home celebrate. Newton first friend Jacob, is always writing a not so good novel. There's Violet the girl he challenges to a duel for disrespecting the Starker name. Though Newton gives Violet choice of racquetball, fencing or chess, she chooses boxing and knocks him out. Than there's Josephine Newton's very smart pig who can find anything. Like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series chapter names are perfectly fun. Jolted is a joy from the very beginning. I loved Newton desire to find a way to defeat what has killed his family for generations. After Newton's great grand mother is struck, his father ask if he'd like to return to the dome. Newton refuses to give up and allow the lighting to win. Slade's humor is both silly and smart.
"After a lunch of ham sandwiches and coleslaw, Newton and Jacob rushed to their class, Mercantile Fitness and Survival 9. The academy buildings were in no way connected, so they were forced to go outside. It was part of the Potts plan to invigorate the students bodies and minds. In the classroom Newton sat and carefully blew his nose into a handkerchief." (arc)
I highly recommend Jolted and its reclutant reader friendly. Finally kudos to the author for adding a little diversity.
Jacob Edward Clarke was fourteen and from Halifax, Novia Scotia. His mother was from the Mi'kmag First Tribe; his father was black. In 1857, his father's ancestors had escaped slavery and come to Canada on the Underground Railroad. His grandmother had been Scottish. He wasn't certain with which bloodline he should identify, so he chose to honor all of them. (arc)