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Jolted: Newton Starker's Rules for Survival Hardcover – March 10, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Newton Starker, 14, has a curse: all but one of his ancestors have been killed by a lightning strike. The teen spends most of his time in a protective dome and constantly checks and rechecks the weather. His life is limited; he finds it hard to make friends. When his mother dies of a lightning strike, Newton tries to avoid the same fate by enrolling in the eccentric Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Its motto is "Survival Through Fierce Intelligence." In one class, for example, the students learn smoke signals and Morse code. Newton, a food connoisseur and budding chef, places a phone order of truffles for his quiche recipe, but, because of his imprecise French, he gets a highly intelligent, truffle-seeking pig. Then, in his first Culinary Arts and Survival class, he is confronted with ground squirrel. When he is hit by lightning but survives, he learns not to let himself be ruled by fear, but rather to acknowledge it and act in spite of it—to let it pass through him. The emails, recipes, and rules interspersed throughout sometimes give the narrative a disjointed feeling, but short chapters make this an appropriate choice for reluctant readers. The book has tongue-in-cheek humor, a budding romance, some gross recipes, and even a fantastic porker. Its message of taking control of one's fate will appeal to every kid.—Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Fourteen-year-old Newton Starker is ruled by fear and focused on survival. Over many centuries and uncounted generations, lightning has killed every member of his mother’s family. After her death, Newton leaves the protective dome of his family home to attend the Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival in Saskatchewan, where he finds a good friend, a great pet, and more courage than he knew he had. The plot is easy to follow and the many quirky characters add spice to the third-person narrative, which is interspersed with excerpts from the school’s “Survival Handbook.” Though the central idea of lightning strikes as a family curse or inherited predestination might seem odd to some, this clearly written novel creates a world in which it is believable. There’s also a disingenuous quality about Newton that makes him just right as the hero of a story with a larger-than-life premise. An offbeat, likable novel. Grades 5-7. --Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385747004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385747004
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,341,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Arthur Slade was raised in the Cypress Hills of southwest Saskatchewan (on a ranch) and began writing at an early age. He received an English Honours degree from the University of Saskatchewan, spent several years writing advertising and now writes fiction full time. He is the author of seventeen novels, including the "Northern Frights" series of books, "Dust" (which won the Governor General's award), "Tribes," "Monsterology" and "The Hunchback Assignments" series. He also penned the graphic novel "Modo: Ember's End." He currently lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
The characters were great and ones that I cared about and wanted to know what happened to them.
Melissa A. Palmer
Jolted is a unique, funny and utterly and engagingly different read unlike anything currently on the young adult market.
rachel
I can only hope we see more books set at the Jerry Potts Academy, and we meet Newton Stalker again.
Steven R. McEvoy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy on March 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Arthur Slade is an award winning author. His honours include: Governor General's Award, Mr. Christie's Book Award, Saskatchewan Book Award, and Red Maple Honour Book. This book is both shocking and electrifying in its tale and the mastery in telling it.

Our hero is more than a little unusual for he is Newton Stalker. He is the second last surviving Stalker, for his whole family has been decimated by lightning strikes. Having recently lost his mother, he moves to the Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival in Moose Jaw. It is a school far more entertaining than Hogwarts. The school's motto is: 'Survival Through Fierce Intelligence'. The board considered all factors in allowing Newton to attend and even upgraded all of the buildings' lightning rod protection.

The cast of characters is zany and fun - from Newton's only surviving Stalker relative, his Great Grandmother Enid who is 102 and lives in a retirement home in Moose Jaw, to Newton's first friend Jacob Edward Clarke, an aspiring author, to his antagonist Violet Quon, a daughter of a Mountie with some pugilistic skills, to the unique headmaster, a giant of a man, who is always in a kilt and lumberjack shirt, Mr. McBain.

This book deals with issues like death and grieving. It also deals with the story of coming of age, and finding your place in the world. The book is like a cross between Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling and C.S. Lewis. It is wonderfully-written, greatly entertaining and I could not put it down. Slade presents unique characters in unusual situations and does so in a way that draws the reader in and causes us to cheer for them as the story progresses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rachel on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Jolted is a unique, funny and utterly and engagingly different read unlike anything currently on the young adult market.

I cannot think of a young reader who will be immune to it ! It is too comically fresh and speaks to any one who has ever felt like an outsider. Slade's heroes are never popular and they never conform. Instead, they reflect the real experience of growing up: feeling awkward, out of place and oh so ( at times) frustratingly different.

This book is highly, highly recommended for any one who wants to see what good young adult lit actually looks like.

You'll want to start from the beginning as soon as you turn the last page.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Newton's family is cursed with being struck and killed by lightning. Newton is sent to a survival school to learn the needed skills for survival. With help from his very smart pig, Josephine, Newton learns about life, friendship and survival. This book was a good, quick read with a lot of humor. The characters were great and ones that I cared about and wanted to know what happened to them. I really enjoyed this book.

[...]
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Format: Hardcover
Original. Fun. Real. Believable.
Arthur Slade has crafted an extremely good and impressive novel here. Concerning the Starker family's propensity for getting struck and killed by lightning--well, it's a tad bizarre, but who's to say it couldn't be someone's story? This is a boy's coming-of-age story, and a grand one it is. I loved reading it, and wanted more! I can hardly wait to recommend it to my students.I almost forgot--it includes some smashing recipes!
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