The Lightning Catcher – A Middle Grade Novel

Lightning Catcher

I describe The Lightning Catcher written by Anne Cameron and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson as “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs meets Harry Potter.”  Below is a blurb from the publisher comparing it to other well known books.  No matter the comparison, it’s a unique book deserving a following.

According to Harper Collins…

“The first book of a funny fantasy and adventure series about three friends who discover they have the ability to control the weather. It’s Storm Chasers meets The 39 Clues, in a story that Booklist called “fascinating . . . mixing serious science with full-on fantasy.”

Eleven-year-old Angus’s world is turned upside down when he is mysteriously whisked away to become an apprentice at the Perilous Exploratorium for Weather and Vicious Storms. At Perilous, the world’s most dangerous weather is studied to protect mankind from its ravages. There, Angus discovers that his parents aren’t boring government workers after all—they are actually famous Lightning Catchers, and they’ve been kidnapped. With the help of two loyal new friends, Angus intends to find them. This fast-paced, action-packed, funny story of friendship, adventure, science, and mayhem begins a high-octane four-book series.”

I’ll end with a Trivia Question…

The idea for this book formed after the author read an article about fulgurites.  Do you know what fulgurites are without googling it?  The Utah Geological Survey provides an easy to read explanation of this fascinating lightning related phenomena.

Theatre Camp


ML attended camp at a local community theatre last week. The Raleigh Little Theatre does an amazing job. It wasn’t just silly fun. It was professional and age-appropriate. A confidence building week.

There are dozens of picture books about not getting the part you want in a dance recital or school play. I’m glad. It helped when ML didn’t get a speaking part in the kindergarten’s spring musical production.

However, picture books about theatre whose main premise isn’t about not getting the part you want or forgetting your lines, are few and far between. Our favorites are below.

In Backstage Cat by Helen Ziefert and illustrated by Jenni Desmond, the star of the show brings her cat to work, but he quickly escapes from her dressing room. Through the cat’s eyes, we learned about the variety of people involved in putting on a show. . . makeup artists, costume creators, stage manager, stagehands, electricians, orchestra, and cast members.

In The Pest in Show: Starring Ladybug and Fly music and lyrics by Victoria Jamieson, Ladybug is the star of a broadway show. But her brother, Fly, is trying to steal the show. With modified lyrics to various childhood tunes, it’s fun to sing along.

Try Ladybug’s rendition of The Wheels on the Bus:
“Kid brother Fly’s a pest pest pest,
All through the town.”

The Broadway Posters on the inside cover for buggy broadway shows are reason enough to check it out. . . Fly School Musical. . . Antie. . . Bugspray. . . Pest Side Story. . .