Blue Lightning

Overview

Calvin doesn't remember when the lightning struck him, but he remembers when his spirit left his body. He learns that it's not his time to die and returns to the living world--unwittingly bringing with him the ghost of a troubled boy named Rory. At first, Rory's appearance seems harmless, but soon the restless spirit's pranks turn violent. Can the two boys help Rory find his way back--or is the door to the next world closed forever?
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Overview

Calvin doesn't remember when the lightning struck him, but he remembers when his spirit left his body. He learns that it's not his time to die and returns to the living world--unwittingly bringing with him the ghost of a troubled boy named Rory. At first, Rory's appearance seems harmless, but soon the restless spirit's pranks turn violent. Can the two boys help Rory find his way back--or is the door to the next world closed forever?
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-In a lively opening chapter, Calvin Doogan gets struck by lightning while swinging an aluminum baseball bat. When his spirit leaves his body, he spots the ghost of another boy who has just been killed. Then he sees his dead father's spirit. Before he can join his father, though, he is drawn back into his body, still alive. After Calvin returns home, he finds that the ghost of the other boy, Rory, has followed him and won't leave him alone. Like Calvin, Rory had been a baseball player. Both had been selected to play in the county all-star game. There's also a mysterious connection between the boys' fathers. The ghost plays minor pranks at first, but the tricks get more and more serious. Meanwhile, Calvin tries to excel during baseball practices, and is inspired by his father's spiritual presence but hindered by Rory's ghost. These complications are neatly resolved in the climactic game. Calvin has a fairly dull and predictable personality, and the minor characters are undeveloped. But because of the extraordinary events that occur, the novel is still engaging. The combination of the supernatural and baseball is attractive, while the family drama adds some depth. Though not always thoroughly satisfying, Blue Lightning has enough action and plot twists to engage some readers.-Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
A novel that aspires to the same spirituality that drove Field of Dreams, equating unfinished affairs in life with an unfinished game of baseball, and making the father-son bond paramount.

When Calvin is hit by lightning he is clinically dead when he reaches the hospital, but comes out of it. His textbook near-death experience, however, leads to unforeseen consequences. A crash victim, Rory, is in the hospital at the same time as Calvin, and dies; his mischief-making spirit attaches itself to the boy. When Calvin returns home, Rory as a ghost emerges from his stomach. Rory is a nasty piece of work: He's mean and destructive, getting Calvin into trouble wherever he goes. Calvin figures that he has to send Rory back to wherever it is he belongs, but that becomes possible only when Calvin discovers that they share a deep love for baseball and were both slated to play on a special team before their accidents. In the course of events he reunites his long-widowed mother with a former sweetheart and new widower, Rory's aloof father, who lost his son and wife in the same crash. The logic that attends the spectral encounters is never clear, and Rory's sneering malevolence is unlikely to draw readers in. As was true in Russell's Last Left Standing (p. 1473), the writing is very good and often poetic. The plotting, however, is wobbly and confusing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670870233
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/1997
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.92 (d)

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