by Deb Loughead
Orca Book Publishers, 2009
ISBN 978-1-55469-211-8 (pb)
ISBN 978-1-55469-212-5 (hc)
$9.95/$16.95, 100 pp, ages 13 – 15
Claire is fifteen years old and her world is not all that great at the moment. Her father has left and her mother’s zest for life has evaporated. Claire is glad her father is gone, and wonders how her mother can miss someone who hurts her physically and emotionally. She wishes her mother would get on with her life. Claire thinks these thoughts as she makes her way through the rain on an errand for her mother. Having forgotten her umbrella, she takes one from a trash can, completes her errand and heads for home. When lightning strikes the umbrella, Claire’s whole body begins to vibrate and she feels a tingling down her arm. As Claire recovers she is surprised to see that the world around her is still the same. No one has noticed this bizarre bolt that just struck her. Once home she finds her mother quite changed. She is happy and positive. The idea to get a job—“this bolt”—came right out of the blue, her mother tells Claire. Coincidence? Claire does not know but this is one of many coincidences that Claire begins to experience after the lightning episode. Many of her secret wishes start to come true. Her math marks improve, a boy, whom Claire has a crush on, starts to pay attention to her, and when Claire auditions for the school play she is cast in a lead role. These coincidences scare Claire as she begins to realize that not all the changes in her life are for the better. Claire eventually realizes that her life has been spinning toward a certain moment, as if it were meant to happen that way. Coincidence or not, Claire knows it was a lucky day she found that umbrella.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s September 2010 issue.