Welcome to #MGRewind week!
Celebrate Middle Grade reads with Tantrum Books/Month9books.
Sharing her memories as an MG reader, we welcome DONNA GALANTI, author of JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD.
Come back everyday this week where we’ll feature another author, and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.
Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.
To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.
In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.
Donna Galanti – 1978
Every day I dream about getting my first dog! I imagine she is so real that when I come home from school I run to meet her (her name will be Beauty after Black Beauty). But not yet…so while I wait I keep busy roaming the campground we own.
It’s fun to wear my strap-on roller skates and hunt the paths for dead butterflies and shotgun shells (this is New Hampshire after all and they make cool noise makers when you put them in old coffee cans). There are always kids to play with here (awesome for an only child like me!) and swim with at the pool. I especially love to hang out in the recreation hall and play pinball machines and records on the juke box. My favorite song is Escape by Rupert Holmes. I asked my dad what a Pina Colada is and he said it’s a party in a glass for grownups.
Each morning I get to pretend I’m my hero, Laura Ingalls from Little House in the Big Woods, as I pick rotten apples in the orchard to feed our fat hogs. My mom says we’ll be butchering them soon (just like Laura!). My mom wants to make head cheese (ewww!) but I want to blow up the pig’s bladder like a balloon and roast its tail over the fire, just like Laura did. Little House on the Prairie is my favorite show and sometimes I even pretend that Mr. Ingalls is my dad.
After hog feeding time, I get to gather the eggs in the chicken coop. Today I found a double yolk egg without a shell! It was see-through and wobbly just like a Weeble. Although, I think it would fall down if I wobbled it. Tomorrow is dump day. I get to collect the trash with my dad from all the campsites (we even saw a bear last week!). It’s a smelly chore but the best part is that I get to stand up in the back of our rickety 1965 Ford truck and hang onto the wood sides as we cruise to the dump. Wheeee! It’s almost as fun as snowmobiling on the campground trails in winter. If I help my dad out good, he’ll take me fishing on Lake Squam this weekend to use my new tackle box. I caught my first pike there last month (my dad almost crashed the boat up on the rocks just so I could get it)!
Well, time to go practice my after-dinner show for mom and dad. I’m singing and dancing to The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers and On The Good Ship Lollipop. I even made my own sailor and Tigger costumes (I’m a blue fuzzy Tigger in one-piece footed pj’s with my dad’s striped tie for a tail and my mom’s wig). Oh, and there’s a big thunderstorm coming tonight so I plan to sleep on the screened-in porch and watch the lightning all night long!
Being nine is the best. Getting a dog would make it even better.
Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs…, a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at www.donnagalanti.com and www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.
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