The Lightning Catcher
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
When Alfie moves to the village of Folding Ford, he is baffled by a series of strange occurrences: a frozen puddle on a hot sunny day, a whirlwind in a bucket and a scary looking man with moths attached to his wrists by tiny threads.
Determined to get to the bottom of these mysteries, Alfie enlists the help of his new best friend Sam. Equipped with a notebook and an abundance of curiosity, their investigations lead them to creepy Ash House, home of ‘Moth-Man’ Nathaniel Clemm. As Alfie pokes around in Mr Clemm’s garden, he inadvertently releases a bizarre, lightning-fast creature, who appears to be made of electricity.
Naming the creature Whizzy, the boys are fascinated whenever she makes an appearance, each time increasing in size and intensity. However, as she spirals out of control, Whizzy causes a series of catastrophic events, which have dire consequences for Alfie.
As a backdrop to the main story, we are told that Alfie’s older sister was badly bullied at her previous school, which led to an eating disorder. The effect that her fragile mental state has on the entire family is portrayed with honesty and sensitivity.
This exciting, science-packed novel is a cracking read and bursts with action, warmth and humour.