BLUE LIGHTNING by Barbara Timberlake Russell


Age Range: 10 & up
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 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. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-670-87023-4
Page count: 122pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1996


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