Series Name: White Lightning
Themes: Africa, revolution, violence, war, child soldiers, survival
Koji's world is like any boy's. He loves sports. Goes to school. Studies hard. Dreams big. But childhood ends quickly. Rebel forces enter his village. They ransack the school. Their teacher is beaten. Maybe even killed. The boys line up, guns to their backs. Koji's group goes one way. His best friend's another. What's happened to his family? They are all dead, says a rebel. And you will be too if you don't do what we say. They march for hours. Days. One boy drinks too much water. He is hit again and again. Then murdered. The boys watch and learn. That will not be their fate. It's kill or be killed. So they kill.
White Lightning Books addresses a wide variety of themes and interests in a narrow range of reading levels, no higher than a 2.5. Middle school is a time of self-discovery, high energy, and hormonal change. It can also be a time of self-assertion and defiance. Students who struggle to read will often not recover from low reading achievement in elementary school if their particular interests are not addressed. Encouragement and finding the theme to "hook" them is key. There is a broad range of interest and abilities in this age group, even with struggling readers. These are not YA or elementary books a fact younger teens will appreciate.
Each book is approximately 100 pages with covers that will appeal to young teen readers. The titles in the White Lightning series are designed in a similar style. Students will know what to expect when they pick up a book: a fast-paced story, mature and age-appropriate topics, short chapters, and achievable reading success.
Grade Level: 6 to 8
Approximate Grade-Level Equivalent for Series: 1.5 to 2.5
Lexile Level: 230L