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My Own Lightning

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Bestselling author Lauren Wolk returns to the world of Wolf Hollow, in this sequel to her beloved, Newbery Honor-winning debut. ★ "A powerful story to electrify the soul." -Booklist, starred review It's been several months since the tragic events set in motion by bully Betty Glengarry, and the routine of daily life in Wolf Hollow has slowly returned. But for Annabelle Mc Bestselling author Lauren Wolk returns to the world of Wolf Hollow, in this sequel to her beloved, Newbery Honor-winning debut. ★ "A powerful story to electrify the soul." -Booklist, starred review It's been several months since the tragic events set in motion by bully Betty Glengarry, and the routine of daily life in Wolf Hollow has slowly returned. But for Annabelle McBride it's hard to move forward and make peace with what feels like threadbare justice. Newly warm summer days are about to bring a jolt of change on the winds of a powerful storm. In its wake, the search for her brother's missing dog will set Annabelle on a new path that brings her to unfamiliar doorsteps and reunites her with a too-familiar adversary--Andy Woodberry, who was complicit in Betty's most terrible acts. Growing up and blazing her own trail will soon force Annabelle to reexamine deeply felt truths--about people, about justice, about herself--that had once seemed so uncomplicated. Bestselling author Lauren Wolk (Beyond the Bright Sea, Echo Mountain) returns to World War II-era Western Pennsylvania in this luminous sequel to her Newbery Honor-winning debut, Wolf Hollow, proving once again why her acclaimed novels have been celebrated as "historical fiction at its finest."


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Bestselling author Lauren Wolk returns to the world of Wolf Hollow, in this sequel to her beloved, Newbery Honor-winning debut. ★ "A powerful story to electrify the soul." -Booklist, starred review It's been several months since the tragic events set in motion by bully Betty Glengarry, and the routine of daily life in Wolf Hollow has slowly returned. But for Annabelle Mc Bestselling author Lauren Wolk returns to the world of Wolf Hollow, in this sequel to her beloved, Newbery Honor-winning debut. ★ "A powerful story to electrify the soul." -Booklist, starred review It's been several months since the tragic events set in motion by bully Betty Glengarry, and the routine of daily life in Wolf Hollow has slowly returned. But for Annabelle McBride it's hard to move forward and make peace with what feels like threadbare justice. Newly warm summer days are about to bring a jolt of change on the winds of a powerful storm. In its wake, the search for her brother's missing dog will set Annabelle on a new path that brings her to unfamiliar doorsteps and reunites her with a too-familiar adversary--Andy Woodberry, who was complicit in Betty's most terrible acts. Growing up and blazing her own trail will soon force Annabelle to reexamine deeply felt truths--about people, about justice, about herself--that had once seemed so uncomplicated. Bestselling author Lauren Wolk (Beyond the Bright Sea, Echo Mountain) returns to World War II-era Western Pennsylvania in this luminous sequel to her Newbery Honor-winning debut, Wolf Hollow, proving once again why her acclaimed novels have been celebrated as "historical fiction at its finest."

30 review for My Own Lightning

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Oops! I did it again. I read a sequel before the first book. I hate when that happens, but decided just to go with it. Partly because I started reading this on my Kindle when we were about to board a flight from Copenhagen to Chicago. Lots of reading time there! I thought Wolk's latest release before this one, Echo Mountain, was simply outstanding. This new one is also a work of historical fiction with a rustic rural setting and plenty of animals to go around, so I also totally enjoyed it. Annab Oops! I did it again. I read a sequel before the first book. I hate when that happens, but decided just to go with it. Partly because I started reading this on my Kindle when we were about to board a flight from Copenhagen to Chicago. Lots of reading time there! I thought Wolk's latest release before this one, Echo Mountain, was simply outstanding. This new one is also a work of historical fiction with a rustic rural setting and plenty of animals to go around, so I also totally enjoyed it. Annabelle continues to tell her story and share her observations about life. It is enlightening for all ages to watch her navigate life after her experiences in the first book and a lightning strike in this one. Her family is a delight and her rock. It was such a pleasure to spend time with them all and I look forward to reading Wolf Hollow soon to get the complete picture. Thank you to Dutton Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Kim

    Would make an interesting discussion pair with The Ogress and the Orphans. While that book admonished, “If you wish to be good, do good,” My Own Lightning observes, “It’s easy to see what a person does. But there’s plenty more that’s harder to see.” At some level, I wish this weren’t a “sequel” to Wolf Hollow, as it’s quite different. It’s possible to view both as fairy tales, despite their appearance of historical fiction, but with Wolf Hollow being primal, dark, Grimm-like and this… well if Ba Would make an interesting discussion pair with The Ogress and the Orphans. While that book admonished, “If you wish to be good, do good,” My Own Lightning observes, “It’s easy to see what a person does. But there’s plenty more that’s harder to see.” At some level, I wish this weren’t a “sequel” to Wolf Hollow, as it’s quite different. It’s possible to view both as fairy tales, despite their appearance of historical fiction, but with Wolf Hollow being primal, dark, Grimm-like and this… well if Barnhill is on the DiCamillo trajectory, this is Wolk’s Schmidt book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Affinito

    I love when a book can take me to another time and place so completely that I’m a bit disoriented when I finally look up. And I especially love when I can escape to another time and place while still learning lessons that can positively impact my life today. My Own Lightning by Lauren Wolk gave me both of these things and so much more. Wolk introduces us to Annabelle, a young girl who is recovering from a traumatic event and is struck by lightning on her way home in a summer storm during the era I love when a book can take me to another time and place so completely that I’m a bit disoriented when I finally look up. And I especially love when I can escape to another time and place while still learning lessons that can positively impact my life today. My Own Lightning by Lauren Wolk gave me both of these things and so much more. Wolk introduces us to Annabelle, a young girl who is recovering from a traumatic event and is struck by lightning on her way home in a summer storm during the era of World War II. She’s mysteriously saved by an anonymous hero and soon discovers she’s developed heightened senses and a new understanding of animals. She uses these skills to find lost dogs, save hurt dogs and better connect with the humans they are connected with, too. She uses her newfound knowledge to come to terms with the recent difficulties she’s experienced and learn about the complex world around her. This book envelopes readers into a different time and invites them to put their assumptions aside and get to know people for who they really are. Annabelle may be young, but she taught this adult a thing or two.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Nagel

    Another beautifully written book by Lauren Wolk. It was such a delight to be back in the world of Annabelle and Wolf Hollow. The farm, the family and the wonderful voice of a girl struggling to figure out life and just which people might be worth taking a risk over. Wolk’s writing absolutely sings and so many times I just had to stop, reread a phrase and take note of how she makes everyday life seem like a poem. Even her description of cranky old Aunt Lily who “tended to be a lot like the horse Another beautifully written book by Lauren Wolk. It was such a delight to be back in the world of Annabelle and Wolf Hollow. The farm, the family and the wonderful voice of a girl struggling to figure out life and just which people might be worth taking a risk over. Wolk’s writing absolutely sings and so many times I just had to stop, reread a phrase and take note of how she makes everyday life seem like a poem. Even her description of cranky old Aunt Lily who “tended to be a lot like the horse radish..best in small doses,” is worth pausing to appreciate. Loved this one…and can’t wait to read whatever comes next from Ms. Wolk. Thank you to Edelweiss for this advanced readers copy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike Hughes

    What an amazing follow up to the great Wolf Hollow book. Another awesome story by Wolk, more than just a young adult book, this one will be a hit for everyone in my book. Loved visiting with Annabelle and her family again and got to meet some new characters. would love to see this become a regular series. loved it

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shella

    I've rated all of Wolk's works as five stars. I think I have her debut book left to read. I love her writing style and how she really goes in-depth with characters. She lets readers peel off layers. Her prose is almost lyrical and defiantly paints a picture in readers' minds. I love the way she described the storm at the beginning of the book. I will use this section and have used other sections of her books as authentic examples of creative figurate language. The themes of family, friendship, a I've rated all of Wolk's works as five stars. I think I have her debut book left to read. I love her writing style and how she really goes in-depth with characters. She lets readers peel off layers. Her prose is almost lyrical and defiantly paints a picture in readers' minds. I love the way she described the storm at the beginning of the book. I will use this section and have used other sections of her books as authentic examples of creative figurate language. The themes of family, friendship, and especially forgiveness are strong and distinguished. This is not a book of action, but rather dynamic character changes. It is a journey to learn about looking at people and their actions way below the surface. This book continues the enduring example of a healthy multi-generational family. This is really not a historical fiction book. I would argue that Wolf Hollow was not much of one either. We learn a bit about the rations and home front life of WWII, but not really much history. In Wolf Hollow there is discrimination based on the war, but it could really be during any time. If you are looking for deep historical references to WWII, you will not find it in these two books. I think reading Wolf Hollow first is a must. To really "get" this book, the reader needs to understand the horrific bullying theme of Wolf Hollow. My Own Lightning is really different from Wolf Hollow. The journey for Annabelle to try to attain reconciliation with Andy is a slow burn. Wolk's stories are never just straight forward, and take some patience to appreciate and understand. The ending is worth the wait. This story takes a mature reader to be able to journey through this process. This is a perfect book (and Wolf Hollow) to read along side your middle schooler- no matter their reading level. Great discussions will spring from the pages. Annabelle is one of those special characters. She made me laugh and cry. I am looking forward to the next story from Wolk; she is in my top tier of middle school authors. I would love this book to get some Newbery attention, so disappointed her other books, with the exception of Wolf Hollow, did not.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    This was a worthy follow-up to Wolf Hollow, which follows the story of Annabelle McBride and her life in Wolf Hollow. It's been several months since the tragedy involving her friend Toby and Betty Glengarry and Annabelle is still trying to process all that went on. She misses Toby, but she is still trying to move forward with her life. As ever, she is observant about the people around her, and while she still jumps to conclusions, she's pausing to think through what she thinks of the people arou This was a worthy follow-up to Wolf Hollow, which follows the story of Annabelle McBride and her life in Wolf Hollow. It's been several months since the tragedy involving her friend Toby and Betty Glengarry and Annabelle is still trying to process all that went on. She misses Toby, but she is still trying to move forward with her life. As ever, she is observant about the people around her, and while she still jumps to conclusions, she's pausing to think through what she thinks of the people around her and whether she might be right or wrong. Because of what ended up happening with Toby, she's often questioning whether she should say something to her parents or keep things hidden and whether someone else's secrets are hers to tell (usually she decides not). As she is mourning Toby one more, a storm comes on suddenly and she is struck by lightning. Although she survives, it seems to unlock something in her to see the world a little bit differently. This was a book I ended up finishing in one day because I just HAD to find out how she would resolve all the different things as well as how her mind would grow or change about certain things. The voice of Annabelle that the author creates is one so full of wisdom, even if it's not immediate. Yes, Annabelle makes mistakes and she may not always make the best choices, but she's constantly introspective, which I love. I love that she's open to the fact that she might be wrong or that she still has more to learn, but I also love how she's willing to look past the surface of things and see the goodness that others might miss. If you liked Wolf Hollow, you should absolutely read this book. While I think that you could likely read this book on its own, I recommend that you read Wolf Hollow first as it gives you added appreciation for her interactions with Andy Woodberry. His story was particularly compelling in this book and I loved seeing what happened to him. Overall, I highly recommend this pair of books. I received an advance review copy from NetGalley for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Stoller

    Lauren Wolk is hands down one of my favorite children's authors that is currently writing. She writes vividly, creating not only a descriptive world, but one with robust characters. When I heard that she was writing a new book, I was thrilled. When I heard she was writing a sequel to Wolf Hollow, I was ecstatic. Admittedly, my remembrance of Wolf Hollow is fuzzy (I had to read a Cliff Notes version again. LOL). However, I loved the emphasis was on Annabelle and her needing to forgive those involv Lauren Wolk is hands down one of my favorite children's authors that is currently writing. She writes vividly, creating not only a descriptive world, but one with robust characters. When I heard that she was writing a new book, I was thrilled. When I heard she was writing a sequel to Wolf Hollow, I was ecstatic. Admittedly, my remembrance of Wolf Hollow is fuzzy (I had to read a Cliff Notes version again. LOL). However, I loved the emphasis was on Annabelle and her needing to forgive those involved with the events in the previous book. (But before you ask, no, you don't need to read Wolf Hollow first). I could relate to Annabelle--feeling sorry for someone because they are hurting and yet still being pissed. Who can't relate to that?? While Wolf Hollow was set more in an obvious Historical Fiction period, My Own Lightning falls into an interest genre dilemma. Is it realistic fiction? Is it historical because it is a different time period? Is it an animal tale due a Doctor Doolittle-esque subplot? It is a book that, due to its variation, will appeal to many readers. Or so I hope.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Helle Kirstein

    Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. How absolutely lovely it was to return to Annabelle’s world in rural America at the end of World War II in this beautifully crafted sequel to Wolf Hollow. It has been a year since the tragic events that led to the deaths of Toby and his tormentor, and Annabelle is still trying to process her grief and the guilt she feels. When caught in a surprise storm, Annabelle is struck by lightning. It turns out that somebody has performed life-saving first aid to help her, b Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. How absolutely lovely it was to return to Annabelle’s world in rural America at the end of World War II in this beautifully crafted sequel to Wolf Hollow. It has been a year since the tragic events that led to the deaths of Toby and his tormentor, and Annabelle is still trying to process her grief and the guilt she feels. When caught in a surprise storm, Annabelle is struck by lightning. It turns out that somebody has performed life-saving first aid to help her, but nobody comes forward as her hero. After the incident, all Annabelle’s senses are heightened, in particular an ability to understand animals. Several dogs, including her own brother’s, go missing in the area and Annabelle uses her new skills to try to uncover what happened to the dogs. Along the way she has to put her opinion of her old bully Andy Woodberry aside to be able to collaborate with him as he reveals himself as a caring animal lover. This historical fiction will have readers pondering how to react to people’s flaws including their own and how we all need to learn to forgive, both others and ourselves.. Albeit a sequel to Wolk’s Wolf Hollow, this title can stand alone and might appeal to a broader audience given its theme of kindness towards animals.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    I’m sure someone has already said that My Own Lightning is the sequel you didn’t know you needed. It may be cliche, but it’s also true. Lauren Wolk’s Wolf Hollow, a Newbery Honor book, is a captivating, complex middle grade novel that doesn’t leave the reader hanging for a sequel, or indeed, even expecting one. Revisiting these characters, and the events of the previous novel that have shaped their relationships in My Own Lightning, Wolk’s latest work of historical fiction, is a gift to readers. I I’m sure someone has already said that My Own Lightning is the sequel you didn’t know you needed. It may be cliche, but it’s also true. Lauren Wolk’s Wolf Hollow, a Newbery Honor book, is a captivating, complex middle grade novel that doesn’t leave the reader hanging for a sequel, or indeed, even expecting one. Revisiting these characters, and the events of the previous novel that have shaped their relationships in My Own Lightning, Wolk’s latest work of historical fiction, is a gift to readers. In the sequel Annabelle is still coming to terms with the tragedy that happened months earlier when she is struck by lightning. She survives thanks to the heroic efforts of someone she never saw, but only felt in the touch of rough hands on her cheek. After the strike, she finds herself sensitive to the feelings of animals which helps her in trying to solve the mystery of some dogs that have recently disappeared. But Annabelle can’t seem to avoid Andy, the boy who, along with bully Betty, was responsible for triggering the events that led to that tragedy. Her story intersects with him in a way both she and the reader would never expect. This novel is every bit as engaging as Wolf Hollow and the writing is equally excellent. Wolk manages to move her characters forward in a realistic way, particularly Annabelle who grapples with the concepts of justice, redemption, and forgiveness. *Thank you to Netgalley for providing an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amy Warren

    A truly wonderful sequel to "Wolf Hollow"..here Annabelle tries to move on with her life and work through her unresolved issues and feelings for Andy Woodberry, one of the bad apples from the last book. The book opens with an ill-timed walk home in a thunderstorm, when Annabelle is struck by lightning. The incident awakens senses she never knew she had and allows her to see and hear things around her with distinct clarity. As usual, Ms. Wolk writes about nature and life on a farm in almost a lyr A truly wonderful sequel to "Wolf Hollow"..here Annabelle tries to move on with her life and work through her unresolved issues and feelings for Andy Woodberry, one of the bad apples from the last book. The book opens with an ill-timed walk home in a thunderstorm, when Annabelle is struck by lightning. The incident awakens senses she never knew she had and allows her to see and hear things around her with distinct clarity. As usual, Ms. Wolk writes about nature and life on a farm in almost a lyrical way, some passages I enjoyed going back and re-reading once done with the story. Highly recommend.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lynda (Suzie)

    I loved Wolf Hollow. I felt the writing was lyrical and the story compelling. The bittersweet conclusion satisfied all plot points, and I considered Annabelle McBride's story closed. Lauren Wolk reawakened her character this month with release of My Own Lightening. The plot extends the story of Annabelle, her brother Henry, and Andy Woodberry, when a new series of circumstances bring the three together. Wolk employs the same lyricism seen in Wolf Hollow. The value of this novel is the extended exp I loved Wolf Hollow. I felt the writing was lyrical and the story compelling. The bittersweet conclusion satisfied all plot points, and I considered Annabelle McBride's story closed. Lauren Wolk reawakened her character this month with release of My Own Lightening. The plot extends the story of Annabelle, her brother Henry, and Andy Woodberry, when a new series of circumstances bring the three together. Wolk employs the same lyricism seen in Wolf Hollow. The value of this novel is the extended exploration of the characters' traits. We see Henry adopt some of his father's habits, and Annabelle adopt some (**gasp**) of Aunt Lily's traits. By far the best character development was that of Andy. While Wolf Hollow left me satisfied, Andy's character has left me wanting more.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I loved Wolf Hollow so much that I thought I’d never find another book quite like it. And now this. Such beautiful, breathtaking writing. Such well developed characters. So much growth. I love, love loved this one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristin (Life Between the Pages)

    Better than the first book in some ways, nearly as good in others. It was good to be back in Wolf Hollow.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A wonderful continuation of Wolf Hollow. I'm hoping there's a third book. Such well-developed characters and strong sense of place. A wonderful continuation of Wolf Hollow. I'm hoping there's a third book. Such well-developed characters and strong sense of place.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erika Monaghan

    I have read all of her young adult books, and although this didn’t have the tension of Wolf Hollow, it delved deeper into some of the characters and made us rethink earlier judgments.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Burnap

    Finished in one day. An amazing story of learning about people—and forgiveness.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tonia Burton

    I loved this story! The author did a great job of bringing all the senses and emotions alive.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    I loved the setting and characters of this book, and the evocative writing. I feel very well nourished by the story and the words.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

  21. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Lesley

    I enjoyed this book, which is a YA book. While, as a teacher, I doubt I would share it in class, I would have it as part of my classroom library. Set in Western Pennsylvania, 1944, the story centers on Annabelle and her relationships with family, friends, and acquaintances. Annabelle is struck by lightning on her way home from helping her teacher at school right after the summer has begun. She gets caught in a storm and knows she shouldn't be out in weather like this when suddenly, lightning stri I enjoyed this book, which is a YA book. While, as a teacher, I doubt I would share it in class, I would have it as part of my classroom library. Set in Western Pennsylvania, 1944, the story centers on Annabelle and her relationships with family, friends, and acquaintances. Annabelle is struck by lightning on her way home from helping her teacher at school right after the summer has begun. She gets caught in a storm and knows she shouldn't be out in weather like this when suddenly, lightning strikes her. Remarkably, she survives but she remembers being hit hard on the chest and coming around totally confused. When she is found and taken home, the family calls the doctor who checks her out and announces she will be okay but things could be different for her for a while. This definitely turns out to be true. Now, I love the way this book deals with the generations of a family living in a home together and how well they all get along. Annabelle lives with her parents, two brothers, great-aunt, and grandparents. They get along well with everyone doing their part. The children do their chores without complaint. The elders in the family are respected, even if things they say or do is not always appreciated. I think this was a strong point of the novel as children today may not always see a strong family unit nor do they always have chores like these children did since they lived on a farm. Plus, the fact that the kids did things around the house without complaint is good for young readers to see. They are also able to see how the characters in the book were able to have a life away from home, how they could explore all over the place without their parents having to worry---another thing children of today do not get to experience. In the story, animals, especially dogs, play a large part. Following her accident, Annabelle realizes she has a special affinity with understanding dogs. It was known, after talking with the doctor, that she had heightened senses, but se was actually sent to the city to be seen by doctors researching cases such as hers. Another strong positive about the book is the fact that Annabelle met new people who live near her without ever worrying about going to their farm and home. Imagine children doing that in today's world. Parents would be so worried whereas Annabelle's parents expressed some concern and simply asked her about the family, Also, Annabelle had experienced bullying and the effects of it when a friend had died as the result of terrible bullying. However, she was able to finally talk with one of the people involved and learn more about the person thus managing not to totally forgive, but understand then form a new and better relationship. I felt this story held strong lessons in not only what life was like in a simpler time---safer for kids to run around, no cell phones, no internet, maybe no tv---yet they had a full and wonderful life. Lessons were often learned on their own without parents helicoptering around them. This book would be a good one for a mature reader. The book is actually recommended for grades 5 and higher and I agree with that. I did receive this book from #NetGalley and #DuttonChildrensBooks. The author is #LaurenWolk.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Meredith L.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My Own Lightning is a compelling continuation of the story of Annabelle McBride and her family. We first meet Annabelle in the book entitled Wolf Hollow. In My Own Lightning, Annabelle is trying to come to terms with the horrific events of the past year. The loss of one of her best friends, and her anger toward Andy Woodberry, one of the bullies who brought about the horrific events, still cause her great pain. In My Own Lightning, a summer storm sets into motion some unusual events. Annabelle di My Own Lightning is a compelling continuation of the story of Annabelle McBride and her family. We first meet Annabelle in the book entitled Wolf Hollow. In My Own Lightning, Annabelle is trying to come to terms with the horrific events of the past year. The loss of one of her best friends, and her anger toward Andy Woodberry, one of the bullies who brought about the horrific events, still cause her great pain. In My Own Lightning, a summer storm sets into motion some unusual events. Annabelle discovers a hidden gift. A lightning strike gives her the ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of animals. Several dogs have gone missing in Annabelle's Pennsylvania town, including her brother Henry's dog. A sinister plot is uncovered, and Annabelle's search for the missing dogs and for answers causes her path to converge with Andy's, the bully who has caused her so much torment. Annabelle must find a way to face her painful past and must discover the truth that nothing is as it seems. Everyone needs forgiveness and makes mistakes, sometimes irreparable ones. My Own Lightning is a much different book from Wolf Hollow. I enjoyed the more complex approach to difficult themes, and the characters seemed more relatable. I loved Wolk's approach to Andy Woodberry's story. She truly worked to make this character more compelling than in the first book. The complexity of all the characters, the beautiful imagery, and the depiction of Annabelle's growth and self-discovery journey were so compelling. The depiction of Annabelle's close-knit family was even more beautiful. Similar themes that were explored in Wolf Hollow were explored in My Own Lightning. Themes about bullying, deceptive appearances and the love of family were presented, but the author approached these themes in a gentler way that touched my heart deeply. Nora is my favorite new character, and I loved her complexity. My Own Lightning is thoroughly recommended. Reading Wolf Hollow is definitely encouraged, but My Own Lightning stands well on its own. I do think the book will make you want to read Wolf Hollow as well. Happy reading, and God bless you all.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: I didn't know there was a storm coming. Had I known I might have done things differently. Premise/plot: My Own Lightning is the sequel to Wolf Hollow (2016). It is a historical novel set in 1943 during the Second World War. Annabelle, our heroine, continues to come of age. Soon after the novel opens, Annabelle is struck by lightning. Miraculously, she survives...with a little help from an anonymous person... but the experience changes her. She finds herself more in tune to underst First sentence: I didn't know there was a storm coming. Had I known I might have done things differently. Premise/plot: My Own Lightning is the sequel to Wolf Hollow (2016). It is a historical novel set in 1943 during the Second World War. Annabelle, our heroine, continues to come of age. Soon after the novel opens, Annabelle is struck by lightning. Miraculously, she survives...with a little help from an anonymous person... but the experience changes her. She finds herself more in tune to understand/relate/communicate with animals. My thoughts: I didn't love, love, love Wolf Hollow when I read it. It was getting a LOT of buzz when it released. Everyone was talking about how awesome it was. Because it was historical middle grade set during one of my favorite time periods to when about, I wanted to love it. I just didn't. I thought at the time--and I do still think this to some extent--that it was just a difference of expectations. It was too buzzed about. I hadn't thought about Wolf Hollow in years. This wouldn't be a book I thought "needed" a sequel. I liked this one okay. Probably more than the first book. (Though I think it would have been much appreciated to better sum up the events of book one. Whether you are a first time reader who hasn't read Wolf Hollow OR a reader who read Wolf Hollow years ago (2016 feels like ages ago), there are some gaps. Names are dropped--Betty, Toby--but with NO context really. I was hoping that things would come together. I'd have some memory of the first book. But nope. Plenty of readers, I imagine, would be picking this one up without any previous knowledge of the first book. A little context would make a world of difference. Since this book explores the relationship between Andy and Annabelle. There were things I liked about this one. Quote: "Just because he..." My mother let out a little gasp. "Annabelle, there is no just about that." My grandmother looked at me, her face lovely and sad. "But there is forgiveness my girl. A good deed doesn't erase a bad one, but it's worth a lot. And I happen to think it's worth, even more considering...well, considering it's Andy we're talking about."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Favorite Quotes: Pg 183 So people were a bit immune to the background music of our days: cows mooing, crows bickering, and the endless bugs, tuning their instruments, fiddling for their mates. pg 227 All through the troubles with Toby, all through the long winter that followed, all through my saddest spring, all through the days since the lightning strike, I'd been trying to find my way. And I was still trying. "Then a little at a time," I said. "Which, you're right, is the way it happens. Is the Favorite Quotes: Pg 183 So people were a bit immune to the background music of our days: cows mooing, crows bickering, and the endless bugs, tuning their instruments, fiddling for their mates. pg 227 All through the troubles with Toby, all through the long winter that followed, all through my saddest spring, all through the days since the lightning strike, I'd been trying to find my way. And I was still trying. "Then a little at a time," I said. "Which, you're right, is the way it happens. Is the way it happens for me, too." pg294 “Now I'm looking harder. I thought the lightning had made me smarter, and I suppose in some ways it did, just like books do, just like teachers do. All kinds of teachers. And they're all important. But I need to be my own lightning. My own book. My own teacher. I should have been looking harder all along. And I'm sorry that I didn't know what I didn't know." Center moment on that, his eyes on my face. “About what?" I gazed steadily back at him, though his bruises made me want to look away. "Everything." pg 302 I Shrugged. "Yes. Every little thing makes a difference some way or another. But I did my best at the time. It doesn’t make much sense to fret about it now. Especially when I can’t go back and do it over. Or undo it. Besides, there’s plenty right here that needs doing.”

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    Returning to Wolf Hollow we find young Annabelle on her way home from helping to clean the schoolhouse, when a storm brews up fast and catches her out in the open and Annabelle is struck by lightening. All she remembers is being stung by thousands of wasps all at once than a pounding on her chest and her daddy picking her up and carrying her home. She is fine but can now feel what animals are feeling. Other than that there is also the new man that moved in down the road, a bully across the road Returning to Wolf Hollow we find young Annabelle on her way home from helping to clean the schoolhouse, when a storm brews up fast and catches her out in the open and Annabelle is struck by lightening. All she remembers is being stung by thousands of wasps all at once than a pounding on her chest and her daddy picking her up and carrying her home. She is fine but can now feel what animals are feeling. Other than that there is also the new man that moved in down the road, a bully across the road from Annabelle's family farm that has a lot more to his story than people know, and the missing dogs, what do all of these have in common. It is a lot going on a one time but as a reader it is not confusing at all, all the pieces fit together nicely. There is more than enough action and a lot of suspense. Whether you have read the first book or not this is a great book to read. I hope we get to see Annabelle again soon.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alley W.

    My Own Lightning is the second installment about Annabelle McBride and her life in Wolf Hollow. Annabelle is still recovering from the tragic events that happened a couple months earlier involving her friend Toby. As she is walking home during a storm she is suddenly struck by lightning her world goes dim. She feels someone brush up against her and then finds that she is being carried by her father. After the lightning event Annabelle has lightning flower marks on her arm as well as a new hyper My Own Lightning is the second installment about Annabelle McBride and her life in Wolf Hollow. Annabelle is still recovering from the tragic events that happened a couple months earlier involving her friend Toby. As she is walking home during a storm she is suddenly struck by lightning her world goes dim. She feels someone brush up against her and then finds that she is being carried by her father. After the lightning event Annabelle has lightning flower marks on her arm as well as a new hyper sense developed from her episode with the lightning. Annabelle used this new sense to help her understand the animals around her. Annabelle even crossed paths with Andy, the school bully that had been involved with Toby’s tragic death. Throughout the story Annabelle learns some very important lessons, including not judging people by their outward appearance or passed actions. She also learns about what it means to have compassion and forgive even when it’s hard.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Picking up a few months after Wolf Hollow, Wolk continues Annabelle's story in rural Pennsylvania. It is summertime and Annabelle is enjoying that time of year while also mulling over all that happened before when she lost a good friend and learned more about people. In this story Annabelle is caught in a thunderstorm and struck by lightning. She is not badly injured, but life does seem different after it happens including the ability to understand what animals are thinking! There are also new Picking up a few months after Wolf Hollow, Wolk continues Annabelle's story in rural Pennsylvania. It is summertime and Annabelle is enjoying that time of year while also mulling over all that happened before when she lost a good friend and learned more about people. In this story Annabelle is caught in a thunderstorm and struck by lightning. She is not badly injured, but life does seem different after it happens including the ability to understand what animals are thinking! There are also new neighbors who are not very outgoing but when it turns out that take in injured animals, Annabelle and her brother Henry are both drawn to them. As an adult, I enjoyed this book very much. As a retired school librarian, I would be interested in reviews from students because I'm not sure how appealing this story is to them (although historical fiction is often a niche favorite of only a certain segment of the student population).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen Cohn

    My Own Lightning is a sequel to a book I haven't read; despite that, I was generally able to follow the references to the previous volume. Set in western Pennsylvania as WWII is continuing, it recounts the story of Annabelle, her family, and several of their neighbors. The novel begins with Annabelle being struck by lightning, and the rest of the novel deals with the aftereffects of that event. This was a nice, comfortable book to read, but I can't escape the feeling that I missed something. Much My Own Lightning is a sequel to a book I haven't read; despite that, I was generally able to follow the references to the previous volume. Set in western Pennsylvania as WWII is continuing, it recounts the story of Annabelle, her family, and several of their neighbors. The novel begins with Annabelle being struck by lightning, and the rest of the novel deals with the aftereffects of that event. This was a nice, comfortable book to read, but I can't escape the feeling that I missed something. Much of the storyline deals with the fallout from the previous novel, and, having not read it, the impact of the resolution never really gelled for me; perhaps that's the missing piece, but it seemed more like a vignette to me than a complete novel. Despite that, this is an enjoyable book, about summer, family, and friends, old and new. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    "It's easy to see what a person does. But there's plenty more that's harder to see. And I don't think I was looking hard enough". Such a beautiful story to conclude the tragic events that occurred in "Wolf Hollow". Thank you to Penguin Random House and Lauren Wolk for sharing an early copy of this book with #BookAllies. Annabelle, who is still struggling with grief and trauma from events that occurred a few months prior, is struck by lightning while walking home in a summer storm. She survives wi "It's easy to see what a person does. But there's plenty more that's harder to see. And I don't think I was looking hard enough". Such a beautiful story to conclude the tragic events that occurred in "Wolf Hollow". Thank you to Penguin Random House and Lauren Wolk for sharing an early copy of this book with #BookAllies. Annabelle, who is still struggling with grief and trauma from events that occurred a few months prior, is struck by lightning while walking home in a summer storm. She survives with help from a good samaritan whose identity is a mystery, and is now gifted with heightened senses and the ability to communicate with and understand animals. This beautiful sequel to Newbery Honor winner Wolf Hollow explores grief, forgiveness, trauma, family, friendship and animal activism. I loved having the opportunity to revisit these characters in this beautiful setting that transports you to another time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    ARC received via Netgalley. The sequel to Wolf Hollow, this book takes place several months later. Annabelle is still struggling to accept what happened a few months ago, but she is starting to heal and find her way forward. When she is caught in a sudden summer thunderstorm, a strike of lightning changes her perception of the world around her. Can she use her new-found senses to discover more about the true character of those she still holds at fault? Through a series of events, Annabelle finds he ARC received via Netgalley. The sequel to Wolf Hollow, this book takes place several months later. Annabelle is still struggling to accept what happened a few months ago, but she is starting to heal and find her way forward. When she is caught in a sudden summer thunderstorm, a strike of lightning changes her perception of the world around her. Can she use her new-found senses to discover more about the true character of those she still holds at fault? Through a series of events, Annabelle finds herself learning more about Andy, the boy she holds at least partially responsible for the events leading up to Toby's death. What she finds is that people are not always how we perceive them, and sometimes people can learn from their mistakes and become a better person. I loved getting back into Annabelle's world and seeing more of her life.

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