Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult

Lightning Strike by Tanya Landman

Lightning Strike is a gripping story that paints a heart-wrenching picture of the terrible conditions of London’s East End in the 1880s.

Eliza and her family work in a match factory. The phosphorus they come in contact with is pure poison, causing a horrible condition known as “phossy jaw”. There’s little money, never enough to eat and the constant worry that pain and death are just around the corner. It isn’t fair and Eliza is angry. But is there anything she can do to change things? The factory owner doesn’t care and no work means no money. It simply isn’t an option.

Then Eliza meets a woman who says they don’t have to put up with the way things are any longer. Is what she suggests worth the risk? Eliza is in enough trouble already but maybe things have to get worse before they can get better.

Rallying the other women in the factory, Eliza takes the risk to speak out and strike. She isn’t going to let anyone take advantage of her any longer.

This book is powerful and will stop readers in their tracks. It meets the issues of the time head-on. Socialism, activism, women’s rights and the role of religion in the late 19th century work together to form a story that will challenge and inspire. So often, we can take our rights for granted. The story of Eliza and her family reminds us that there were people who had to fight for those rights and paid dearly.

Oxford University Press has teamed up with Barrington Stoke to create an incredibly accessible book that is “Super-Readable” with dyslexia-friendly font and spacing. It is written in a style that aids comprehension while the shorter length builds confidence and stamina. It bridges the gap between middle grade and young adult beautifully with a story that engages readers.

Thank you to Oxford University Press for this important book.  

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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