Nominated by: Nicki Cleveland (@MissNCleveland), HLTA & school librarian
"Middle-grade fiction is packed with fantastic female characters, but the book that stands out to me is Brightstorm, the dazzling debut by Vashti Hardy. I was utterly enthralled with the world Vashti created, and it’s inhabitants, with four fantastic females taking the lead throughout:
Maudie Brightstorm is the resilient, determined older sister who refuses to let the fact she’s a girl hold her back from her dreams of becoming an engineer.
Harriet Culpepper is the forthright, feisty captain, determined to change sky travel into an environmentally friendly way to travel.
Felicity Wiggle is the very motherly figure, who proves categorically that tea can fix most things.
Eudora Vane is a devious, dangerous and, for the unsuspecting, very deadly villain.
Stunning scenery, eccentric characters and a plot that never lets up combine to create a riveting read that I couldn’t put down. Brightstorm made me laugh, and cry, with the young explorers as their sky-ship carried them from the heat of the Second Continent to the frozen Third Continent, aboard The Aurora with its crew members that come together like family around the Brightstorm children. Great for fans of Cogheart, The Circus Of Marvels and The Uncommoners."