Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Lightning Lou

Publish June 26, 2016

In Lori Weber’s middle grade/YA cross over, Lightning Lou, twelve year-old Lou must leave childhood behind because of World War I. With conscription looming, Canada is a nation divided by language as the French believe they are seen as expendable soldiers in an English war. Wanting no part of a war they didn’t start, the men of Saint-Christophe, Quebec are against conscription, but can do little to stop it. Amid this uncertainty, men’s hockey dwindles, but women’s hockey teams spring up in their place, giving Lou the opportunity to play – as a girl. Transforming into Lou Lou and keeping his secret under wraps is a difficult task once he reaches Montreal, but soon Lou realizes the girls on his team have secrets of their own. Set against the Conscription Crisis of 1917, Lou’s story is realistically enriched by his French-Canadian family and their differing attitudes about the war. Lou’s fresh perspective as an outsider on a girls’ team sheds light on the plight of women during wartime, who were given opportunities that would only be snatched away from them. His growing maturity is well-developed as Lou comes to realize the seriousness of his deception, as well as the responsibilities that await him at home after his brother Georges returns injured from the war. Featuring strong characters and a nuanced exploration of the many layers of this historical period, Weber pulls everything together in a striking read that is sure to become a Canadian classic.

Lightening Lou

Lori Weber
Dancing Cat Books
ISBN 13: 978-1-770-864-627