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Fiction General


Newton Starker's Rules For Survival

by (author) Arthur Slade

Initial publish date
Aug 2008
Recommended Age
10 to 12
Recommended Grade
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2010
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2008
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The Starker family is infamous. They’ve been chronicled on blogs, profiled on TV and researched by paranormal investigators. They appear to be cursed: everyone of Starker blood has died after being struck by lightning. Fourteen-year-old Newton Starker is the last of his line—except for his great-grandmother, Enid, a woman as friendly as a pickled wolverine—and he’s determined to survive.

Newton has spent all of his life surviving, following a list of rules for self-preservation, guidelines passed down through generations of Starkers. But Newton wants to try something new. He has enrolled at Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival in Moose Jaw with the hope that he’ll be able to beat the odds—he has a dream of becoming a great chef someday. If he wants to go beyond just getting by, Newton is going to need more than rules. He’s going to need friends.
From the creative mind of award-winning writer Arthur Slade—author of Dust, Tribes and Megiddo’s Shadow—comes a quirky, laugh-out-loud story about dreaming big, standing out and knowing when you need help.
• Do not take a bath during a thunderstorm.
• When thunder roars, go indoors. Fast!
• Beware of cumulonimbus clouds.
• Check the weather before exiting any building.
• Remember not to get angry. Anger has been the downfall of many a Starker.
• If your hair stands on end, you are about to be struck by lightning.
• Lightning travels down telephone wires. Use only cordless phones.
• Check the weather. Recheck the weather. Check it again.

About the author

The first volume in ARTHUR SLADE’s Hunchback Assignments series won the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, and the second volume, The Dark Deeps, was a finalist for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the CLA Young Adult Book Award. Slade is also the author of Dust, a national bestseller and the winner of the 2001 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and the Saskatchewan Book Award for Children’s Literature. His other books include Tribes, Megiddo’s Shadow, Jolted, Monsterology, Villainology and the Canadian Chills series. He lives in Saskatoon. Visit him online at

Arthur Slade's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Jolted: Newton Starker’s Rules for Survival

Almost everyone in the Starker family has been hit by lightning except two people: 14-year-old Newton and his Great-Grandmother Enid. Newton enrolls in the Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival in Moose Jaw to learn how to beat the odds.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by Arthur Slade