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Young Adult Fiction Novels In Verse

The Lightning Circle

by (author) Vikki VanSickle

illustrated by Laura K. Watson

Initial publish date
Mar 2024
Novels in Verse, Camping & Outdoor Activities, Coming of Age
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
7 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


An intimate coming-of age novel for teens, told in verse with delicate line art, chronicling the beauty, magic and transformative power of summer camp, for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Judy Blume.

After having her heart broken, seventeen-year-old Nora Nichols decides to escape her hometown and take a summer job as an arts and crafts counsellor at an all-girls' camp in the mountains of West Virginia. There, she meets girls and women from all walks of life with their own heartaches and triumphs. Immersed in this new camp experience, trying to form bonds with her fellow counselors while learning to be a trusted adviser for her campers, Nora distracts herself from her feelings, even during the intimate conversations around the nightly campfires. But when a letter from home comes bearing unexpected news, Nora finds inner strength in her devastation with the healing power of female friendship. Presented as Nora's camp journal, including Nora's sketches of camp life, scraps of letters, and spare poems, The Lightning Circle is an intimate coming-of-age portrait.

About the authors


Vikki VanSickle
écrit des livres et des pièces de théâtre pour les enfants. Elle est
diplômée de théâtre de l'Université de Queens, et de littérature pour
enfants de l'Université de Colombie-Britannique. Elle possède une solide
expérience dans le domaine des camps de vacances : elle travaille dans les
camps organisés par le théâtre local, mais aussi comme conseillère et
directrice d'activités au Camp Rimp Rock de Virginie Occidentale. Elle a
participé à plusieurs comédies musicales, et elle a dirigé, en 2005, la
production de Crazy for You. Ses écrits ont été publiés dans
Chameleon, un magazine pour enfants.


VIKKI VANSICKLE is the author of Words That Start With B, Love Is a Four-Letter Word, Days That End in Y and Summer Days, Starry Nights, which was nominated for a Red Maple Award. She is an active member of the children's literature community, presenting at academic conferences, reviewing books, and managing her popular children's lit blog. Currently, she splits her time between writing and working in marketing and publicity. Vikki lives in Toronto, Ontario. Visit her online at

Vikki VanSickle's profile page

Laura K. Watson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This journal-like free-verse novel expertly conjures the essence of the summer camp experience while exploring self-identity and highlighting the importance of friendships." —STARRED REVIEW, Shelf Awareness

“An inviting take on feminine wisdom and the power of collective self-transformation.” Kirkus Reviews

"[A] sweetly melancholic novel . . . tinged with nostalgia." Booklist

"[T]he bonds the girls form and the ways in which they comfort, heal, and support each other are deeply loving . . . . There's no major trauma here, just the kind of heartbreak that can seem bigger than the whole world until one realizes the universe beyond their own hurt." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A heartwarming story told in accessible free verse and illustrated with Laura K. Watson’s delicate line drawings, The Lightning Circle reads like a teenager’s sketchbook/journal." CM: Canadian Review of Materials

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