Lightning Girl, books 3 and 4, by Alesha Dixon

Aurora Beam is known around the world as Lightning Girl, the latest in a maternal line of superheros, and her adventures continue in Secret Supervillain, and Superpower Showdown (Kane Miller, 2020).  Here's my review of the first two books.

A magical stone work powers of light (and lightning) in Aurora, and now she's gone from being an ordinary kid to a world famous hero.  But being a young hero is tough when supervillains (older, more cunning, and more confident) are out to steal the stone, and three others of equal power, from their guardians.

Her adventures take her around the world as she struggles to foil the evil masterminds trying to claim the powers from themselves.  Small victories are followed by ever greater struggles and intrigues, and though Aurora can shoot lightning from her hands, she is really no match for her enemies; her sympathetic heart and lack of cunning make her rather easily manipulated by super-smart villains!  Fortunately, she has good allies--her secret agent magical grandma, her morally dubious aunt, who comes with an ostrich who has no morals at all (but who is a great help when riled up!) and friends, both ordinary and superpowered.  And also she has a growing confidence in not just her powers, but herself, that helps keep her going.

This a great series for kids who enjoy about reading wild adventures of ordinary kids thrown in to extraordinary adventures.  There's plenty of humor (although I myself find the antics of the ostrich appalling rather than funny...), plenty of relatable middle grade self-reflection, and warm family and friend relationships. The world of the books keeping getting bigger, with the Queen of England, for instance, getting involved in story. 

If you're looking for stories of  black girls (Aurora's bi-racial) saving the world, and you're not finding much, do check this series out (as a bonus, you also get her tech genius brother and  science genius little sister).  A satisfying stopping point is reached at the end of the fourth book, but the epilogue sets the stage for further challenges to Lightning Girl!

disclaimer: review copies received from the publisher.

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